If you’re like most people, you probably have too much stuff—20% of which you use, and 80% that is collecting dust. In this article, you will find a comprehensive list of stuff that you can get rid of, and you may not even miss it!
For some people, having too much stuff around can be a source of stress, so getting rid of things can be a tremendous benefit to your mental health. It can help you feel calmer, more in control, and even happier. The goal then is to declutter and get rid of the things that weigh us down.
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The life changing benefits of decluttering
Better health and well-being. A clean kitchen makes it easier to make healthy meals. Most people sleep better when their rooms are tidy.
Better focus. It’s hard to find what you need when there’s a lot going on. Things could also get in the way. Getting rid of things that are distracting can help you work better on any task.
Saves you time. You’ll save time by getting rid of things you don’t use or need. If you only keep the things that make you happy, are useful, or are absolutely necessary, then everything will have a place to live. It also speeds up housework, making it much easier to clean or clean up before guests come over.
Reduced stress. Cluttered environments can cause stress for most people. UCLA studies have found that women who describe their homes in a positive way had lower levels of cortisol, (the stress hormone) than women who characterized their homes as untidy, unfinished, or cluttered.
Improves mental health. Clutter affects us unconsciously, like when you don’t close apps on your phone and they keep running in the background, sucking your battery. We tend not to connect clutter to stress, bad moods, or anxiety, even though it may be making us feel bad. At its worst, clutter can have a big effect on our mental health and mood.
Higher self-esteem. When it’s hard for you to stay organized, you might feel like you’re not in control. Organizing your home can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Better connections and relationships. Conflict occurs when there is too much clutter. Also, if your house is tidy and uncluttered, you may feel better about having people over.
Reduced risk of asthma and allergies. You might think your house is messy but not dirty. That may be the case, but it’s hard to clean when there are piles of things everywhere. Cleaning up can keep pests away and cut down on dust, mold, and mildew, all of which can make asthma and allergies worse.
Decluttering is a good first step toward a more organized life. But decluttering is a challenge for most of us, so be patient with yourself as you embark on this journey.
If you are having a hard time getting rid of things, consider what it means to you. Is it truly important and meaningful to you? Does it bring you joy, or is it just taking up space in your home? Bear this in mind as you move through your home and you look at your stuff.
Below is an extensive list of things you can get rid of – without really noticing it’s gone. But remember that getting rid of things you no longer want or need is a whole different challenge. If you’re getting rid of things that aren’t really trash, you shouldn’t just put them at the curb on trash day, where they’ll end up in the local landfill. Instead, look for ways to sell, donate, recycle, or get rid of your unwanted things in a responsible way.
Get rid of this in your kitchen
Outdated spices and protein powders;
Excess plastic bags;
Excess pots, pans, and lids;
Excess kitchen tools, utensils, and serving ware;
Expired food and canned goods;
Expired freezer items;
Novelty Kitchen Appliances;
Excess tote bags/reusable grocery bags;
Expired Fire Extinguishers;
Excess kitchen magnets;
Excess cookbooks ;
Excess cleaning products;
Appliances you never use;
Sippy cups and dishware that your children have outgrown.
You’ll notice that there are a lot of items described as “excess”. That’s because we tend to bring a lot of stuff into the kitchen, and don’t end up using it. For example, we have so many cookbooks that we rarely use. The same goes for kitchen gadgets, or even cleaning products we tried once and didn’t really like.
Throw this out of your bedroom/ closet
Clothes that no longer fit;
Clothes that are out of style;
Clothes with stains – if you haven’t gotten that stain out yet, it may be there to stay;
Clothes that need mending – if you haven’t mended it up till now, it’s probably never getting mended;
Outdated eyeglass prescriptions;
Accessories you never wear;
Old shoes you have not worn in years;
Bras with broken straps or wires;
Costumes and bridesmaid dresses;
Promotional t-shirts you never wear;
Worn out bedding and pillows.
Toss these things from your bathroom
Excess travel shampoos and soaps;
Old sunscreen – sunscreen degrades in quality over time.
Gifted lotions and novelty items that you don’t use;
Empty soap and shampoo containers;
Old, worn-out loofahs;
Old hair tools like hair dryers, straightening irons, curling irons;
Candles you’re unlikely to use;
Old, threadbare towels, washcloths;
Expired makeup and hair products;
Old nail polish;
Expired face creams, lotions, etc.;
Unused or excess hair accessories;
Worn out, stretched out, broken hair accessories;
Tattered makeup brushes – only keep brushes you actually use;
Stained towels and washcloths.
Declutter your living room/ living areas
Old and unused electronics;
Books – keep the books you love and donate the rest;
Unloved or outdated wall decor and trinkets;
Dead house plants;
Old magazines and catalogs;
Excess throw pillows;
Unloved furniture – if a piece of furniture no longer matches your style, it doesn’t fit, or it has no place to go in your home, sell or donate it;
Old, frayed rugs;
Scratched or unloved DVDs and CDs – Movies and music are now available for easy download when you need it;
Old throw blankets;
Knickknacks that are taking up space;
Old remote controls.
Get rid of excess stuff in your office
Unused USB Flash drives;
Dried out pens and highlighters;
Excess binders and folders;
Paid bills and old statements;
Old school papers and notes;
Old receipts – if you are saving receipts of big purchases, scan them and save a digital copy;
Extra power cords and extension cords;
Phone chargers for old, outdated phones;
Other people’s business cards – if the information is important to you, save it in your contacts;
Old crafting supplies;
Old greeting cards and invitations – if they have sentimental value, take a picture and save a digital copy;
Christmas cards – snap a picture and save a digital copy;
Old cell phones and cell phone covers;
Newspapers older than 2 days;
Clear out children's rooms
Things your children have outgrown – clothes, shoes, toys, stuffed animals, car seats, strollers, etc;
Toys your children don’t play with;
Excess decks of playing cards or flashcards – one set of each is enough;
Books they no longer read;
Used coloring books;
Random knick-knacks – party favors, McDonald’s toys, etc;
Unloved board games – the kind no one plays with;
Board games with missing pieces;
Children’s art project – frame what you love and use as decorations. For anything extra, take a photo and create a digital scrapbook.
Old video games;
Broken crayons and pencils, dried markers.
Clean out your garage
Old Product boxes – once you are confident that you will not be returning something, it’s okay to get rid of the box;
Broken and unused garden tools;
Unused, old, or broken sports equipment;
Broken power tools;
Old paint, spray paint, or wood stain;
Old batteries and lightbulbs;
Random nails, screws, bolts, etc.;
Burned-out Christmas lights;
Unfinished projects that you started but still have not finished;
Unused or unloved flower pots.
Miscellaneous items you can get rid of
Unloved exercise equipment – the ones that you haven’t used in the last year;
Unused or worn-out pet supplies;
Photo duplicates – if you are keeping a few physical copies of photos, you only need one of each photo.
Spare change – reserve a spot in your house for spare change. Once the bottle gets full, cash it out;
Ticket Stubs – they are not serving you by collecting dust in a drawer. Take a picture and save them, or create a display out of them;
Unused gifts – donate them or give them to someone who will find them useful;
Unused gift cards – find a service where you can trade them in for cash;
VHS tapes and cassette tapes – get it digitized;
Product/appliance manuals – you can usually get what you need online;
Take-out menus – if you actually use them regularly, scan the menus of your favorite restaurants, and keep them in a folder on your phone;