15 of the easiest things to declutter! Forget starting with the hardest things – start with this SIMPLE list of things to declutter…and watch your momentum grow!
When it comes to decluttering, you may start out thinking that it has to be some big, momentous thing…
..where you’ll work your butt off to get rid of most of your possessions and magically become a minimalist.
You’re paralyzed before you even start.
But what if, instead of worrying about parting with sentimental items, or sorting through all your craft supplies (or your entire closet), you started with some easy items you barely care about?
Those first ‘quick wins’ of easily letting these items go will:
- Spur your momentum
- Build your decluttering ‘muscles’
- Make it just a bit easier to get rid of some of the hard stuff, when the time comes.
Or heck, you may never even have to get rid of those important items!
Decluttering myth: You’ll have to part with things you love.
Busting that myth: It’s YOUR home, and YOUR stuff. You decide what to keep.
But since living in a tidy, organized space really does make a person feel better…
…let’s work on getting rid of some of the EASY stuff.
Just to make more room for the things you love. : )
If you’re wondering how to know if you should get rid of something, here’s the criteria.
Consider getting rid of it if:
- It’s old, broken, or worn out
- You don’t really like it
- It’s no longer your style
- You’re only keeping it out of guilt
- You never use it
Okay, let’s dive in!
Easy things to declutter
1. Mismatched food storage containers
We all have some stained or cracked food storage containers lying around.
Not to mention the ones whose lids have disappeared.
(Are they hanging out with all the lost socks, living it up somewhere? I’d like to know.)
Only keep the storage containers that you use most, function well, and can be paired up easily.
It’s really a whole easier to find just the one you need when they’re all in usable condition.
And if they’re especially icky, toss ‘em out, and grab a nice, new matching set.
2. CDs and DVDs
Many of us stream most of what we watch and listen to these days.
Which means we’re left with a cabinet full of CDs and DVDs that never get played.
Take a peek through your collection, and make a ‘donate’ pile of those you haven’t used in years.
(Then actually go donate them.)
3. Coffee mugs
You’re bound to have some mugs you never reach for.
They’re serving no purpose other than filling up the cupboard, getting in the way.
Even if you can only stand to part with 2 or 3 mugs, that’s a great start.
While you’re at it, feel free to peruse the rest of your cups and glasses, and see if there are any dusty ones that never see the light of day.
4. Magazines and catalogs
The struggle with magazines is real.
We save them, thinking we’ll want to look back through them a year from now.
But in truth, they’re just stacked everywhere, turning yellow.
True story: At one point in time, I had probably 100 magazines around the house.
I had gotten a bunch of free or $2 subscriptions, and just went cuckoo signing up for all of them.
And I almost never read them.
One day I got brave and listed them for free on Craigslist, and a teacher wanted them for his classroom.
(Of course, dropping them off at your local paper recycling bin works too.)
Check out those stacks of magazines, catalogs, newspapers and see how many you can let go.
While you’re at it, you may want to see if you have any old junk mail or expired coupons hanging around.
5. Old nail polish
Nail polish doesn’t stay good forever…but it’s super hard to remember that.
Then you go to polish your toes one summer day, only to realize it’s all dried out, with some weird-colored stuff on top.
Look through your nail polish collection and toss any that are past their prime, or you don’t love and use.
6. Old remotes and chargers
Why do we save this stuff?
Nobody really knows.
But we all have some old remotes and charges stuck in drawers and cupboards, belonging to the Ghosts of Electronics Past.
If you don’t need or use them, they’re easy to let go.
The spice cupboard can be a scary place.
You probably reach for the same 5 spices over and over, perhaps knocking over the ones you don’t actually use in the process.
Check for long-expired spices, or ones you bought for that one recipe that one time…and never used again.
A spice cabinet operates best when you know exactly what you have, and can easily find what you need.
Similarly to spices, it’s not unusual to buy a condiment for a specific dish, and then never reach for it again.
(I’m looking at you, brown rice vinegar.)
Look through your fridge and pantry, and toss whatever looks gross, or that you never use.
Check your kitchen drawers for random fast food or takeout packets too.
9. Costume jewelry
Fashion jewelry changes so often that we’re all bound to have some out-of-date styles that we will never wear again.
It’s better to only keep the pieces you love, instead of holding onto anything just because you ‘spent money on it.’
The money is already spent anyway, and your old accessories aren’t paying rent to clog up your jewelry box.
10. Expired medicine or vitamins
Ever found a box of Benadryl or cold medicine that expired 3 years ago?
Yeah, me too.
While there may not be any danger in taking them, they’ve most likely lost some of their effectiveness, and you obviously aren’t using them anyway.
If there are certain medications you really like to keep on hand, just make a list of replacements to pick up with your next grocery trip.
11. Half-used candles
Got some gently used candles stuck here and there?
You either didn’t really like the scent, are saving it for a rainy day, or simply just don’t use candles.
Make it a point to burn them very soon, or just get rid of them, and make space for things you do use and love.
12. Junk drawer
I used to think ‘everyone has a junk drawer, it’s totally normal.’
And while a catch-all drawer of random items makes sense, why would we keep a drawer full of junk?
I suggest taking everything out of yours, and only putting back the useful stuff.
Part with old batteries, dried up writing utensils, broken chip clips, old receipts, and anything else hogging up that important kitchen real estate.
When you put back the good stuff, try to organize it neatly.
Corral small loose items like safety pins, rubber bands, and paper clips into little containers.
A drawer divider goes a long way!
And if it belongs somewhere in the house, take it there.
Tip: When wondering where to store something in your home, ask yourself “Where would I look for this first?” and put it there.
13. Small appliances
We all seem to wind up with small appliances that we acquire through the years…
…whether from a Black Friday whim purchase, ‘inherited’ from a well-meaning relative, or that we do honestly think we’ll use.
Hair and kitchen appliances are the most common culprits.
If you don’t actually use it at least a few times a year, it’s probably not worth storing.
Cookbooks and novels can really stack up over time.
Purchased with good intentions, of course.
But the internet is filled with free recipes, and the library is filled with free books, so don’t feel like you need to hang onto all that reading material.
If you love it, keep it forever. (Or at least for as long as you love it.) If not, let it find a different home.
15. Owners manuals
Since pretty much all owners manuals can be found online, there’s really no need to keep paper copies.
When an appliance isn’t working, you probably just Google to troubleshoot it anyway.
A YouTube tutorial beats hunting through a stodgy owners manual any day.
Ready to declutter these easy things?
If you’re struggling with overwhelm, a lack of motivation, or plain procrastination, just pick one thing off this list.
Set a timer for 15 minutes, and find a few things you can get rid of.
It’s very important NOT to overthink it.
And if you’re unsure of an item, feel free to keep it for now and revisit it later.
For more decluttering motivation, check out:
- How to Find the Motivation to Declutter
- 5 Quick & Easy Steps to Downsize & Declutter Your Wardrobe
- How to Declutter Your Kitchen Fast (the exact action steps!)