Inside: Find out the best things to declutter before the end of the year so you can have a fresh start in 2024.
Did you buy anything you didn’t need in the past couple of years? If so, you’re not alone.
The pandemic taught us a ton of things, one of them being that togetherness and experiences are more important than any material thing out there. Still, though, many filled the “void” social distancing left us with by purchasing more things online.
While things have been returning to a greater sense of normalcy this year, you may still have some unnecessary things sitting around in your home.
Now is the time to re-evaluate what you own and declutter what you don’t. Don’t let your stuff hold you back from the home and the life that you want.
Here’s what to get rid of before the end of the year to start off the new year on the right track.
Best Things to Declutter Before the End of the Year
Ready to let go of what’s no longer serving you? Here are some of the best things to declutter before the end of the year.
1. Your Wardrobe
2020 brought a big lifestyle change for many of us. Work attire got switched into loungewear and outside shoes morphed into slippers.
If you’re anything like me, you may have worn your athleisure wear on repeat and some other types of clothes haven’t gotten much attention.
Now is a great time to re-evaluate the clothes that you own. Decide what you won’t ever wear again and what items may simply be worn out. Create a wardrobe that you feel confident in without the excess stuff.
Keep only items in your closet that fit and that you feel good wearing. If you’re in between sizes or are in the process of changing sizes, box up the items that don’t currently fit and store them for now.
It feels better having a closet that you’ve decluttered and that only contains things you’ll wear. It also makes getting ready easier.
Finding different masks all over your home and car? They’re a good thing to declutter before the end of the year.
Some may have worn out and others perhaps didn’t fit well to begin with. Keep your favorites and discard the rest.
We all dealt with quarantine in different ways. Some started a new side business, others binge-watched The Great British Baking Show while attempting a new baking hobby, and some became plant (or animal) parents.
Being indoors all day caused many people to start growing or buying more plants than usual. Sadly, some may have realized they don’t have a green thumb and the plants didn’t make it.
While we would love for them to come back to life, there’s nothing sadder than seeing dead plants sitting around. Go ahead and let them go to start fresh in 2024.
4. Hobby Supplies
Having more time at home gave us a chance to reconnect with our creative selves. Perhaps you tried picking up some old hobbies or some new ones.
If you were lucky, you may have discovered a newly-found love for knitting or painting that will stay forever. However, you may have also tried a few other hobbies that didn’t quite make the cut or have simply run their course.
Instead of hanging onto supplies you aren’t using, donate them to free up some space where things you will actually use can go. A great way to get rid of hobby supplies is by donating them to local schools or community groups where they can make better use of them.
These last few years have made it clear what we truly will make time for. If you’d been holding onto items for when you have time at home, you’ve now had that. Did you use them? If you haven’t, they are a great thing to declutter before the end of the year.
Who knows, the supplies that would otherwise collect dust might be the catalyst for someone else’s new passion!
While an $8 monthly charge might not seem as much, recurring payments can really add up throughout the year. Subscribing to goody boxes, TV services, online classes, may have seemed like a good idea at the time.
But at some point, you realize it’s highly likely you’re paying for a few subscriptions here and there that you’re no longer making use of.
Take a few hours today to hit the cancel button on every subscription that no longer makes sense. Declutter the unwanted items from any subscription boxes you may have purchased. Save more money as you simplify and declutter!
6. Delivery Menus
Have delivery menus ended up in various parts of your home? Declutter the ones from the places that weren’t great or that are no longer in business.
You may even get rid of the ones from places you did like. Simply save your favorite spots to your phone or to a Pinterest board.
7. Extra Furniture
Stay-at-home orders forced us to have to turn our home into several different places: a school, a workplace, your go-to entertainment spot, a bakery, and a whole lot more!
It’s no surprise that many of us had to accommodate and purchase a few new items of furniture to make things more comfortable for everyone.
You may have bought a new desk that doesn’t quite make sense anymore and it’s taking up a ton of space in the living room. Or you may have had to makeshift an entire office in your guest room.
Now is a great time to reassess your space and what pieces you want to keep going forward and what you no longer need. Too much furniture can make a space feel cluttered so clearing out the excess will give you more breathing room.
8. Candles, Essential Oils, and Any Self-Care Products You Don’t Absolutely Love
One of the “hobbies” many of us took up during the pandemic? Self-care activities.
Living through these unprecedented times took a toll and it became increasingly important to find ways to take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Simple things like candles, essential oils, creams, and skincare products that made us feel good became a sort of safe haven for a ton of people during those hard times.
While I definitely encourage you to continue practicing self-care on a regular basis, I also recommend keeping only the products you loved using.
Is your bathroom is overflowing with items you tried once and never looked at again? If so make sure you re-evaluate and keep only the ones you know you can no longer live without.
Make sure you also throw away used candles that have seen their last burn. They may be taking up more space than you think!
9. Office Supplies
Whether you’re back at the office or still working from home, go through your home office and figure out what things you actually used and what you didn’t.
You may have gotten a tad bit excited about getting to work from the comfort of your home and over-bought a few things here and there. Take a moment to see what makes sense to keep and what to throw out (you can always donate what you don’t need anymore).
10. Food You Aren’t Eating
Remember how yeast and flour were nearly impossible to find in 2020? When there is a shortage of an item, people can get caught up in the flurry and buy items that it turns out they’ll never use.
Maybe that sourdough starter or the scoby you have to make your own kombucha are still sitting idle. It’s time to pass them along to someone who will make use of them.
11. Decor You Don’t Love
Whether it be seasonal decorations, holiday decorations, or everyday decor most of us have some things we no longer love.
Being home more may have increased your awareness of the things you are tired of seeing. Or maybe you’ve realized you just have too much and the pieces that you love get crowded out by all of the stuff.
Before the year ends is a great time to look over your holiday decor before it gets backed up and your everyday decor before it comes back out and decide which things need to go.
12. Impulse Purchases
With people spending a lot more time at home, social media and Amazon shopping become a very common occurrence.
If you bought a lightning deal or Instagram purchase that you wish you hadn’t, that’s something to declutter before the end of the year.
Don’t keep around items that remind you of past purchasing mistakes. Start fresh and learn the lesson by choosing to shop more intentionally in the future.
While we tend to think of clutter as just the stuff in our homes, there is also emotional clutter that impacts your life. It’s harder to see, but it burdens you nonetheless.
For many people, the last couple of years have been exceptionally tough. People are trying to balance various roles while keeping it all together.
Maybe something you need to declutter is your expectations for yourself. Life is hard sometimes and it is ok to be honest about that. No one is perfect or has a perfect life.
Recent years have also tested relationships. Consider what your expectations of others are. Often disconnects happen in relationships due to unspoken and unmet expectations people have of each other. This applies to friendships as well as marriages.
This isn’t to say that you don’t have standards and boundaries with how people treat you, but it is helpful to look at what it is you’re expecting of someone else and to talk about it.
Perhaps one of the most important lessons learned over the past couple of years is what truly matters versus what doesn’t. This time has given people the opportunity to rethink their priorities.
Before this year ends, take the time to reassess your schedule and be selective with what commitments you add to your life.
Having time and space to reflect can help you to see things more clearly. Decide what is clutter and what isn’t. Let go of the excess and live your life to the full.
What do you want to declutter before the end of the year? Leave it in the comments section.
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Books and magazines
Photos—prints and digital
Souvenirs, postcards, brochures, maps
Christmas decorations and wrap and cards
Gifts people gave me that I don’t love
All great ideas, Lesley! Thanks for sharing.
My digital life. Email, photos, apps, messages, documents, subscriptions
I posted extra Halloween and Christmas items on my local Buy Nothing site. They were gone within a day. Next up is holiday stuffed animals we don’t need.
That’s perfect, Janice. I love when you can gift them to someone who will use them 🙂
Yes! My granddaughters are growing up now 5;8; and 10. Donating someChristmas musical stuffed animals. Getting rid of old Christmas cards. I realized I bought too many this year and only used 10 of the 40 I had purchased. Also donating our old Velcro advent calendar. It’s really for very young children. I post on our local Buy Nothing site and stuff is gone within a day or so!
Toys no longer needed but have memories attached
Excellent ideas, Anita!
I am working on decluttering supplements (either expired or no longer use), unloved holiday decor, & gift wrap and bags, as well as personal products. Some things I put on a local auction on FB so I know its gone quick, the others things I give to friends.
Great list, Stephanie!
As the holidays are approaching, the need to go through my holiday “stuff” are the things that have been stored away a not displayed or used. I’m also going through my favorite holiday recipes, and picking favorites , I know that will be time consuming, but little by little, I can continue to simply.
Thank you for all the tips you’ve given me through this process.
You’re welcome, Michele! I’m glad you’ve found the posts to be helpful.
Whatever is in the 1 closet needs to go somewhere.
I do not even remember what is in there.
I have city dump free pickup tomorrow.
We had an old mattress I finally can get out of the property.
Thank you for all the ideas.
Those city dump days are a great motivator!
My husband and I just married a few years ago. We both brought along years worth of Christmas “stuff”. I think I have convinced him that we don’t need three trees (none of which got put up last year) and he is willing to donate everything except what we know we will use this year.
Sounds like a win to me, Robin!
I went through my closet and wardrobe, boxes of seasonal clothes, work clothes, shoes, stuff that didn’t fit well or wasn’t age appropriate any longer, things that didn’t make me happy. I gave 5 bags to Goodwill. also some books and a few household items too. Feels great and no regrets! Next, its my craft room.
That’s great, Jeannine. You’re making lots of progress!
julianna, your brief articles and the comments that follow are so encouraging to me. as i get older, i feel more of an urgency to pare down, declutter, and find pleasure in the things i choose to keep. thanks for sharing your heart with us in such a gentle way.
Thank you so much for the kind comment, Kathy. I’m so glad the posts have been helpful and encouraging :).
It’s not much, but I managed to pass on three items today to people in our local Buy Nothing group. Started a flurry of cleaning up and looking for other things to post. What doesn’t get asked for can go out the door.
Every bit counts! Great work 🙂
Also old cookbooks I bought with good intentions! Lol! I keep ONE: my Betty Crocker Cookbook! Who needs cookbooks now with recipes online? My few family favorites I keep in a small 3 binder notebook.
How does one help their significant other declutter when they don’t like to get rid if things??
Great question. I wrote a post about that here: https://www.thesimplicityhabit.com/declutter-spouse-want-to/