There are many reasons why people hold onto clutter, including inertia. You think you’ll use something one day but do not know how to get rid of things you never use. It can be challenging to tackle clutter, especially when it is out of control.
For straightforward guidance and tips on discarding stuff now, room by room, read on if you feel overwhelmed by a lot of stuff.
Getting Rid of Clutter
You don’t have to be a declutterer to become one. It takes a shift in the mindset; to do so, you must prioritise almost everything in your life. Something that doesn’t bring you joy shouldn’t be in your home. Getting rid of your junk should not be mentally or physically exhausting. And the ease things up, below are a few strategies to get you started:
- By assessing your priorities, you can help keep yourself on track when you have moments of wavering. Write down your wishes and decide which items you must keep and why.
- To simplify the process, start by decluttering one space at a time. You should start with the spot that requires the least amount of effort. Don’t start with the bedroom or the closet. Instead, make your bed and clear one side table first. Next, work around the room in quadrants.
- Ensure you give yourself a chance to start over when you hit the reset button. Take everything out of space. Seeing the progress of a cleared area or clean slate should motivate you to go through all the things you just discarded. This will make it easier to throw out things that aren’t essential anymore.
Kitchen Stuff to Get Rid of
You can take the plastic silverware to work. Stash them on your desk and use them whenever you need extra silverware for your packed lunch. If you often eat on the go, you probably don’t need plastic silverware taking up space. The best solution is to have a pair entirely for your lunches at work that you will clean once they are used.
It is not necessary to save condiment packets from fast-food restaurants. Instead, buy squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard and toss those extra bits of plastic.
When you find a gadget that only serves one purpose, it often looks cool when you see it, but it takes up space because you rarely use it. If you haven’t used it for over a year, it should be recycled, donated, or consigned. Unitaskers include quesadilla makers, avocado, egg, strawberry slicers, herb scissors, and bagel cutters. Of course, we live in a materialistic world, so there might be even more.
If any food storage containers are mismatched or warped, match each container to its top. Check for any warped ones and recycle them. Remember that, like everything else in our lives, food containers also have expiration dates, and you need to check regularly when it is the time to throw them away for good.
A pantry item not used for six months should be thrown out since spices lose their flavour over time, as well as flour and sugar. If you keep anything else you thought you might use but have not, throw it away too.
Likely, you will not use a device that has been sitting in your closet for over a year if it is broken. You don’t need it if it is damaged and you haven’t used it in a long time. If it is broken, and you have gone without it for a long time, toss it. Ensure you don’t have duplicate appliances; then donate or rehome them. Consider donating or rehoming a veggie steamer, rice cooker, and slow cooker if you have any additional.
Toss any old newspapers unless there is a mention of your child or an article that you need. If you want to preserve an article, clip it and file it in the right place. You can also keep some old ones for cleaning your windows and mirrors. However, this should not be an excuse to keep it all.
You do not need a pen without ink if it does not work. The same can be said for the ones that are broken or those with colourful or glittered ink that you are no longer using. Check your markers and pencils too.
You cannot use old power cords for newer devices in most cases. Make sure to put them inside a storage bin labelled “cords.”
There are often recipes or articles in magazines you’re hoping to read that are over two months old. If you’re serious about a recipe or article, clip it and store it correctly (or look for a recipe available online). Recycle everything else.
Coupons that have expired are useless and should be recycled. Check your gifted voucher too.
You shouldn’t keep old cell phones since they will likely be outdated and take up space. Donate your old cell phone to an organisation or throw it away in the designed area.
Calendars from last year are held on to transfer important dates from one year to another. You have until January 31 to do so, but you should recycle them if you take longer.
Some greeting cards have sentimental value, with a personal message that makes the recipient smile. Most are generic “happy birthday” cards that lose meaning after a few minutes. Recycle them.
If you have receipts for tax-deductible purchases or items you would like to try on, you should keep them. Otherwise, you should get rid of them. You can also scan and digitise the paper receipts.
Craft supplies that are no longer functional or unlikely to be used. You are likely to have old glueing bottles, spools of ribbon, and other miscellaneous items unless you are an avid crafter. Donate things you no longer use to an elementary school art teacher or YMCA, and throw away the things that no longer work.
How to De-clutter Your Closet
- When you haven’t found a match after a month, toss or repurpose them as dust rags. You can try to keep a small basket somewhere near for mismatched socks.
- If you have eyeglasses with the wrong prescription, donate them immediately. They might be used by someone else.
- Organise and store your accessories and donate those you don’t wear.
- You probably don’t even like the style of the old clothing you’ve been holding onto for years in hopes of fitting into it again.
- You’ll also want to provide extra buttons for your child’s art teacher.
- Sunglasses that are broken. You planned to buy one of those kits to fix them, but you still haven’t.
- Consign or donate shoes that haven’t been worn for five years. You shouldn’t be donating or selling shoes that haven’t been worn.
- It is gladly accepted that old linens and towels be donated to animal shelters.
What else should I throw away ASAP?
- You should discard old remote controls: iPod speakers, air conditioners, and fans come with them.
- Sunblock degrades over time, so toss last season’s.
- You should get rid of old makeup if the colour, scent, or consistency has changed or if you haven’t used it for over a year.
- You can dispose of old prescriptions and other medications at your local pharmacy if they expire.
- You can convert your old VCR or cassette tapes into a digital format and toss them if you don’t own a VCR or tape player.
- You can find most product manuals and troubleshooting suggestions right on the product website.
You do not realise when the bathroom has become disorganised and cluttered until it has become unusable. Bathrooms are often the most minor and messiest rooms in the house. The products that keep you clean and presentable quickly pile up in the sink or inside the cabinets.
Make sure you declutter your medicine cabinet. If you have expired medicines, they are taking up space and shouldn’t be used. You can also go through make-up, hair products, grooming tools, lotions, tissues, towels, cleaning supplies and other items. To simplify the process, put them out in the open and divide them into three piles: keep, donate, and toss. Box donations and discard the remaining items. Organise your products into subcategories according to their types and location. When you have your bathroom items out, it’s an excellent time to clean them thoroughly. Before putting items in cabinets and drawers, ensure there is no grime or debris inside them.
Put the bottles close to empty at the front of the stash so you will use them first. Get rid of old cleaning supplies. Combine multiple products of the same product into one bottle.
The fridge must be decluttered and organised. Make an inventory of what is left and what smells and looks terrible. Then devise recipes that will use what is close to expiring. The first food item you use will be the one that is opened, so you will use it before the one that is not opened.
We must admit that decluttering is often not the easiest of tasks. Most of the time, we get overwhelmed by the number of things we need to go through; other times, we find something we attach again to. Luckily, whenever we need someone to help us with such tasks, we can always ask a friend, family member or a domestic cleaning specialist. It is essential to know when we need help, and it is even more important to ask for it when we do.