We’ve spent a lot of time so far this year going over some organizing basics. But I know some of you still feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your homes.
This month, I want to help you with a quick start guide of what to toss, donate or recycle. Below is a list of 10 items I’ve helped nearly every single one of my clients purge. They’re a great jumping off point because the decision-making process is pretty easy and it goes pretty quickly.
This is about going through the items and purging. It’s not about taking everything out of a drawer or cabinet and then organizing. This is all about getting rid of things you no longer need or want.
Let’s get started!
1. Expired food in your pantry and refrigerator.
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but believe me, I have helped so many clients organize their pantries. Even when they tell me “Jill, I just looked through everything 3 months ago,” we somehow still manage to find food that’s years past its due date. ? When it comes to spices, can you combine a couple of those half used garlic salts into one jar?
So many people go on-line these days to try new recipes. Take a look at your cookbook stash and I bet you’ll find one or two, if not a dozen, that you can part with.
3. CDs and DVDs.
These days, it’s so easy to transfer your CDs and go digital. My husband and I recently did this. It was LIBERATING! As for DVDs, if you aren’t going to watch it again, why let it take up space in your home?
4. Linens and towels.
While I only keep one set of sheets per bed (this is purely because I have never mastered the art of folding a fitted sheet!), many of my clients have sheets and comforters for beds they don’t even have anymore. Quickly go through your linens, towels and blankets. Let go of sizes you no longer need. Threadbare or scratchy? If you don’t want your guests using them, why should you keep them? Say good riddance! And while you’re at it…take a look at those spare pillows. Make sure you’d be proud for any guests to use them.
5. Old electronics.
Recycle that old cell phone (or 2 or 3), cordless phones, VHS players, old TVS, other broken electronics and orphan cords that don’t seem to belong to anything you currently use.
6. Kitchen appliances you don’t use.
I kid you not, I had a client who had 3 fondue pots. They had never been used and she’d had them for at least 5 years. Appliances you no longer use (or have never used) are taking up valuable space in your kitchen. Donate them – someone will love that ice cream maker or panini press.
I know this seems random, but most of my clients seem to have an unlimited number of flower vases. And, hey, I think it’s great if your hubby surprise you with flowers frequently. But do you really need ALL of those generic vases from the florist? Keep the ones you’ll use and donate the rest.
8. Toiletries, makeup and grooming products.
Decluttering these items will free up loads of space in your bathroom. Do you use everything you have in the drawers, medicine cabinet and under the sink? Probably not. Toss out old makeup and makeup brushes, old hairbrushes and combs, hair/face/body products you don’t really like, old toothbrushes, broken hair ties and accessories, old nail polish, product samples you tore out of magazines or picked up at the cosmetic counter but probably won’t use.
9. Expired vitamins and medication.
I have some clients who are all about pushing expiration dates to the max, and others who wouldn’t dream of taking a vitamin that expired last month. Do what feels right for you, but declutter those pills and bottles!
You know which toys your kids play with. But you can clear out the ones they don’t use regularly, have missing pieces or are broken. Donate toys still in good condition and toss the rest. Not only have you decluttered a big category, but you’ve just made it easier for you and your kids to pick up at the end of the day. ?
These 10 categories should be a piece of cake for you to declutter. You don’t have to tackle all 10 at once. Hopefully none of them are emotionally charged so you can get through them quickly.
Next month, we’ll tackle 10 of the more difficult categories. But don’t worry, I’ll keep the cheat sheet easy to follow.
And, as always, if you find yourself needing help and motivation, give me a call!