When you’re first starting to declutter your home it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to begin! Whether you want to declutter your house quickly, or are planning to slowly work through your home as time allows, starting to declutter can feel like a huge task to take on. The truth is, it is a lot of work to declutter years of possessions and “stuff”. But the good news is it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Here is a list of 30 easy things to get rid of to kick-start your decluttering efforts and make progress decluttering your home.
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The first step can be the hardest step
Sometimes the hardest step is the first step. By that I mean, taking action and actually starting to declutter can be the hardest part. Often once you get going, you get in a decluttering groove and it’s easier to keep going. The more you let go of, the more momentum and confidence you gain to keep going. After a while you start to see the benefits of the work you’re putting in decluttering and that helps to further motivate you to keep going. Use this list as a way to kick-start your decluttering efforts to start or continue decluttering.
By letting go of things you neither use nor love, and embracing a life with less, you begin creating time, space and freedom so you can enjoy the people and activities that matter most to you. Instead of spending the majority of your time and energy managing the “stuff” in your 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. This list can also be a great way to kick-start your decluttering again, get your decluttering groove back 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, you need something to get you started, build your momentum, and give you the motivation and confidence to keep decluttering. In times like these, it’s best to tackle something easy and quick to declutter.
Starting with an area that’s going to be a lot of work or filled with sentimental items 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. You’ll kick-start your decluttering efforts with these easy to let go of items.
Kick-start your decluttering: 30 easy things to get rid of
If you are feeling overwhelmed, having a hard time getting started, or maybe you don’t even know where to start, this list is for you! Here are 30 quick and easy things to declutter from your home to kick-start your decluttering and minimalism journey. Once you’ve made some progress decluttering these easy items, you’ll build your confidence and motivation to tackle the tougher areas.
Some of these may seem obvious. But often we get so used to these things being in our homes that we don’t even notice them anymore. Getting rid of things, no matter how small or obvious they seem can often kick-start your decluttering and motivate you to keep getting rid of things. Helping you take the first step and starting to declutter!
1. Plastic containers
Get rid of any plastic containers that don’t have a lid, or ones 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. Remove anything out of date or not essential. 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 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 will likely never eat 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!
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 dish cloths you never use
If you have so many tea towels and dish cloths 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. Make-up you haven’t worn in the last 6 months or is expired
Even though it seems small and insignificant, getting rid of make up 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 expiry dates. Make up can harbour a lot of bacteria and germs. Toss anything past the expiry date.
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 didn’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.
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 and any duplicates. Toys that squirt water can quickly become moldy on the inside, so get rid of any with mold inside.
12. Expired medication
Take a quick look through your medicine stash for anything expired 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
I find 2 towels per person is plenty for our family, plus a few guest towels. If you have towels that you never use because you have favourites or so many that you never get to the bottom of the pile, get rid of them!
14. Books you’ve read and will never read again
Usually we read books once and don’t read them again. Donate books you’ve read to your local library, then you can always borrow them 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. 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 on your couch or chairs. If you have some that always end up being set aside when you sit down (or thrown on the floor like at my house!) get rid of them. Your living room will instantly look tidier without unused extras.
19. Single socks without a match or holey socks
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 because we spent a lot of money on them or keep “just in case”. But if they aren’t comfortable you probably never, or very rarely, wear them. Get rid of them!
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 good-bye!
22. Sheet sets you never use
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, you don’t enjoy reading or don’t like the content/language, 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 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.
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 item you don’t love or even care about
Take a quick walk through your house and get rid of decor items you don’t love and/or don’t hold special meaning to you. Often, we buy decor items to fill the space, but they just end up adding clutter to our homes and hold no meaning for us. 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.
29. Old paint cans
If you have paint cans in your garage in colors 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. Most of us don’t feel overly attached to our pens or charging cords! Use this list to kick-start your decluttering and dive in, 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 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!