If you’re looking for an easy way to start clearing the clutter, you’re in the right place. In today’s post, you’ll find a list of 30 easy things to get rid of to kick-start your decluttering progress and build up your momentum to keep decluttering!
When you’re first starting to declutter your home, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Decluttering years’ worth of possessions and “stuff” can be a lot. And sometimes it feels like such a daunting task that you might not even know where to begin!
The first step can be the hardest step
But it’s important to remember that sometimes the hardest part about getting started decluttering is taking the first step. Taking action and actually starting clearing the clutter can often be one of the biggest decluttering hurdles.
Often once you get going, you get in a decluttering groove and it’s easier to keep going. Because the more you declutter, the more momentum, motivation and confidence you gain to keep decluttering.
Then, after a while, you start to experience the benefits of the work you’re putting in decluttering and that helps to even further motivate you to keep going.
But in order to get in a decluttering groove, you have to get started. And maybe you need a bit of guidance to kick-start your decluttering efforts so you can start enjoying the benefits of a simplified and clutter-free home!
Kick-start your decluttering momentum
Even if you’ve been decluttering for a while, we can all lose our momentum or motivation at times.
The list in today’s post is also a great way to rekindle your decluttering motivation again. Helping you do some easy decluttering so you can get back in your decluttering groove and keep working towards your end goal of a simplified home and life.
If you’re struggling to start or continue with your decluttering efforts, sometimes all you need is something to give you a little kick-start.
And I’ve always found the best way to kick-start or rekindle your decluttering momentum is by tackling something quick and easy to declutter.
Starting in an area that’s going to be a lot of work or difficult to declutter will likely add to your feelings of overwhelm. But decluttering things that are easy to let go of and quick to declutter will allow you to make progress quickly. Which is a great way to kick-start your decluttering efforts.
Kick-start your decluttering: 30 easy things to get rid of
Here are 30 quick and easy things to declutter from your home to kick-start your decluttering efforts.
Once you’ve made some progress decluttering these easy items, you’ll build your momentum, confidence and motivation to keep going and continue clearing the clutter.
Some of the items on this list may seem like obvious things to get rid of.
But often we get so used to these things being in our homes that we don’t even notice them anymore. Even though they are adding clutter and making your home more difficult to maintain.
And other times following a list like this and getting rid of the obvious clutter is simply the perfect way to dive in and start decluttering without feeling overwhelmed.
Every step you take to clear the clutter from your home matters, even the small steps. And often starting off with a few small steps is all you need to kick-start your decluttering progress and find your decluttering groove. All so you can continue decluttering and reach your decluttering goals.
Here are 30 things from all over your house that you can declutter today to kick-start your progress:
1. Plastic containers
Get rid of any plastic containers that don’t have a lid (or vice versa). As well as any that are warped or damaged.
2. Papers and pictures on your refrigerator
A cluttered refrigerator can quickly make the whole kitchen feel cluttered and messy.
Start by removing anything out of date or not essential. You might even want to try clearing off your refrigerator completely and see how it changes the feel of your kitchen!
3. Refrigerator magnets
The less you keep on your refrigerator, the fewer magnets you’ll need. And the fewer magnets you have, the less you’ll be able to hang on your refrigerator, creating less visual clutter in your kitchen. Win-win!
4. Expired food in your pantry
It can be surprising how many old, expired items can be lurking in the back of the pantry!
You can also remove any items that aren’t expired but you know your family won’t use and take them to your local food bank.
5. Any kitchen gadget you haven’t used in the last year
If you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably will never use it. If you don’t even know what it is, definitely get rid of it!
6. Small appliances you haven’t used in the last year
Same as #5, if you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably don’t need it!
Small appliances usually take up a significant amount of space in your cupboards or on your countertops. Getting rid of what you don’t use or need will free up a lot of valuable kitchen real estate!
7. Mugs you never use or don’t like
Instead of leaving the mugs you never use or don’t like in the back of the cupboard, just get rid of them. If you never choose it for your coffee or tea, no need to let it take up valuable cupboard space!
8. Tea towels and dishcloths you never use
If you have so many tea towels and dishcloths that you never get to the ones at the back of the drawer or cupboard before you restock it with freshly washed ones, get rid of the extras.
Think about how many you actually need for your family and get rid of the extras!
9. Makeup you haven’t worn in the last 6 months or is expired
Even though it seems small and insignificant, getting rid of makeup you never wear is an excellent decluttering exercise. It helps get you in the mindset of only keeping what you use and love, and getting rid of the rest!
Also, check the shelf life of your makeup products. Makeup can harbour a lot of bacteria and germs. Toss anything past its shelf life.
10. Half-used shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. bottles you don’t like
If you bought something new to try, used it for a while and decided you don’t like it, get rid of it! There’s no point in keeping half-used bottles you know you don’t want to keep using.
Or to be more environmentally friendly, commit to using up what you have first before buying more.
11. Excess or duplicate bath toys
Most kids are perfectly happy with a few cups or containers from the kitchen to play with during bath time. Get rid of anything that rarely gets played with. As well as any duplicates.
Toys that squirt water can quickly become mouldy on the inside, so it’s a good idea to check and get rid of any with mould inside.
12. Expired medication
Take a quick look through your medicine cabinet for anything expired or no longer needed and get rid of it. Most pharmacies take expired or no longer needed medication and properly dispose of it.
13. Towels you never use or are worn out
If you have towels that you never use because you have your favourites or you have so many that you never get to the bottom of the pile, get rid of them!
I find 2 towels per person is plenty for our family, plus a few guest towels.
14. Books you’ve read and will never read again
If you know you likely won’t re-read a book you’ve finished, get rid of it.
If you’re unsure, donate the books to your local library. You can always borrow a book if you change your mind and want to read it again.
15. DVDs you’ve watched and will never watch again
Again, be honest with yourself if you’re really going to watch a DVD again. You can also donate DVDs to your local library and borrow them if you ever want to watch them again.
16. Old magazines
Read the magazine, then recycle it. Hanging on to old magazines can quickly add clutter to your home. And more often than not, they are never looked at again.
The less temptation to buy more stuff while you’re decluttering the better! Get rid of catalogues and get rid of the temptation to buy.
18. Extra throw pillows that always end up on the floor
Decide how many throw pillows you actually use and like on your couch or chairs. If you have more than feels comfortable to you or some that always end up on the floor, get rid of them.
Your living room will look tidier and be easier to keep that way without unused extras.
19. Single socks without a match or socks with holes in them
This is pretty obvious. If it’s worn out or doesn’t have a match, get rid of it!
20. Shoes that hurt your feet
I think we all (especially women) have shoes that hurt our feet but we hang on to them because we spent a lot of money on them or keep them “just in case”.
But if they aren’t comfortable you probably never, or very rarely, wear them. Get rid of them and be kind to your feet!
21. Underwear with holes in them
Another obvious one! If your underwear has holes where there shouldn’t be holes, it’s time to say goodbye!
22. Sheet sets you never use
Decide what is a realistic number of sheet sets per bed for you and your family.
I find 2 sets of sheets per bed is plenty. One to wash, one to remake the bed with. Keep your favourite 1 or 2 sets, and get rid of the rest.
23. Kids books your kids have outgrown or you don’t like reading
If your kids have books they have outgrown or you don’t enjoy reading with them, get rid of them!
There are so many great children’s books, you don’t need to hang on to books you don’t enjoy reading with your kids or are no longer age-appropriate.
24. Duplicate toys
Look for anything your kids have multiples of. Do they really need them all?
For example, if you have 10 balls of various sizes, get rid of some in similar sizes.
25. Toys your kids have outgrown, are broken or are missing pieces
A quick way to start decluttering the toys is to get rid of anything outgrown, broken, missing pieces or simply not played with. Do a quick sweep through the toys and get rid of the easy toys to let go of.
Related Post: Decluttering the Toys: 6 Ways to Encourage Kids to Minimize their Toys
26. Charging cords you don’t know what they’re for
If you don’t know what it charges, get rid of it!
Many devices use the same type of charging cord, so decide how many of a specific type you need and get rid of the rest.
27. Any decor items you don’t love or even care about
Take a quick walk through your house and get rid of any decor items you don’t love and/or don’t hold special meaning to you.
Sometimes you buy decor items to fill the space, but they just end up adding clutter to your home and hold no meaning for you. Having fewer decor items lets you highlight those items you really love and are meaningful to you so you can enjoy them even more!
28. Cleaning products you never use
If you bought a new product to try, but don’t like it, get rid of it. There’s no point in letting products you won’t use take up space in your home.
Be sure to dispose of cleaning products safely. Or ask around in person or online to see if you can find anyone who could use it and pass it on to them.
29. Old paint cans
If you have paint cans in your garage in colours that aren’t even in your house anymore, get rid of them. Take old paint to your local paint recycling center.
30. Pens that don’t work or you don’t like the way they write
Of course, get rid of any pens that don’t work.
But also get rid of any that you don’t like using. There’s no point in allowing things to stay in your home you don’t use or love.
Kick-start your decluttering!
Working through this list will help you find things that are quick and easy to declutter, helping kick-start your decluttering and build your decluttering momentum. Especially if you don’t know where to start or are feeling overwhelmed.
As I said before, sometimes taking the first step can be the hardest. Usually, once you start decluttering, you’ll gain the confidence, motivation and momentum you need to keep decluttering.
Remember, you don’t have to declutter your whole house in a day. Keep working away and keep your end goal of a simplified home that gives you more time, space and freedom in mind.
What do you do when you need a push to start or continue decluttering? Which item or items on this list helped kick-start your decluttering the most? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Sunday 22nd of August 2021
Great post Melissa! I am always amazed at how much junk we keep that we really don’t even care about. It’s just there. And when we get rid of it it makes so much room! I would rather have room and freedom than junk! One thing that helps me is choosing an area and setting a timer. Usually I’m done within the time but if I’m not I am usually close enough I want to finish anyway! And having a bit of a rush on keeps me from making excuses to keep stuff.
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 22nd of August 2021
Thanks, Jessalyn! I agree - it's a little crazy how quickly clutter can find its way into our homes and build up! I love your suggestion of using a timer. Such a great way to motivate yourself to work hard and quick! Thanks for reading :)
Saturday 10th of July 2021
Up until now, I have resisted joining any "house" kinds of lists. But this one has original, useful, pragmatic thoughts and I think I want to see more of them.
Simple Lionheart Life
Tuesday 13th of July 2021
Thanks, Marlene, I'm glad you're finding it helpful! Thanks for reading :)
Friday 24th of August 2018
I recently narrowed down my dvd collection to only my favorites, and recycled the cases for the keepers. Now all my favorite dvds and cds are in a zipped case, which takes up less shelf room!
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 26th of August 2018
That's awesome!! Good for you! Thanks for reading and sharing your decluttering success! :)
Sunday 4th of February 2018
Plastic containers in the kitchen is a great place to start for me. I think I'll through in glass jars, as well.
Simple Lionheart Life
Monday 5th of February 2018
That's great Janey, good for you! Plastic containers and glass jars are great places to start because we don't usually feel very attached to or sentimental about plastic containers ;) I hope tackling the glass and plastic containers will inspire you to continue decluttering as well! Thanks for reading and happy decluttering!
Tuesday 5th of September 2017
We used to call this routines Spring Cleaning. It was an annual even, but also included deep cleaning of window, moving furniture to sweep under them. Airing of the pillows, which was done twice a year, especially in a winter freeze to kill mites. Replacements were every two year as they were all feather/down and expensive when I was young.
Simple Lionheart Life
Wednesday 6th of September 2017
That sounds like a great way to stay on top of cleaning and decluttering Lynne! Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your awesome tips!