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A New Season: 15 More Things to Declutter Right Now!

Fall is here. Take advantage of the cooler weather as well as that sense of hitting the reset button that autumn affords us. It’s a new season and the holidays are approaching, now is a good time to clear out and edit categories and areas of our lives that we often ignore.

Earlier this year, I wrote a list of 25 things to declutter, here are 15 more things to declutter or get rid of today:

1. Digital Clutter.  Take some time to unsubscribe to lists or advertisements that clutter your inbox.  I realize that it’s quicker to delete an unwanted email then to take the steps needed to unsubscribe but it’s worth it.  Having done this myself, I now make a habit of unsubscribing to unwanted promos in real-time.  IMPORTANT: I’m not talking about spam here.  Never click on any spam email.  I’m referring to legitimate lists that acquired your email through past purchases, associations, etc. 

2. Zero out your inbox.  There are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who keep hundreds and thousands of emails in their inbox, and those of us who wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if our inbox looked like that.  I try to zero out my inbox regularly, usually at the end of a big project or event.  At the very least, getting you inbox down to fewer than 20 emails that you need to keep for one reason or another, will greatly reduce your anxiety levels.  Try it. 

3. Delete apps on your phone that you never open.  Simplify and streamline your apps and you will feel liberated. 

4. Delete music files that you never listen to.  For years, I hoarded a giant digital music library in the same way I kept every single book that I acquired.  Then I decided to apply the same approach to my music library as I did my library of books by deleting songs, artists that I didn’t like, never listened to, and knew I never would.  My Apple library is better now with only songs I like in rotation.  Tip: This is a good project to do on an airplane. 

5. Clean out the pantry.  A new season is always a good time to clean out expired and unused food items in the pantry.  Donate any food not yet expired and keep only what you plan on cooking between now and the end of the year. 

6. Clean out the freezer and refrigerator.  The holidays are approaching.  Now is a good time to also clear out the fridge in preparation. 

7. Clean out your car.  Declutter the trunk and the glove compartment.  Stuff just seems to ride around in these spaces for months that we never seem to use or need.  Fall is a good time of year to give the car a good clean, inside and out, and get it ready for winter. 

8. Extra reusable shopping bags.  I use reusable shopping bags every time I go to the grocery store.  I own four.  As a single person, I only ever use two at a time.  Depending on the size of your family and normal grocery hauls, only keep what you need.  Most households don’t need 10, 12, 15 or more bags.  Don’t toss the ones you declutter though.  Use them for donation bags for Goodwill or charity donations. 

9. Extra luggage.  Now that summer is over, and perhaps you took a holiday or two, you should know your luggage needs.  Dial in your travel game and donate or sell any luggage that doesn’t make your travel experience better.

10. Tattered rugs and throw pillows.  If at any point throughout the year you’ve thought about getting rid of or replacing rugs and throw pillows that have seen better days, do it now.  Replace them if needed, but also consider not replacing them if in fact that is the better decision. 

11. Garage, garden shed, yard, pool area.  The weather has cooled, don’t wait until spring to declutter these spaces that were heavily used in the summer, and will get little attention in the next several months.  Get rid of any broken or excess landscaping or gardening tools, outdoor furniture, pots and planters, pool/beach/swimming gear, toys, etc.  Clear out old projects still sitting (unfinished) in the garage because another year has come and gone without finishing them.  Come spring, you’ll be happy you took this time to do it now. 

12. Summer clothing and accessories.  With the end of the summer season, you’re aware of what you have, what you needed, and what you actually wore.  Consider a quick end of summer declutter of tattered, stained, or threadbare bathing suits, shorts, shirts, dresses, and other summer clothing essentials.  Get rid of nasty flip flops or trashed sandals that cannot make it through another summer.

13. Winter clothing and accessories.  Similarly, this is a good time to pull out your winter essentials such as coats, scarves, gloves, boots, hats, etc. to see what can go, and what you may need before winter arrives.  

14. Jewelry and fashion accessories.  Has your style or taste changed this past year when it comes to jewelry or accessories?  Fashion accessories; jewelry, belts, hats, scarves have a tendency to linger in drawers and bins for years without a critical eye.  Consider a serious edit of all of your accessories.  Donate, sell, or pass items that now longer appeal to you to friends and family. 

15. Negative people in your life.  This can be hard but it’s good for the soul and critical to one’s own happiness.  Whether you decide to pull back or cut ties completely, limiting your exposure to negative forces and toxic people is vital.  Life is short.  Choose who you spend it with. 

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