Ready to declutter right now? The best tips and tricks to immediately declutter your home in twenty-five different categories and begin the year with less stuff.
A new year is upon us and there is no need to wait for spring to clear out the clutter. I find it incredibly gratifying to begin the year with a deep clean, declutter, and purge. The positive impact it has on my state of mind is noticeable and allows me to focus clearly on starting off the new year just right by organizing my living space, setting goals, and making plans before the winter doldrums set in.
Let’s Get Started!
There are numerous decluttering methods out there, some with cult followings. In 2016, I played The Minimalism Game. Crafted by The Minimalists, you simply print yourself a monthly calendar and get rid of one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, and so on. At the end of the month, you’ll have 500 fewer items than when you started. It took me four months to complete this 30-day challenge because I needed to take more time to sell some furniture and clothing, wanting to r
These past three years, I simply tracked the items that I decluttered with this simple chart of 100 squares that are kept by my back door where I always keep a donate box. I realize this may seem neurotic but believe me when I tell you that you have no idea how much stuff you truly possess until you track what comes in and what goes out.
The One In, One Out Rule
This brings me to my One In, One Out Rule which I have adhered to strictly since my major clearout in 2016. After making the time and effort to declutter, you don’t want to just fill up the house again with more stuff so I get rid of one item for every non-consumable item that I bring home. This probably sounds hardcore or even nuts but it has become a game that I play with myself that yields a result that I find valuable, and it forces me to analyze my shopping behavior.
So whether you try any of these methods, or you want to go hard and KonMari the shit out of your house, I’m excited for you. It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to live with less.
25 Things To Declutter Right Now:
- Broken or chipped dinnerware or glasses. You deserve nice things.
- Stained, torn or uncomfortable linens, sheets, towels, throw blankets. Again, you deserve nice things.
- Uncomfortable shoes. If you have shoes that tear up your feet or heels that are just too high for any circumstance or event, get rid of them. There are too many stylish alternatives on the market.
- Clothing that doesn’t give you confidence. If you feel uncomfortable wearing something as you leave the house, it’s not worth holding onto. Don’t keep things that make you feel bad. This also goes for clothing that tugs or pulls causing you to constantly fidget.
- Damaged clothing or shoes that you’ll never repair. I collect vintage clothing so small repairs (resewing beads and sequins), minor alterations, and shoe repairs is something I have no problem taking on but we all have those items in the closet that we know we will never fix in order to be wearable. No sense keeping them around and taking up space in your wardrobe.
- Extra hangers. I invested in matching hangers years ago. I can’t recommend doing this more. You will not regret it. Subsequently, it allowed me to ditch excess and mismatched hangers.
- Underwear that should have been tossed long ago. Ill-fitting, tattered, stretched, or torn underwear has to go.
- Threadbare or socks with holes. Socks that have lost their mate go in the bin. You will never find the other one.
- Sports, exercise equipment or hobby gear that only collects dust because you don’t use it anymore and you know you never will.
- Crafts, supplies, projects that you started and that you know deep down you’ll never pick up again.
- Dried up pens and markers. I find cleaning and organizing my desk and stationery very satisfying. Desks tend to easily attract clutter. Keep it tight by only keeping quality items that you reach for.
- Excess paper. Magazines, mail, receipts, miscellaneous paper clutter. Either file it away in a filing system or recycle it.
- Expired makeup. Makeup has a shelf life, especially mascara and liquid or cream products. You can usually smell when they’ve gone off but if you’ve had it a long time, err on the side of caution and get rid of it. Especially if it’s meant to be used around your eyes or mouth.
- Old nail polish. Always a good thing to edit from time to time.
- Old toiletries and medicines. Stuff can collect in the medicine cabinet and under the bathroom sink. Check expiration dates, use common sense, purge the things that have lingered far too long.
- Sad decor. Revisit the things you use to decorate your home and ask yourself if they still bring you joy or inspiration. Perhaps you’ve moved past it or your style has changed. Perhaps you’re holding onto things people gave you but you never really liked it in the first place. It’s time to pass those things on. Ask yourself, “Would I buy this again today?” If the answer is no, you can donate it without regret.
- Holiday decor that you’ve hung onto for some reason yet don’t like and therefore never use. Pass it on.
- Cleaning products. Streamline the products you use and declutter the specialty cleaning products that can easily accumulate under the sink. I’m working on whittling down my cleaning products to one each: glass, bathroom, floor, wood furniture, and porcelain cleaners only.
- Unused kitchen appliances. This year I let go of my juicer. I paid good money for it but it only collected dust after the newness of having one wore off. These can be hard decisions but reassess what you actually use in the kitchen and free up space.
- Useless, missing or mismatched Tupperware/containers. These drawers or cabinets are the worst if they are a mess.
- Books. After hoarding books since I was a child, I began to take a hard look at my bookshelves last year and passed on hundreds of books. I still have a lot but I’m much happier with my edited collection as opposed to the quantity I had before. I love to pass them onto friends, donate, or sell to a used book store for credit.
- Magazine subscriptions. Unless you read every.single.one, cancel your subscriptions.
- DVDs and CDs. This is an area I transitioned from years ago. I do collect and listen to vinyl records but for other music and entertainment selections, I stream.
- Old, outdated electronics, cords and cables. I moved last year and couldn’t believe how many cables I had with no purpose. Unless you are using it, donate it.
- Finally, dump your junk drawer and give it a serious declutter and edit. Perhaps aim for an Instagramable junk drawer of your own.