Decluttering is one of those cleaning tasks that need to be done on a regular basis. If you don’t stay on top of clutter it can quickly grow and overwhelm even the most conscientious of us. One of the challenges with decluttering is that as homeowners we tend to overlook certain things because we see them every day—we become clutter-blind! So, here are 10 things that you can open your eyes to and look at moving on from today.
First up, cleaning products that you’re no longer using. Much like other products that you buy to try, and then decide that you don’t love them, cleaning products can really stack up and take up a ton of space. So, go through, pick out the things that you don’t use anymore and either decide to give them to a friend or someone who you know might use them, or go on your local municipality/county/city website and find out the proper way to dispose of these products. Down the drain and down the toilet are not the right way!
A couple times a week I like to relax and unwind with the delightful fumes of nail polish. I do my nails a couple of times a week, and every now and then I’ll treat myself to a new bottle of nail polish. Now, the issue is, I also have old bottles of nail polish that I continue to skip over… kind of like clothes. You know, you keep going through your closet and you say, “Yeah. I’m not going to wear that today”. It’s the same deal with nail polish—we tend to play favorites. So, what I’m going to do is sort through my pile of nail polish and pick out the ones I don’t use. If they’re old, I’m going to toss them, and if they’re just not my taste anymore, I’m going to give them away. You should try doing the same thing.
Plastic Food Containers
Plastic containers are another big clutter issue in homes, in mine as well. In fact, I don’t know where I get half of these things! I guess what happens over time is you have dinner with friends or family, they give you some to-go items, and then… boom! New container in your home, and plastic to boot. So, what we’ve done in our home is we’ve actually transitioned over to glass containers, which last significantly longer. And, in the future, we’re just going to bring a just-in-case empty container when we visit friends or family for dinner. I mean, not to be presumptuous, but it is kind of better than collecting O.P.C.—Other People’s Containers. 🙂
It’s fun to decorate your house and add nice things to replace the not so nice things. But the question is, what are you doing with that not so nice stuff? Are you just stockpiling it for a rainy day, or are you moving on from it? In our case, we mostly donate this stuff, but every now and then some weird stuff manages to find its way into our basement and just live there. So, what I would recommend is to go through all of your home decor items that have fallen out of favor and give these away.
Cell Phones from Circa 2005
Nothing says memory lane like old cell phones. Well, in this house, we have memory super-highway because Chad keeps ALL of his old cell phones. In fact, he has an old StarTAC flip phone from the late 90’s. Oy! I don’t know why he keeps these items. They’re not worth anything. I’m sure our children won’t care about these items. But for whatever reason, he’s clung on to them for dear life. I say get rid of the old electronics. There are a ton of electronics recycling programs available today—we are big fans of BestBuy, and their program is super easy to use (bring it in to the store and drop it off).
If you’re a fan of takeout, your junk drawer is probably full of this stuff—chopsticks, cutlery, single-serve condiments, salt and pepper packets… the list goes on. All this takeout stuff hangs around because we feel wasteful throwing it out. So, rule number one: ditch all of this stuff once and for all. If you do have the ability to use it, use it. If not, dispose of it responsibly. And, going forward, when you’re getting takeout ask them not to send any items that you know you don’t need!
Kids are art machines. When they come home from school more often than not they’ll be toting a few pieces of art with them. I know first-hand that this can get overwhelming. So, what we do is instead of keeping all of this art stockpiled, we use our phones to help collate all the art and store it digitally. This way we can keep the physical stuff that we really love, but everything else goes into a digital scrapbook. I believe there’s also an app that helps with this called artkiveapp.
I recently transitioned to a new jewelry box. During this process, I found a number of broken and/or single pieces of jewelry. This stuff just builds up over the years. If you go through your jewelry box on a fairly regular basis and cull out the things that are tarnished, things that are out of style, single items or broken items that you swore you were going to fix but never have, you can slim this down pretty quickly. If there’s something that you really love that you want to polish up, do it! But if you have something that’s broken or out of style, perhaps it’s time to move on from it. If it’s a valuable metal, you can always sell it and get some money. If it’s something not so special, but something you don’t want to hang on to any more you can probably find a young girl in your life who might really love to glam up wearing your jewelry.
Collectible Cups & Mugs
If you go through your cupboard you may have cups, mugs, and glasses lying around that you’re no longer using. My husband, Chad, has a few of these memorabilia mugs from when he was a kid—you know a hulk hogan glass or a star wars mug. Anyway, he’s laughing now as I’m writing this, but the point is if you have these glasses lying around your house and they don’t fit into your everyday decor and you don’t use them on a regular basis—I get it! It’s sentimental. But honestly, it takes up real estate and it’s not worth hanging on to if it’s not getting any use. So, if you can, wrap them up and donate or sell them so somebody else can actually enjoy them.
As a business owner, and frankly as a human being, I get cluttered up with a lot of receipts. They’re frustrating to deal with and they take up a lot of unnecessary space. We, over the years, have decided to get rid of all of this paper clutter by finding a digital solution for receipts and bills and all that kind of stuff. You can find lots of different options online. We use one called Receipt Bank. Bottom line, get rid of this paper clutter and find a safe way to digitally store this information.