Today’s post is all about getting started decluttering, with 40 easy things to declutter to simplify your home.
Often, when it comes to decluttering, getting started is the hardest part. Usually, once you get started, it becomes a lot easier to keep going and continue decluttering. You build momentum and motivation to keep going the more you declutter.
But often starting can feel daunting or overwhelming.
What you need is an easy way to ease in and get over the hurdle of getting started. And that’s exactly how today’s post will help!
I’m sharing 40 easy things to declutter. Things you can make relatively easy decluttering decisions about. And things that will be relatively easy to get rid of. Giving you the perfect way to get started decluttering so you can build your momentum and keep going!
Decluttering is a skill
Not only will these 40 things to declutter help you start decluttering. But they will also help you practice decluttering.
Decluttering is a skill you get better at the more you do it. The more you declutter, the better you get at spotting clutter, the more confidence you gain in your decluttering decisions and the easier it is to let go of clutter.
Starting with easier decluttering decisions, like the things to declutter in this post, let you build your decluttering skills.
Getting rid of these easy things to declutter will help improve your decluttering skills so when you get to the more challenging decluttering decisions you’ll have already started building your skills. And the more challenging decisions will feel easier and less overwhelming to make!
40 easy things to declutter
Here are 40 easy things to declutter to kickstart your decluttering progress and build your decluttering skills!
You’ll notice most things on this list of things to declutter are things you can make more logical decluttering decisions about. We’re not tackling your sentimental items or most precious items. We’re starting with things to declutter that are more utilitarian or have clear guidelines about whether they are adding value to your life or not.
By starting with more logical decluttering decisions, you’ll be able to practice getting rid of clutter, build your decluttering skills and still make some great progress clearing the clutter from your home!
With that said, let’s get to it!
1. Expired food
An easy way to start decluttering is by getting rid of expired food. Go through your fridge, freezer, pantry and even your spice cupboard looking for anything expired.
If anything is close to expiring, make a plan to use it up soon before it has a chance to expire!
2. Food you don’t like
As you look for expired food, pull out anything you tried but didn’t like.
If you can, try to make a plan to use it in the next week or two. Or if you really don’t like it, haven’t opened it yet and it’s not expired, you can donate it to your local food bank.
3. Old flyers, newspapers or junk mail
Recycling these items is a great way to reduce paper clutter.
4. Pens that don’t work
It’s always frustrating to grab a pen, only to find it doesn’t work!
Quickly go through your pen collection and get rid of the ones that don’t work and save yourself the frustration.
Go through your mug cupboard and get rid of any mugs you don’t like, never use, think are ugly, or have chips.
If you have more mugs than you would ever possibly use or need, choose a few of the extras to get rid of.
6. Duplicate kitchen items
Getting rid of duplicates is a great way to make progress decluttering relatively easily.
Look for things like spatulas, spoons, flippers, gadgets, etc. that you have more than one of. Keep your favourite, the one you always choose to use or the one in the best condition, then get rid of the extras.
7. Plastic storage containers
First, look for plastic storage containers that are damaged, stained or looking gross. Next, make sure each set you’re keeping has a matching bottom and lid. Get rid of any extra pieces without a match.
And finally, if you have more plastic containers than you use or need, get rid of the extras and only keep the number you realistically need.
8. The front of your fridge
When the front of your fridge is covered in papers, pictures, lists, magnets, etc. it can make your kitchen look cluttered, messy and chaotic.
Start with a blank slate by taking everything off the front of your fridge. Sort what you removed, getting rid of anything you no longer need.
Next, be very selective about what you return to the front of your fridge. Only putting up the things you need and love. Or try keeping the front of your fridge clear and using the side of your fridge or the inside of a cupboard door to hang things on instead so they cause less visual clutter.
9. Travel mugs and water bottles
Travel mugs and water bottles sometimes seem to multiply on their own, especially freebie ones companies often give out.
Keep your favourite or favourites and the ones in the best condition and get rid of the extras.
10. Tea towels and dishcloths
Get rid of any tea towels or dishcloths that are worn out, torn, old, stained or have seen better days.
Aim to keep a smaller collection and the number you realistically need and let go of the extras.
11. Unused cookbooks
Get rid of any cookbooks you never use. If there are only a couple of recipes you like in a cookbook, make a copy of those pages and let the cookbook go.
So many recipes can be found online now. Not to mention, it’s easy to borrow cookbooks from your local library if you ever need one again!
12. Cleaning supplies you don’t like or won’t use
If you have cleaning supplies you don’t like, pass them on to someone else who will use them or dispose of them (in a safe way).
Another option is to use up what you have so it doesn’t go to waste. Then make sure you don’t buy those products again in the future.
13. Cleaning rags
If you have a large collection of cleaning rags, take a few minutes to thin out your collection.
Get rid of the ones that are worn out or have seen better days. Also, focus on keeping an amount that feels realistic to you rather than more than you need.
Keep your favourite or favourite few in a couple of sizes and get rid of the extras.
15. Extra reusable shopping bags
It’s easy to have too many reusable shopping bags. You might have gotten them as a promotional item from a business. Or bought too many because you often forget to bring your bags to the grocery store with you (guilty!).
Keep your favourites and get rid of the extras. Reusable bags are great for collecting items you’re decluttering. Then you can donate the items and the bag at the same time!
16. Old receipts
If you have old receipts you no longer need hanging around, get rid of them and clear some paper clutter!
17. Worn out or extra towels
Sort through your towels and get rid of any that are worn out. If you have more towels than you realistically need or use, choose your favourites and get rid of the extras.
Vet clinics and animal shelters will often happily take old towels and linens. Knowing they will be used and appreciated can motivate you to get rid of more!
18. Worn out or extra bed sheets
Do the same with sheet sets. Get rid of any that are worn out. If you have extra sets you don’t like or just have more than you realistically need, keep your favourites and let go of the extras.
19. Extra throw pillows and blankets
Extra throw pillows and blankets can quickly become a source of stress in your home. If you spend more time picking them up than you do using or enjoying them, it might be time to get rid of a few.
Keep your favourites and the number you can comfortably manage and let go of the extras. Read more about your clutter threshold and what you can comfortably manage here.
20. Expired medications
Another easy decluttering project is going through your medicine cabinet and getting rid of any expired or no longer needed medications.
It’s easier to find what you need when you need it without having to sort through expired or unnecessary medications first.
Be sure to dispose of medications properly. Most pharmacies will accept expired or no longer needed medications and dispose of them safely for you.
21. Expired sunscreen
Sunscreen loses its effectiveness after the expiry date. Stay sun safe and get rid of any expired sunscreen.
22. Old nail polish
Sort through your nail polish and get rid of any old, dried out or separated nail polish.
23. Expired makeup or makeup you don’t use
Makeup has a shelf life once you open it. Get rid of anything old, expired or past its shelf life.
While you’re at it, get rid of anything you don’t use and don’t like too. Make your mornings easier by only keeping what you use and love. Then you’ll never have to sort through makeup you don’t like to find your favourites!
24. Makeup brushes
Get rid of any makeup brushes that have seen better days. Along with any brushes that came with your set but you never use.
25. Travel-sized or hotel toiletries
If you have a collection of travel-sized or hotel toiletries, get rid of what you’ll never use. Only keep the travel-sized products you’re certain you’ll use while travelling.
You can also make a plan to use these products up over the next week rather than throwing them out.
26. Decorative items
If you have decorative items that are just filling the space and collecting dust but you have no attachment to them, let them go.
Instead, try displaying fewer items that hold special meaning for you and get rid of the generic décor items you don’t love.
27. Books you haven’t read or won’t re-read
Get rid of any books you’ve read but know you won’t re-read. As well as any books you’ve had for quite a while but still haven’t gotten around to reading. If you haven’t read it yet, will you realistically ever read it?
Donate books to your local library. That way if you ever want to read or re-read them, you can easily borrow them!
28. Costume jewelry
Get rid of costume jewelry pieces you don’t love, don’t wear or are out of style.
29. Socks with holes or no match
This one is self-explanatory. If you have holey socks or single socks, get rid of them!
30. Worn out undergarments
If you have undergarments that are worn out, have holes, are stretched out or are just ill-fitting, get rid of them. You likely aren’t reaching for these items anyway.
31. Shoes that hurt your feet
Pull out any shoes that always hurt your feet when you wear them and get rid of them. Again, you likely aren’t choosing to wear those shoes anyway!
32. Promotional t-shirts
If you have promotional t-shirts for events or brands that don’t matter to you, get rid of them. You can donate them or cut them up and use them as rags.
33. Stained clothing
Stained clothing usually doesn’t make you feel very good when you’re wearing it. Get rid of anything with stains you can’t get out. You can toss these items or cut them up and use them as rags.
34. Worn out bathing suits
Bathing suits can lose their elasticity, stretch out and become see-through. Get rid of any bathing suits that have seen better days or have lost their elastic.
35. Old glasses or sunglass
If you have old glasses or sunglasses you never wear or aren’t your current prescription, get rid of them.
36. Old electronics
Get rid of any old electronics you have hanging around that you’ll likely never use again. Things like phones, computers, printers, TVs, monitors, etc.
Electronics quickly become outdated and you’ll likely never go back to using an old device after upgrading.
37. Pet toys
If you have chewed up, damaged or gross pet toys, get rid of them. Keep a few favourites and let go of the extras.
38. DVDs you won’t watch again
If you have a collection of DVDs, be really realistic if you’ll ever watch them again. Get rid of the ones you know you won’t watch. You can donate DVDs to your local library too.
39. Instruction manuals
The vast majority of instruction manuals can be found online if you ever need to refer to them again. Get rid of the paper copies and clear a bunch of paper clutter!
40. Random items in the bottom of your purse
And finally, a great way to ease in and start decluttering is by cleaning out your purse. Get rid of the random items floating around the bottom of your purse and literally lighten your load!