I struggle with clutter. With a family of five living in a modest sized ranch home, there just isn’t space for clutter and the clutter happens quickly. I’ll deal with it for a few months (or maybe a few years) and then it starts to drive me crazy and I HAVE to get rid of stuff and declutter.
When I look at my house, it always feels like such a daunting task to declutter. So, I decided to set a goal to throw out 50 things and only tackle one room a day. (I’m not really going to throw all of it out. I will donate what can still be used.)
But, where do I start? Usually I wander aimlessly from room to room and find a few things here and there to get rid of. But, this year, I decided to be intentional and create a list of ideas of 50 things to throw out and work on only one room at a time for no more than two hours a day. Since I’m doing it myself, I figured I would share my list with you in case you want to join my decluttering journey.
When I start to declutter, there are two things I consider with each item before I toss it.
1. Have I used this within the past year? If the answer is no, it has to go. Unless…
2. Am I saving it for sentimental reasons? If it’s an item that holds memory for me, I keep it. Unless, I can digitalize it or take a picture to save that memory. There are only so many things I can reasonably keep in my home.
As I declutter, I keep three piles going. One is for trash, another for recyclable items, and a final one for donation/garage sale items. The key to this system is to donate the items, host a garage sale, or use these tips to declutter for cash AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after you declutter. I know I am guilty of letting a donation pile sit in my entry way for a month until I finally move it to my van where it sits for another month or two until I finally donate it. Set a date NOW that you plan to stop by the donation facility or host a garage sale.
Here is my room by room guide to get rid of 50 things this week. Don’t spend too much time going throw every nook and cranny. Set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour (two hours if you are really ambitious) and declutter as much as you can in that time frame.
– Any magazines more than a month old that I have not read
– DVD’s that we can now watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime
– Video games no longer played
– Old or broken electronics
– Opened beauty products I haven’t used in the past month
– Expired medication (dispose of properly)
– Cleaning products I do not use
– Blankets (donate to animal shelters)
– Old bedding
– Rags and towels that have gone past the point of being considered rags
– Old pillows
– Clothes that I did not wear this season
– Shoes I no longer wear
– Old socks and underwear (if it’s got a hole, it’s got to go!)
– Purses and bags I haven’t used recently
TIP: If your kids are old enough, challenge to donate/throw out 10-15 things on their own. Less work for you and you still declutter.
– Clothes that do not fit
– Shoes that do not fit
– Old socks and underwear (Again, if it’s got a hole, it’s got to go!)
– Broken toys
– Toys with missing pieces
– Stuffed animals that are not played with (will someone please explain how kids collect SO many of these)
– Books they never read or don’t read anymore
– Board games you haven’t played in past year
– Board games that are missing pieces
– Jigsaw puzzles that are missing pieces
– Dried out play dough, broken crayons, markers that don’t work, etc.
– Small appliances I have not used in a year
– Duplicate kitchen tools (I found 5 wine openers – I think I have a problem or maybe just 5 solutions to a single problem)
– Any dishes that do not get used regularly
– Plastic storage containers that no longer seal correctly
– Old pan holders or trivets that no longer perform their function well
– Pantry food we will never eat (donate to food pantry if not expired)
– Pantry food that is expired
– Cutting boards that need replaced
– Water bottles that are missing lids or are broken
HOME OFFICE / CRAFT AREA OR ROOM
– Bills older than a year (make sure to shred these)
– Books I will never read or already have digital copies
– Chargers that don’t go to anything or are duplicates (how I collect so many, I have no clue)
– Electronics that no longer work
– Pens & markers that do not work
– Any craft projects I will never actually do (get real with yourself here)
– Scrap craft items
DINING ROOM & DECORATIONS
– Tablecloths that are ragged
– Placemats we no longer use
– Seasonal decorations I’m too lazy/busy to put up every year
– Wall paintings I’m not in love with anymore
– Decor that no longer fits the home
– Coats that have not been worn
– Winter gear that no longer fits or is not worn
– Gloves that have no match
– All the junk I stuff in the closet to hide when people visit (I know I’m not the only one)
– If exercise or sports equipment is in storage, it’s got to go
– Go through storage totes and dispose of anything after answering the two questions I listed above
There you have it – 50+ things you can throw out now. Don’t let clutter bog you down. Take time every day this week and get rid of the clutter room by room. You will feel lighter and relieved when the clutter leaves your living and storage areas. There is definitely something liberating about living in a clutter free space.
MONEY MAKING TIP – If you want to make some money from your decluttering project, consider having a garage sale this summer soon after decluttering (so it doesn’t sit in your house too long.) Here are my tips for hosting a profitable garage sale. Make sure to read the post BEFORE decluttering, so you can save yourself time and energy prepping your garage sale.