With all of the things competing for your attention nowadays, clutter doesn’t need to be one of them. Wondering how to declutter your life? Read on!
Although it may seem like a lot of work to declutter your home or office space, we’ve created a simple checklist of things to get you started. Removing these items from your life will save you time, money and make your space more comfortable. And while these things may not seem like they would clear up a lot of space, you’d be surprised how much better a room can look when you remove the little clutter.
If you’re worried about the time it takes to declutter a room, use the 15-minute method. Set a timer for 15-minutes and start working through the list below. Once the 15 minutes are up, take a break and then come back to it a short time later.
Some say the best way to really declutter your home is to just take care of it all at once and declutter in one day, but if time doesn’t allow, this method is a great way to get a little done at a time and declutter your home in one week, or declutter in a month. And you may even surprise yourself with how much you are able to do in 15 minutes.
Ready to get rid of stuff you don’t need and declutter your house?
Here’s 19 things to toss ASAP and get rid of clutter right now!
1. Pens that don’t work
I’m sure you know the frustration of being on the phone, needing to write down an address or take a note and every pen you try to use doesn’t work. These pens can be found at the bottom of your purse, under the seat of your car or even in your office drawers. Taking a few minutes to test the pens and discard the ones that don’t work, will not only help declutter but will save you time on your next call.
2. Socks with holes in them
The weird thing about socks with holes in them (and undies for that matter) is that we all seem to keep them around for so much longer than they deserve. When was the last time you pulled on a sock with a big ol’ hole in the toe or heel and were pleased it was in that condition? Never! It can feel wasteful to throw away items of clothing, but the whole point of socks is that they don’t have holes in them… So be ruthless and get rid of those grimy old socks!
[image via YouTube]
You’ll be surprised how much more room you have in your drawers when they aren’t cluttered with things you never wear!
3. Books You’ve Already (or Never Will) Read
Okay, we all have those books piled around the house or bedroom that we swear we’re going to read. We really are! Promise! We’ve just got to finish that thing and get a new job and save the planet and go on vacation.
It might be time for a reality check though. There are only so many things we have time for in a day, and while you should absolutely make time to read and learn, you don’t need to clutter your home with 15 books when 2 or 3 by the nightstand is more than sufficient.
You also don’t need to get rid of them for good! If you haven’t read the book and don’t have library space, you might consider picking a few to keep by your bed or favorite reading spot, and then box the rest in a plastic bin for storage. That way you can cycle through your unread books and they don’t need to clutter your home!
[image via Stocksy]
You can either donate already read books to a thrift store or sell them off to a used book outlet. This is a great way to clear out your closet or office space. This can also include cookbooks! Consider writing out your favorite recipes from the cookbook on a note card and donating the book itself to save space. There are plenty of cute recipe card storage boxes that you can buy and store those recipes along with all your faves from friends and family, or one’s you’ve tried and loved online.
4. Almost Empty Toiletries
Whether its eye cream, shampoo or last year’s sunscreen bottles, they can take up a lot space. Clearing these out can allow room for new things, plus less clutter in your bathroom drawers or shower makes cleaning that much easier.
Most common items of bathroom clutter?
We’ve asked around, and apparently the most common clutter in bathrooms are partially used shampoo and conditioner bottles. So take stock of what you’ve got sitting around your bathroom!
5. Expired Makeup
Mascara expires after 3 months of the seal being broken. Lipsticks can last a year or two. If you have been holding onto that “volume blast” mascara for too long, just get rid of it. This can include any dried up nail polish bottles as well. The best part about streamlining your makeup collection is you are more likely to use more of what you have, instead of sticking to the same makeup look because your makeup drawer is overcrowded.
If you’re unsure how to tell if your makeup has expired, this bonus tip is going to blow your mind. On every cosmetics bottle, tube, pot, etc., there is a tiny little graphic with a number inside which stands for the number of months that product has (once opened) before expiration. It looks like this:
6. Old cell phones
This one can even earn you some cash or some karma. Once you have taken your valuable photos and data off of your old cell phone, consider selling it or donating it. Even if it isn’t working, it can be purchased for the parts value online. There are also plenty of worthwhile charities looking for donated mobile devices, so give those a gander too.
We all have a habit of keeping our old cell phones as a backup, but when is the last time you actually had to resort to that?
7. Food packaging
Declutter your pantry by getting rid of the bulky cereal boxes and other food packing and instead using clear containers. This can better allow you to see what you’re running out of and allow for a more organized pantry. Not to mention it looks incredibly chic and organized.
8. Expired spices
Okay this one is sort of a blow we’ll admit. Spices are expensive and learning that they do, in fact, expire can be a major bummer. But experts agree that in all likelihood the majority of spices in your cupboard are probably expired. When organizing your spices take note of the expiration date on the packages and discard the spices that have gone bad. This will leave your cupboard smelling fresh and looking good.
Another way to ensure you aren’t using bland (or funky) expired spices is to make a tradition out of replacing them every year around the same time. If there’s a favorite holiday in your family, or a celebration you’re sure to partake in every year, why not make it a double tradition by converting it to the Annual Spice Replacement Day too? Yeah, the name could use some work – but experts have found that the majority of spices expire within about a year of being opened, if not sooner. So, making it an annual thing isn’t sure a bad idea!
9. Expired condiments
You might be thinking that, um, you would know if you had a bunch of expired condiments ta
king up that ever-valuable fridge space you and your fellow food-eaters covet. But alas, there’s a pretty good chance a bunch of those bottles and jars are past their prime.
This might sound drastic, but we recommend taking everything out of your fridge, cleaning the whole thing thoroughly, and going through each item to check that it hasn’t spoiled or expired. This includes food, but that’s usually pretty obvious.
You’ll be amazed by how much more space for fresh food and condiments you have after you get rid of all those half-used bottles of balsamic or mayo. It’s a fantastic feeling. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to go for one of those stunning Instagram-ready fridges dotting your Explore page, like the one below.
[image via PopSugar]
10. Bottles and jars
We all love to pin cute wine bottle DIY projects or those trendy “lunch in a jar” ideas on Pinterest, but let’s face it, they’re collecting dust and you haven’t had and probably won’t have time to complete these adorable DIY Projects. Decluttering is enough of a project itself, so consider recycling these ASAP.
Clean out your wallet, clean out your purse and clean out your junk drawer. Receipts are the king of clutter. It takes just a few minutes to go through your wallet and throw out those old receipts. It’s important to keep ones for big ticket items, but make sure to clear out those old Starbucks receipts that you don’t need.
12. Old Magazines
Have you noticed the pile of magazines on your coffee table or in the bathroom has grown significantly in the past few months? If so, it may be time to let some of these go. Take some time to go through your stacks and recycle all the magazines, except the most current issues. This way you still have reading material, but you don’t have excess stacks sitting around you never plan on reading.
[image via Pexels]
13. Chipped Coffee Mugs
Coffee mugs are something some people collect without even realizing it. Given away as promotional gifts, bought as souvenirs by friends and family members and then stacked on top of each other in the cabinet. Chances are, there are more than a few of these mugs that are chipped, ugly, or otherwise unneeded. Take some time to go through your collection and get rid of the ones you don’t use. Chipped and ugly mugs are the chips and cookies of the clutter diet, just get rid of them!
14. Unused or Old Hangers
Do you have old, metal hangers in the back of your closet that you never plan to use? Are you hanging on to them “just in case?” If so, go ahead and bite the bullet and throw them out. You can even donate them to a local Goodwill, but it is a good idea to get them out of your closet. It will free up some space for other essentials. On the “organize my life checklist” tossing old or broken hangers has got to be at the top, so get rid of them!
15. Broken Jewelry or Items You Don’t Wear
When is the last time you went through your jewelry box? If you can’t remember, then it may be time to give it a gander. Consider selling any broken jewelry or items you haven’t worn in a while. You can make quite a bit of money from scrap gold and silver and free up space in your jewelry box.
Learn to recognize the difference between objects you can and will fix versus items simply taking up space with no hope of refurbishment. This one skill really helps get rid of clutter. This part is a bit ruthless, but try to be as honest with yourself as possible for maximum declutter-impact.
16. Instruction Books or Manuals
Every time you purchase something, regardless of if it is an electronic or some type of furniture, you receive a manual or instruction book. Chances are, these aren’t something you need to hang on to long term. As a result, go through your stack of instruction books and manuals and get rid of the ones you no longer need.
17. Old Grocery Bags
A few old paper bags laying around is good for collecting recycling or wrapping textbooks, but otherwise it’s high time to invest in a few reusable grocery and shopping bags. Save the planet, declutter your life!
[image via coolmom]
18. Old Bills and Other Paperwork
While you may need to keep some bills for a few months, there is no need to have a collection of bills and bank statements from years in the past. Take some time to have these items shredded. Once you’ve taken care of existing statements and paperwork safely and securely, consider switching to online banking!
Online banking is one of the best tips for organizing clutter because with more and more businesses offering online statements, you usually have access to any information you may need. This means there is no need for old statements to hang around and accumulate into clutter in your home.
Wondering how to get organized for free? Switching to online options might be the answer. Making the decluttering switch to online options is as easy as choosing to have receipts emailed rather than printed if you’re given the choice. Retailers are increasingly offering digital options to outdated paper methods including coupons, discounts, receipts, membership cards and more. Rather than stuffing your wallet and your home with these cluttering items, go paperless!
19. Unworn clothing items
The issue with reducing wardrobe clutter is the fear you might regret getting rid of a certain item. One way to assuage any doubts is to perform a little experiment on yourself. Here’s how it works. First, fill a garbage bag with any items that you haven’t worn in a long time, but can’t fathom throwing away or donating. Put the bag (or box) somewhere out of sight. Then, put a reminder on your phone to revisit it in 3 months. At the end of the three months ask yourself: did I end up actually missing anything in that box? Confidently donate these apparently unneeded items knowing now they weren’t as important as you thought.
This list is just a starting point. There are plenty of other ways you can declutter your home. Decluttering your life will make you feel better. Getting rid of clutter also make your guests feel more welcome in your home. Get rid of clutter today!
There are plenty of reasons why decluttering your home is a great idea. But when you get rid of clutter you risk getting rid of memories. You also risk getting rid of items you actually do need in your home. What’s more, you might get rid of an item that you need down the road. This sort of decluttering often leads to regret and a huge waste of money buying back “clutter” you tossed.
But decluttering doesn’t have to mean tossing or donating all your possessions. In fact, there’s a much easier, cheaper and more convenient option if you’re short on space. Use an on-demand storage service like Wayforth to give yourself the space you need without sacrificing your memories. Wayforth offers on-demand pickup, storage and delivery of your items whenever you want. Additionally, you can store seasonally to maximize your space and minimize your stress.
If you still need more space after you’ve decluttered your home by following these tips, give Wayforth a try and see how full service storage can get rid of clutter and transform the way you live.