Tuesday, April 19, 2011

50 Things to Declutter Now

I'm inspired by yesterday's post on the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life and thought I'd post my own 50 things list. Instead of 50 behaviors to give up, I'm posting a list of 50 actual things to declutter from your home and life.

1. Clothing that you haven't worn in 2+ years. 
2. Clothing that doesn't fit. 
3. Clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable when you wear it. You know what I'm talking about here, right? The pants that always give you a wedgie, the shirt that's a bit too short and always exposes your belly when you lift your arm, the bra that cuts off your circulation, etc.
4. Socks with holes.
5. Duplicate clothing. Unless you're an infant or toddler, you probably don't need 10 pairs of pajamas.
6. Books you have no interest in re-reading.
7. Magazines.
8. Outdated newspapers.
9. VCR tapes, especially if you no longer have a working VCR.
10. DVDs that you no longer watch. If you're kids are teenagers or beyond, you probably don't need the Barney DVDs anymore.
11. Broken, unusable electronics. (cell phones, VCRs, clock radios, etc.)
12. Expired food.
13. Freezer burned food.
14. Children's school work.  I keep special things, like thoughtful essays and special art projects. But, I ditch the math worksheets and things like that. If you really hate to part with school work, take a digital picture of it, then let it go.
15. Old make-up.
16. Old prescription medication that's no longer needed. Check with your local pharmacy to learn how to properly dispose of medicines. You aren't supposed to flush them down the toilet.
17. Expired over-the-counter medicine.
18. Unused kitchen appliances, like bread makers.
19. Non-stick pans. You know these are toxic, right?
20. Broken children's toys.
21. Unused beauty products. For instance, the shampoo that no one likes, etc.
22. Broken crayons. Some kids prefer broken crayons, but if your child doesn't, get rid of them.
23. Dried-out markers and craft paints.
24. Board games with missing pieces.
25. Chemical cleaning products that you don't use. We use mostly vinegar and a few other things here, but still have some old stuff hanging around.
26. Worn out dish towels.
27. Worn out bath towels, wash clothes and hand towels.
28. Pet supplies, if you no longer have a pet that's using them.
29. Broken tools.
30. Large tools that don't get used. You can typically rent large tools if you need them again.
31. Excess blankets. These can be donated like clothing.
33. Unused craft supplies.
34. Unused furniture and large appliances. Unused refrigerators are actually a safety hazard for small children. Don't keep them around. Call someone and have them removed. Other types of furniture, especially upholstered items, will attract rodents if stored in a garage, basement or attic.
35. Outgrown toys. Those baby toys can go if you're "baby" is school-aged or older.
36. Strollers, highchairs and cribs, unless they are family heirlooms. It's great to pass on these expensive items to someone that can use them while they are still usable. I have a high chair that's a family heirloom, so I'll keep that until I can pass it down to one of my children. But, our crib has been gone for a few years and my youngest in only 3. I still use my single stroller, but I need to get  rid of my double since I've only got one stroller-riding kid now.
37.Plastic flower pots. If you buy plants, you know that they typically come in a generic, plastic flower pot. These tend to collect in garages and sheds, especially this time of year. Keep a few for future use, but recycle the rest.
38. Old seeds. Old vegetable and flower seeds tend not to sprout effectively. Give them a try, if you like, but if you don't, get rid of them. They'll only get more ineffective as time goes on and may attract rodents.
39. TV remotes that don't go with your working TV. Any mystery remotes in your house? 
40. Cookbooks. Keep a basic cookbook or two on hand, but let the rest go. In the Internet age, there's no need to have a cupboard full of cookbooks. 
41. Anything you are keeping out of guilt. Did someone give you a gift you hate? Do you curse every time you dust the tacky knick-knack your great-aunt gave you? There's no need to keep things that don't make you happy. I've got a few things that need to move on.
42. Receipts, unless you need to save them for tax purposes.
43. Old financial records. According to Suze Orman, utility bills, bank statements and credit card statements can all go after one year, unless you need them for your taxes. In that case, keep them for three years.
44. Old tax records. Orman says that you only need to keep these for three years, unless there was a problem.
45. Old throw pillows. If they don't match your current furniture or are dirty beyond cleaning, then get rid of them.
46. Greeting cards. Some people save every birthday and Christmas card they ever get. I used to. But, I let them go after a couple of weeks now. They're nice and I appreciate the sentiment behind them, but they become clutter.
47. Unused greeting cards. It's nice to have a stack of cards tucked away in case you forget a birthday and need to get a card out in hurry, but you don't need to save every card that the charity organizations send your way. A few is good, a lot is clutter.
48. Old key chains.
49. Excess office supplies. Do you really need 1,000 rubber bands?
50. Toner cartridges. Don't hang onto them once they've been used. Send them on to be recycled.


  1. Thanks so much for the inspiration! I'm getting offline right this moment to put some of this into effect!