Inside: Clear clutter today by removing these ten things you can easily get rid of and won’t miss having in your home.
So you’ve decided to declutter your house.
There are a few key actions you’ll need to take as part of the process. Generally speaking, you’ll want to…
- Focus on one defined area at a time and take those things out of their space.
- Determine what can be donated, what can be thrown away, and what you need to keep.
- Come up with a way to systematically organize all of the stuff in your “keep” pile so it’s tidy and accessible.
Today, we’re going to focus on that second step – specifically, the part about throwing stuff away that you no longer need.
For some of us, the idea of literally tossing things into the trash is difficult to accept. Whether you hate contributing to the waste in the landfill, hate the idea of getting rid of things you bought with your hard-earned money, or deal with another barrier when it comes to throwing things away, know you aren’t alone.
But not everything has to be difficult.
By starting off with the things you can easily get rid of and won’t miss, you can build up the confidence and momentum you need to move forward with the rest of your decluttering projects and get your home in order for good.
Ten Things You Can Easily Get Rid of (& Won’t Miss)
Not sure what those easy wins look like? I’ve got you covered. Here are a few things you’ll likely come across as you navigate the decluttering process that you can discard without hesitation.
1. Expired medications
When was the last time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet? For many of us, it’s a spot that doesn’t get a ton of attention until we’re feeling under the weather – and at that point, the last thing we feel like doing is trying to figure out what’s past its prime.
Expired medications are less effective than their unexpired counterparts, so it’s easy to see why you can get rid of them. One thing to consider? Make sure you’re disposing of them properly.
Instead of throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the drain, bring them to a local pharmacy or drug store with a take-back program.
2. Damaged furniture
That table with a wobbly leg that you swear you’re going to fix one day? If it’s been sitting in your garage for years, odds are it isn’t going to happen.
It’s great to repair instead of replace things when you can, but it is also important to be realistic with your abilities to fix them.
If you have furniture that’s damaged or broken that you can’t fairly easily fix, it’s not worth continuing to store it. It’s just taking up space and making your home look cluttered.
Donate it to someone who’s eager to take on a DIY project and take the time to fix it themselves.
3. Outdated electronics
Got an old television taking up space in one of your closets, or an ancient cell phone collecting dust on a shelf somewhere just in case you need it at some point?
Or remember the time of the TomToms (or any other technologies) that are now defunct? The truth is, you aren’t going to use them again.
Outdated technology becomes unsupported and impossible to fix or update.
If your phone breaks or your TV dies, you’ll get another one – you won’t drag the old ones out from the depths of your closet and set them up again (and even if you tried there’s a good chance they won’t work).
Instead of letting them clutter up your space, consider donating them to a local charity or bringing them to a recycling center. Like expired medicine, it’s best to keep them out of a traditional landfill.
4. Clothes you haven’t worn in years
Many of us are guilty of holding onto clothes that we don’t actually wear. In some situations, they simply aren’t our style anymore.
In others, they no longer fit – but we’re holding out hope that we’re going to lose the extra 10 lbs and squeeze into them again. Or maybe you’ve moved to a different climate and no longer need so many sweaters, or boots, or tank tops.
Instead of giving you the motivation you need to hit the gym or the style inspiration you’ve been looking for, those shirts and jeans are just taking up space and cluttering up your closet and dresser drawers.
If you have clothes you don’t wear (and most of us do), now is a great time to get ruthless in decluttering them.
You can donate them to a charity, sell them online, hold a yard sale on a sunny day, or give them to someone who will actually use them. Buy Nothing is a great resource for giving to others in your local community.
5. Expired food
When was the last time you looked at all of the spices and snacks in your pantry to make sure they’re still within (or anywhere near) their “best by” date?
If it’s been a while, you might be surprised to see what you find.
Many of us are holding onto expired food without realizing it. Frozen goods, bags of chips, crackers – they all go bad eventually. Even canned goods and dried spices have an expiration date!
See what’s lurking in the back of your fridge, buried in your freezer, or taking up space in your cupboard and get rid of anything that’s past its prime.
6. Unwanted gifts
It’s happened to all of us. Maybe it was Christmas or a white elephant party. Maybe it was a birthday. But at some point, you’ve received a gift that you didn’t particularly want or need.
And chances are, you’re still holding onto it – because it feels rude to pass along something someone gave you.
But if it’s truly just taking up space in your home, totally unused, it’s just contributing to your clutter – which is less than ideal.
Go ahead and regift it to someone else or donate it to a good cause. Either way, get it out of your space.
7. Old mail and magazines
If you’re one of those people who holds onto old mail, you’ve got a really easy decluttering win on your hands.
Pick up that pile of magazines, advertisements, and coupons on the counter – and drop it directly into the recycling bin.
Aside from tax documents, you don’t need to keep most of it. If you’ve managed to go months without opening it, you clearly don’t need it.
Declutter the papers and clear off the flat surfaces in your home to create a more relaxing environment.
8. Broken toys
If you have kids at home, you know how much their extra stuff contributes to clutter in your space. The worst culprit? Toys. They’re everywhere – at least, that’s how it can feel.
By working with your kids regularly to sort through their toys and donate the ones they no longer play with, you can keep their collection under control.
And when it comes to broken toys or games that are missing an unforgivable number of pieces? Those can go in the trash as they’re not likely something anyone would want.
9. Takeout extras
If you order takeout food then likely you’ve ended up with extra items that came into your home.
Common items in this category include takeout menus, condiment or sauce packets, and extra cutlery and napkins.
Often these items get relegated to a container or bag with other condiments you acquired from previous orders. But rarely do these actually get used. After all, most people already have more of these sauces in their fridge and sometimes the collected packets have already been stored for far too long.
Go ahead and toss them. And in the future, you can typically request how many you want (or forego them altogether).
10. Empty boxes
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good box and I can see how a person could easily hold onto far too many of them waiting for some perfect use case where they’d want them.
However, boxes are pretty easy to come by and they take up a large amount of space. You can quickly declutter and clear up a good amount of space by simply recycling the majority of the boxes you have.
That said, I do think there are some exceptions. You may want to continue to hold onto packaging from items that are under warranty or that could potentially need to be returned. Often the store will need the barcode on it to process your return.
And while some minimalists will tell you that you should ditch that Apple iPhone box, I opt to keep those until I no longer own the phone as it’s much easier to sell and ship it in its original box.
But of course, do whatever makes the most sense for you. Just make sure you know why you’re holding onto it and when you plan to let it go.
What items can you easily get rid of? Leave a comment and let me know!
Want additional suggestions of things you can easily get rid of from your home? I’ve got you covered.
Sign up on the form below to get weekly decluttering tips sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get the free Your Home Decluttered Jumpstart which includes 100 easy items to declutter and 12 high-impact areas to declutter in 10 minutes.