Decluttering is something many of us start to think about in January. The excess of Christmas and the thought of a fresh start with the beginning of a new year usually inspires me to reclaim some space! Plus, clutter gives me anxiety. How about you? Maybe I’m just weird.
Below are 20 things you can donate, trash, or “re-home” today to declutter fast!
Magazines – If you’ve read the magazine, toss it, donate it or give it to a friend who would enjoy reading it.
Heirlooms – Yes, heirlooms. Is the item valuable? Does it have sentimental value for you? Do you love it? If the answer is no to any of those questions, it’s time to find it another home…without guilt.
Kid’s artwork – Do you realize if you save every piece of artwork your child brings home from the time they start school that you’ll be overrun with papers before they hit middle school? And if you have more than one child…wowzers. You’re not a bad mom for trashing her watercolor from preschool. Choose a couple of masterpieces from each year (I’m a sucker for ones with their handprints on them) and trash the rest. You’ll get an extra space when playing Mom Guilt Bingo too. Score.
I have a 3-ring binder for each child filled with page protectors. I slide the coloring pages and craft projects I want to keep in there. One binder each for the entirety of their elementary years is all I’m keeping!
Cosmetics – Eye makeup that has expired, travel-sized shampoos with a dime-sized amount left in the bottle, eyeshadow colors you don’t actually use: all need to be trashed. If you come across something you really want to use but just don’t remember to (hello face masks and bath salts) leave them out on the countertop for a week so you can put them to use. Still haven’t used them up after a week? You’re not going to.
Pantry items – Refrigerators get cleaned out pretty often since the odor of science projects kind of demands it, but what about your pantry? Have you gone gluten-free and there are still boxes of pasta in your cabinets? Unopened items that are not expired can be donated to a food bank. Others can be tossed.
Old candles – That wick is burned almost all the way down and there’s dust on the wax. It’s gotta go. It’s not worth taking up space while you get around to melting it down for a craft project. Better yet, toss all your candles (and the formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and soot being depositing into your lungs) and start diffusing essential oils instead. You’ll enjoy the smell and receive therapeutic benefits.
Clothing that doesn’t fit – If you lose the weight, you deserve to go shopping for some new pieces anyway. If it’s too tight, toss it. If it’s too big…don’t set yourself up for failure by hanging on to your “fat pants” just in case.
Clothing that you have not worn in a season – Pieces that you picked up at the thrift store thinking they would make great layering pieces but you haven’t worn in 6 months, that sweater your aunt gave you that isn’t really “you” but you wore it a couple of times anyway. Toss ’em.
Gadgets – Do you have kitchen gadgets that you don’t actually use? When was the last time you made spritz cookies? Seriously. Donate gadgets and save space in your kitchen for items you actually use regularly.
Craft supplies – Are there crafting hobbies you no longer pursue? Time to sell your supplies on Ebay or Craigslist. If you do still engage in the craft is it time to purge some of your supplies anyway? Yarn? Scrapbook paper?
– Christmas decorations are out of sight and mind for much of the year. Half our decorations stay in the box each Christmas and just keep getting put back into storage with the ones that are actually used. Purging them will free up storage space!
Cheap toys – Are there Happy Meal toys or items the kids procured from a Dollar Tree trip with grandma taking up space in the toy box? (or the bedroom floor? Sigh.)
Cords – Chargers from cell phones, gadgets, and devices that have broken or you no longer own. Wrangle the remaining ones with these beauties to relieve yourself of some visual clutter.
Paperwork – Owners manuals, user guides, and warranty info for items you no longer own or that have broken. Mortgage paperwork from your previous home…you get the idea.
Party supplies – Do you have 2 Sesame Street plates left from baby’s 1st birthday, 6 leftover snowman napkins from the Christmas party, and a half roll of red crepe paper from Valentine’s Day? Odds are you won’t be able to create an overreaching theme and incorporate all of these the next time you entertain. Decorate your dining room table with the crepe paper and let your kiddos eat lunch with Big Bird and Frosty = fun family memory + freed up space.
Decorative items – Do you love the item? Does it make you smile to look at it? If not, it no longer has a place in your home. Maybe your tastes have changed, the item doesn’t look quite as good in the new house as it did your old one, or it was a gift that you never really adored. Make room to surround yourself with items you truly appreciate.
Cleaning supplies – Whittle things down to one or two cleaners. Thieves Household Cleaner has replaced my all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, bleach, et al. This frees up a lot of room under the sink!
Hardware – I don’t understand the phenomenon, but if you live with a man, you probably have screws, nails, nuts, bolts, picture hangers, and drillbits collecting in various places all over the house. I’ve been consolidating or throwing away these things for 12 years. He never notices.
Sporting goods – I just sold my golf clubs on Craigslist. Haven’t touched them since having children. If I want to golf again in 10 years, I can pick up a used set of clubs on Craigslist! In the meantime, we have more room in our garage. Tennis rackets, fishing tackle, and yard games all fall into this category. Have you played tennis, fished, or hosted a backyard party in the last 2 years? No? Time for these items to go.
Food Storage Containers – Missing lids? Oxidized plastic? A collection of other people’s containers that made their way into your home and you have no idea who the original owner is? Time for a new set with matching lids that will nest properly in your cabinets and save space. These Easy Find Lid Systems from Rubbermaid are a good choice.
You’re done! Now you can tackle your bedroom!
Are you doing any decluttering in the new year?