Thinking about decluttering your home? It’s so cathartic when your spaces are organized. Here are 21 things to get rid of right now.
When I wrote the post for Memorial Day, I went searching for old photos and that led me down the rabbit hole that is our attic.
There are bins and bins and bins of STUFF that I’ve collected over the years.
Those navy photos?
They were packed away under a lace-covered wedding album, faded newspaper clippings, and folded-up pep ribbons that we used to buy for football games.
And when I went through the bins?
There were tons of things I wanted to keep—but in surprising news? There were TONS of things I never ever ever ever needed. I was literally staring at them and wondering why in the world I put them in a bin in the first place.
And that got me thinking.
Ever since we’ve moved into this house I’ve been decluttering.
It’s good for the mind and the attic and the house and the soul. There’s just something about having less STUFF that makes you feel lighter and happier and airier and joyful. But here’s the thing about decluttering. It’s like someone has to give you permission to do it. Sometimes we feel guilty about getting rid of things that we feel like we should be hanging on to until someone else comes along and says it’s okay.
Let me be that person.
Here’s a list of 21 things I’ve gotten rid of (and I feel so much better).
21 Things To Get Rid Of Right Now
1. Single socks
I’m going to start slowly with one of the biggest mysteries on this planet.
Please raise your hand if you have a basket full of single socks.
They are never going to get married. They are never going to find their happily ever after. March over to that basket of single socks and set them free.
2. Expired Beauty Products:
This one was so hard for me. It’s hard to give up on something that promises to get rid of all your wrinkles and turn you into a supermodel. I had drawers and drawers and drawers full of unfulfilled promises.
Promises with expiration dates in half-full containers with
I had to let them all go. I tossed out expired makeup, creams, and lotions and it was so cathartic.
3. Old Magazines:
I just went through all my old magazines to make room for Westleigh’s new boutique.
There were magazines that I had been keeping from 2005.
And guess what is no longer in style anymore? Home decor magazines from almost 20 years ago. I had such good intentions of reading all the design ideas, but truth? It’s time to recycle those old magazines. Free up some shelf space for something new.
4. Instruction Manuals for Long-Gone Appliances:
I’m for keeping instruction manuals (although I’m almost about to ditch them in favor of Google).
I have a file for them.
Just in case I ever need them.
But you know what I don’t need? The manual after the appliance is long gone. If you don’t have the appliances then the manuals are no longer required reading.
5. Chipped and Mismatched Dishes:
I have collected so many dishes through the years.
Those dishes had children.
Say goodbye to those chipped mugs and mismatched plates that never really look squared away. Put together your favorites that coodinate and create an entirely new set that all goes together.
6. Unused Electronics and Chargers:
We all have that drawer filled with a tangled mess of cables, chargers, and obsolete gadgets.
I found some when I was cleaning out the office and I had literally no idea where they came from or where they were going.
Let go of the devices you no longer use, and consider donating or recycling them.
7. Excess Coffee Mugs:
I can’t believe I’m typing this.
But it’s actually possible to have too many….
I love coffee. But how many coffee mugs does one person need? I had 17 coffee mugs and I never got to the bottom of the coffee mug cabinet. I got rid of the chipped ones and ones that didn’t match and ones that I didn’t use.
Pick your favorites, donate the rest, and make some room for more important things…
8. Old Towels and Bedding:
I went through all the towels in our linen closet about a year ago.
There were so many that had frayed and weren’t soft anymore.
I packaged them up and took them to our local shelters.
9. Scraps of Wrapping Paper:
This was one I feel so guilty about. I just couldn’t let go of the half scraps of paper.
Then every single time I’d go to wrap something, the gift was always too big and I couldn’t use the scraps.
Keep a small stash of scraps for emergencies and let go of the rest.
10. Old Spices:
I don’t use my spices that often so they have a tendency to stick around for a long time.
Between us? I never even thought of them expiring and then I went to use my oregano and it was all clumpy. According to the Food Network most spices aren’t good after six months. You can smell ground spices and if they don’t really smell fresh then it’s probably time to toss them.
You can keep whole spices much longer, sometimes up to five years.
11. Broken or Unused Jewelry:
Have a drawer filled with tangled necklaces and broken earrings?
Sort through your jewelry collection, keep the pieces you love, and donate or repurpose the rest.
One man’s trash is another’s treasure.
12. Old Greeting Cards:
The bins upstairs in the attic were filled with old Christmas cards.
I’m not even sure why I kept them—I think it was mostly because I felt so guilty getting rid of them. This was one of the things I really had to give myself permission for. I selected a few that were important to me and recycled the rest.
13. Dried-Up Pens and Markers:
How many times have you reached for a marker or a pen and it didn’t write?
Save all that frustration.
Sort through the markers and pens, test them on a piece of paper and throw out the ones that are all dried up.
Then I like to sort them by color.
14. Expired Food in Your Pantry:
It’s time to say goodbye to that can of soup from 2017.
Our pantry was FULL of expired stuff (and four containers of oatmeal that I have no idea how they showed up there).
I sorted and cleaned everything so that the food was arranged in sections now and tossed everything that was expired.
15. Clothes That No Longer Fit:
We’ve all got those jeans we’re keeping “just in case.”
I had a closet full of them. And then when I lost the weight and finally fit in the jeans?
They weren’t even that cute.
Donate all the clothes that aren’t working right now. It will make your closet so much happier.
16. Worn-Out Shoes:
I think it’s so hard to get rid of shoes.
I always feel like they can walk an extra mile. But the truth is that sometimes it’s time for a shoe to go.
Clear out shoe racks and make room for pairs that are stylish, comfortable, and ready for new adventures.
17. Excessive Paperwork:
Sometimes the paperwork can take over.
Especially if it doesn’t have a home.
Shred outdated documents, organize essential paperwork, and transition to digital storage to organize all the paper.
18. Old and Expired Batteries:
I’m always finding batteries in different drawers. I never knew if they were still able to be used.
I took the time to test and sort them. Dispose of the expired ones responsibly and recycle them at designated collection points.
Keep only the batteries that are still usable.
19 Unused or Dried-Up Art Supplies:
I had a row of acrylic paints decorating the top of this bookshelf in the craft room.
But when I went to use them half of the bottles were dried up or not usable.
If you have a stash of art supplies gathering dust, it’s time to evaluate their usefulness. Get rid of dry markers, hardened paints, or half-used sketchbooks.
20. Excess Plastic Containers:
I’m not sure how or where or why, but I had a stash of mismatched containers that showed up over the years.
I sorted through them and got rid of most of them and organized them in a drawer. I made sure that each container had a top and I had an assortment of sizes.
Less plastic is so much better.
21. Multiples of the Same Item:
There are so many things in my home that I had double of–extra measuring cups, excessive kitchen gadgets, or multiple sets of tools can clutter your space unnecessarily
But here’s the thing. I didn’t need double.
I just needed one.
Look around and figure out what you have extra of and sort and discard or donate.
You got this friend.
Life is too short to have clutter weighing you down.
Simplify and streamline your home by keeping only what you truly need.
Your closets, your kitchen, your laundry room, and your entire home will thank you. 🙂
PS Do you have anything to add to the list? Let me know in the comments.