If you are feeling overwhelmed with your home and would like to quickly decide what to declutter. This post will provide you with 76 items that you can quickly and easily declutter today.
1. Toys that are under the kid’s age group
Get the kids involved so that they have a say in which toys go. This is a great time to help them understand that donating toys will make space for other toys. And other less fortunate children will really appreciate being able to play with these toys. For playroom organization ideas, check out this post.
2. Expired medication
Holding onto expired medication can be dangerous because if accidentally taken, it could make you sick. Try to go through medications at least every 3 months and take the expired medication to the pharmacy to dispose of properly.
3. Damaged blankets
The chances that the damaged blankets will ever get repaired is slim, so it’s better to just get rid of them. If it was a homemade blanket, see if the person who made it can fix it or if they would be willing to make another one. Otherwise, just get rid of it.
4. Clothing that hasn’t been worn in 12 months or no longer fits
If you haven’t worn something in 12 months, you likely never will. Consider if you would purchase the item again and if not, donate it.
If you haven’t worn it in a long time, why haven’t you? It’s possible that you like how it looks, but just don’t like it on. In which case it’s not worth keeping.
If it doesn’t fit, whether too big or too small, donate it. It’s not worth holding onto items just in case they will fit some time in the future. For tips on decluttering and organizing your clothing, view this post.
5. Scratched DVD’s, CD’s, Blu-ray movies
It is generally not worth the cost to get these fixed, so just throw them out. If you really enjoy the movie, repurchase it so that you can enjoy it again without blips in the video.
6. Excess kids artwork
The amount of paper that kids bring home from school is overwhelming. Younger kids often bring home paper with just a line or a scribble drawn on it. These pieces of “artwork” will not be important to the kids later on.
Make sure that they are involved in the process of determining what can be recycled and what they want to keep. Aim to only keep a small amount of really special pieces of artwork. Take pictures of some of them if that would help with the guilt and then recycle.
7. Bills that were paid more than 3 months ago (and are not related to taxes, insurance, warranties, etc…)
Most paperwork isn’t necessary to keep long term and just collects dust and takes up valuable space. I have another post that discusses how long to keep documents and properly file anything that should be kept.
8. Jewelry that you will never wear again
Jewelry can be hard to part with because it may have cost a lot of money or it may have been handed down from a family member. However, if you are never going to wear it, why hold onto it? It no longer serves its purpose and somebody else may love to wear it. Jewelry can be sold so that some of the initial costs can be recouped.
9. Ripped underwear and socks
Underwear and socks are not very expensive to replace, so as soon as there is a tear, throw them away and treat yourself to new socks and underwear.
10. Home decor that hasn’t been used in a year
Christmas decorations will only come out once a year but each year, as you are decorating, look at what you didn’t put out and decide if you will ever truly put them out on display again. If not, donate them.
For regular home decor, the average person only uses decor for 6 months to 1 year. If you have had something for longer than that, consider how much you still enjoy the decor. Does it still match your style and colour? If not, decide whether you still need it or if new decor may fit your style better.
11. Badly stained pillows
Particularly the pillows that you use every night for sleeping on. It is possible to bleach the pillows, but they should be replaced every year regardless. Between dust and sweat and bacteria, it’s not healthy to be laying your head on a dirty pillow every night.
12. Old cellphones, tablets, iPods, etc.. that are no longer used
Once a new device is purchased, the old devices often just get stuck in a drawer or in a closet and never looked at again. Rather than shoving it somewhere, consider right away whether there is somebody else who may be able to use it in your family and if not, take it right to an electronics recycling depot. Make sure to clear your data from the device before getting rid of it.
13. Expired food
It is a good practice to go through your fridge every week before garbage day to get rid of any food that is expired or has gone bad. Make sure to check the condiments as well. For more tips on storing food and how frequently to go through it, check out this post.
14. Any items which have visible mold
Items stored in the garage or basement can take on some dampness and grow mold. Particularly paperwork or home decor. It’s not healthy to bring items with mold on it into the home, so these items should be thrown away immediately.
To avoid mold growth, store paper, fabrics, and any other sensitive materials in areas that are not prone to dampness or store them in airtight containers to keep them safe.
15. Makeup you tried and didn’t like
We have all bought makeup that looked pretty and we thought would look so nice, and then it just didn’t work. It was either the wrong shade or maybe it’s a powder product that just crumbled. If there is any reason that you didn’t love the product, you have given it a few chances and just can’t make it work. Get rid of it.
16. Empty shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles
Do you have containers that you think you can squeeze just a little bit more out of? It’s not worth keeping. They will end up just sitting in the shower and will never get used. Rinse them out and recycle them.
17. Excess mugs
You may have a few different mug sets but in addition, have many that are not part of a set that have been collected over the years. Nobody needs 20 mugs. Generally, 5-10 is plenty for a family. The chance of having 20 people over at once to drink coffee is slim. So pick 5-10 of your favourites and donate the rest. Kitchen organization tips can be found in this post.
18. Pens, markers, highlighters, etc.. that no longer work
It is worth going through pens, markers, highlighters, etc..twice per year to check if they still work. Particularly markers and highlighters, as they can dry out over time. Chances are, you have your favourite pens that you enjoy using all the time and the rest just sit in a drawer. So get rid of anything that no longer works or that you will no longer use.
19. Empty laundry detergent bottles
If you have multiple detergent bottles with a very small amount left in the bottom. You may have plans to combine them one day, but the effort that it would take to get that small amount out isn’t worth it.
Laundry detergent containers take up a decent amount of space, so just rinse them out and recycle them. For laundry room organization tips, click here.
20. Bikes and other outdoor rideables that the kids have outgrown
As cute as they are, they do take up a large footprint in the garage or shed. If your child is no longer able to use these items, try to sell them. Then you can at least make a bit of money back to buy them a new bike or scooter, etc..
21. Excess bath towels and washcloths
Bath towels and washcloths are items that people seem to collect a lot of overtime but that we don’t really need many of. Keep enough washcloths and towels for each member of your family plus a couple extra for guests.
If you have beach towels, keep enough for the family and donate the rest. Any towels that are in rough shape can be donated to an animal shelter. This post provides helpful tips on what to store in a linen closet and how many towels, blankets, etc.. to keep.
22. Empty toothpaste tubes
People often keep tubes of toothpaste that may have the tiniest bit of toothpaste left in the bottom, in the hopes that they can completely finish it. However, often it ends up just getting tossed aside and a new tube opened. So throw out the empty tubes today.
23. Pads or tampons that you will never use
Maybe you bought the wrong size, or you tried a new brand and it didn’t work well for you. If there are any that aren’t being used and are still sealed, a women’s shelter may be happy to receive them. Otherwise, family or friends may prefer that brand and would take them from you.
24. Games that don’t get played
Either board games that were for young kids and your kids have outgrown them, or games that you just never really enjoyed. Any games that still have all of the pieces can be donated. If you have games that are missing pieces, it should only be donated if those pieces aren’t essential to the game.
25. Pet toys that they don’t use
Pets can be picky too. They likely have some toys that they love and play with every day and others that they never touch. Get rid of the toys that they don’t play with because they typically won’t decide one day to play with them. If you no longer have a pet, donate the toys and other pet items to an animal shelter.
26. Bedsheets that will never be used, particularly if they don’t fit any current beds in the home
We usually have sheets that we prefer and are more likely to use. It’s nice to have one extra set of sheets per bed, but no more than that. Also, you may have updated beds and no longer have a double bed, for example, so get rid of any sheets that no longer serve a purpose in the home.
27. Car seats and strollers that the kids no longer need
Check on the regulations regarding car seats in your country, state, province, etc. There are different requirements based on the age, weight, and height of the child. Car seats also expire. So if the car seat is no longer needed, check the expiry date (usually located on the bottom) before trying to donate or sell it.
Strollers are often very easy to sell, which is great because they are usually a higher-priced item.
28. Kids plates, bowls, cups, that they have outgrown
Plastic dishes are really only needed for the first 3-5 years of a child’s life. Once you are comfortable with your child’s ability to use regular cups and dishes, the plastic dishes can be donated.
29. Paper plates, bowls, cups, utensils from restaurants
When ordering take-out, many restaurants throw in paper plates, napkins, and disposable cutlery. While these aren’t bad to have on-hand, it’s likely that they will be forgotten and not used. So if you have any that you haven’t used in a few months, it’s time to let them go.
30. Small appliances that never get used
Mixers, breadmakers, food processors, instant pots, blenders, anything that you had great intentions of using when you bought them but you never actually use. These units take up a decent amount of space and will free up cabinet space for items that you actually use frequently.
31. Perfume/cologne that you don’t love
Maybe you tried the perfume in the store and you just loved it. Maybe you were just having a really good day and you would have loved anything and just bought it on impulse. If you have tried the perfume or cologne on multiple occasions since and don’t like it or it gives you a headache, it’s time to let it go.
32. Expired makeup
Makeup expires and won’t apply as nicely after it has passed that date. Often makeup won’t list an expiry date on it because it’s not always a set date. For example, mascara should be thrown out 3 months after you begin using it. Write down when you purchased and then opened each piece of makeup so that you know when to throw it out. I have another post with more detail on when to dispose of makeup.
33. Broken mirrors
7 years of bad luck? Probably not. And holding onto these mirrors isn’t going to prevent that. Mirrors don’t go back together very well, so just throw it out. Make sure to wrap all of the pieces up in newspaper or paper towel so that nobody gets injured when moving the garbage bags around.
34. Hairdryers, curling irons, flat irons, that no longer work
Unfortunately, no matter how much money you spend on hair tools, they all die eventually and it’s usually not worth getting them fixed. It’s generally cheaper to just buy another one. So throw out any that you don’t use and treat yourself to a new one.
35. Old Halloween costumes
The kids’ adorable Halloween costumes that they wore when they were really little are hard to let go of. However, these are really desired items and could easily be sold. They are not doing any good sitting in the bottom of your closet. Let another child enjoy them and you have the pictures of your kids wearing them to look back on.
36. Excess craft paper and other crafting items
This may be your crafting supplies or your kids. For kids, keep what they use a lot of and that fits into the space that you created to store their craft supplies and get rid of the rest. Schools and daycares would gladly accept any excess crafting items.
For your own crafts, decide what you actually have a use for and get rid of the rest. If you’re keeping bits of paper or tiny bits of yarn, chances are, you won’t make use of them. So just throw those away.
37. Purses that are damaged or that you don’t love anymore
38. Candles that will never get burned
Some candles look pretty but smell awful when burned or they may be so strong that they give you a headache. If you know that you will never burn the candles, get rid of them. They can take up a lot of space in a cabinet that could be used to store other frequently used items.
39. Cables that don’t have a use anymore
We all have random cables that we have no idea what they belong to. It’s best to put masking tape around the cable right away so that it can be labeled to say what it goes with. If you didn’t do this and you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to let it go.
40. Empty beer bottles/cans
Beer bottles and cans can be returned to the store to be partially refunded. They can quickly take up a lot of space in your home. So why not take them back frequently so that you can get some money back and free up some space?
41. TV’s that you don’t use
Do you still have the old tube TV’s? These are hard to even given away for free now. If you no longer use the TV, take it to an electronics recycling depot to be properly disposed of. Any newer TV’s could either be sold or taken to a donation center. Just make sure to check with your donation center to see if they accept large items, as not all do.
42. Lunch bags and school bags that the kids don’t use
43. Remotes that no longer have a TV match
Did you get rid of a TV at some point and forgot to include the remote? If you find the remote but no longer have the TV, it’s time to get rid of it.
44. Old planners and notebooks
If you are keeping planners and notebooks from many years ago, they are just collecting dust at this point. If there is information that you want from them, tear out the pages that you want to keep, put them in a binder, and then get rid of the remaining planner or notebook.
45. Dishes that don’t get used or are broken
Broken dishes are unlikely to get fixed and would very likely fall apart anyway. So wrap them up good and thrown them away. Dishes that don’t get used are just taking up valuable space.
46. Excess tools
Tools like hammers, screwdrivers, drills, etc… are easy to misplace and forget what you have. So they are frequently purchased again. As you locate tools, put them in a designated spot in your home, so that you can see what you have duplicates of and get rid of any that you don’t need.
47. Lawn equipment that no longer works
Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, etc. Ask yourself if you want to spend the money to fix them or if your money is better spent on purchasing new equipment. Somebody will often take these tools for the metal, so leaving them at the edge of your yard is often a quick way to get rid of them.
48. Extra snowsuits, hats, mitts
Anything that the kids have outgrown should be donated. If you have hats, mitts, jackets that you no longer wear, donate them as well.
49. Sports equipment that is no longer used
50. Dresses (if you only wear them once)
We often buy a dress for a specific occasion and then never wear it again. If this is you, sell or donate those dresses.
51. Excess dish towels
52. Cleaning products that you don’t use
If you have moved to more natural cleaners, or you just don’t like the smell of a cleaning product or found that it didn’t work well. Get rid of them.
53. Excess office supplies (elastics, paperclips, pushpins)
54. Old printers, scanners, label makers
Take them to an electronic recycling depot to dispose of properly.
55. Exercise equipment that isn’t being used
Hanging your dirty clothes from them doesn’t count as using them. 🙂
56. Extra gift wrap, bags, wrapping paper
Go through any gift bags that you won’t use again and any wrapping paper that is either ripped or crumpled and get rid of those. Also, if you are saving little pieces of wrapping paper thinking that you will wrap a small gift with it someday. Chances are you won’t. So just get rid of it.
57. Old cameras and film
If you have any film, get it developed and then decide which pictures are worth keeping. If you have any old cameras that you no longer use and they still work, check first to see if they have any value and if not, then dispose of properly.
58. Old computer monitors, keyboards, mouse
Take any old electronics to the proper electronics recycling depot.
59. Curtains, blinds, valances, etc… that won’t be used again
60. Extra hardware from building items in the home
Extra screws, Allen keys, washers, etc… If you didn’t need this hardware when building the items, chances are you won’t ever need them. Often this hardware is pretty standard and can be purchased again from any hardware store, if needed.
61. Books and textbooks
Any books that are under your child’s reading level should be donated. Plus any books that you don’t plan on reading again.
Look through textbooks as well. Only keep the textbooks that you will truly look through again. Not all textbooks apply to your current position, so you will likely not use those again. A lot of information can also be found online when necessary. For tips on organizing your remaining books, check out this post.
62. Old magazines, newspapers, flyers, catalogues
Again, most information can be found online, so it’s not worth holding onto these items just in case you need the information someday.
63. Moldy bath toys
Any squeeze toys for the bath tend to get water trapped inside and turn moldy. These should be thrown out and replaced often. Any other bath toys should be wiped down after the bath to avoid water sitting on the surfaces.
64. Batteries that are used up and not rechargeable
Batteries should be taken to a battery recycling depot to be disposed of properly.
65. Artwork that you won’t hang up again
Once the artwork is taken down, it’s unlikely to go back up again. So donate it for someone else to enjoy.
66. Excess hair elastics, clips, etc…
67. Furniture that no longer has a use
This could be couches and chairs that got moved to the basement when you purchased a new set. Or it could be a shelving unit that you no longer use. Getting rid of these items will clear out a lot of space for other items.
68. Anything in boxes that you haven’t unpacked since moving
If you haven’t unpacked a box, consider why. If it’s sentimental items, that may be okay, but anything else clearly isn’t used and should just be donated. I have two posts that may help you tackle these boxes. This post discusses how to pack before moving and deciding what to get rid of and this post covers unpacking boxes once at your new home.
69. Damaged pictures or pictures that you have no attachment to
If you have pictures that are bad quality or you don’t even know who is in the picture, these are likely safe to get rid of. Anything badly damaged should be thrown out. If they are only slightly damaged, they can likely be copied onto other photo paper so that you can still have them.
70. Any items that you have duplicates or more
71. Anything that has missing pieces
If you have items that are missing pieces and it can’t function without those pieces. Consider whether you will be able to find replacement pieces, and if not, throw it away.
72. Stained dishes
If you wouldn’t bring out these dishes when guests come over, don’t keep them.
73. Scratched pots, pans, and cookie sheets
These items can be harmful if scratched and then heated up. So it’s best to throw them away once they are badly scratched.
74. Gaming systems that aren’t used anymore
Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo’s. Often kids want the newest system and are unlikely to go back to the old one.
75. Extra hangers
76. Random kitchen utensils
We seem to collect a lot of spatulas, serving spoons, ladles, etc… over the years. These are particularly common to receive with wedding gifts or as a gift when moving to a new home. Chances are you don’t use most of them. So go through them quickly and decide what can be donated.
I hope this post has helped you to declutter items from your home and that you are feeling happy with the progress that you have made! Quickly going through a few times a year and getting rid of items that are never used will keep your home from getting to the point of overwhelming.