Declutter Your Life! (10 Things To Toss Today Ep. 8)

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Chad and I took possession of our beautiful new home this past fall, and I can say for a certainty that moving was a huge job for us. As we went through the process of moving, and then unpacking, it made us think about our decluttering series: 10 Things To Toss Today! I wanted to share the process that we went through getting ready for our move as it pertains to clutter, and all of the things that I was really unsure about hanging on to. When you go through a move, you really have to think twice about what you’re packing and unpacking and storing again.

Kitchen Uniformity

I’ve really come to appreciate uniformity in a kitchen. So when looking at things like plates, bowls, glasses, and cutlery, I really want everything to be from the same set, not a random mishmash. When you live in a space for years at a time, you get a glass here, you break a couple there, you still have one left behind, and by the end of it, you’re left with a cupboard of mismatched items. So, I took any mismatched glasses, bowls, and plates and donated them. We popped over to Ikea and picked up a new set of (inexpensive) glasses and stuck with the matching plates we already had so everything is nice and uniform.

Candles

We went on a candle shopping spree about a year and a half ago because—who doesn’t love scented candles!? Well, what ended up happening was a few that smelled great in the store, were not so amazing once we lit them at home. And then, of course, that candle sits there and you think, “Maybe one day I’ll use that candle!”. The truth is, that day will likely never come and it’s time to move on from it. However, if you have a candle that you don’t particularly like the smell of, but you really like the container, you can definitely up-cycle that. Simply pop the candle in the freezer for a few hours, the wax will shrink and freeze and should come out really easily. Now you’re ready to repurpose that jar. We actually have 20 great ways you can reuse candle jars!

Sentimental Items

I also made sure that I looked through all of my sentimental items, my mementos if you will. I wasn’t able to part ways with many, but I was able to slim down a few. There was this time I went and painted some pottery with my grandmother shortly before she passed away. I ended up with two pieces from this outing; one that was pretty bland and not so nice, so I ended up getting rid of that one. But the other one I really like, so I’m going to keep that one in my memento box. In short, I was able to slim down a few items because I was just honest with myself. Do I like this? Do I need this? I felt it was important to keep some stuff, but just because an item is gone, doesn’t mean the memory is gone too.

closet orgnization

Storage Bins

After we packed everything up, we realized we had a lot of storage bins left behind, and this brought up some feelings for me. I do spend a fair amount of time on YouTube (being a YouTuber and all), and I’ll come across these videos where people buy all of these plastic storage bins to store little DIY crafts, and knick-knacks—things that solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. The truth is, you shouldn’t need copious amounts of storage bins—it’s time to declutter! I’ll be honest, we’re guilty of this too, but we’re getting better at it! More specifically, we’re deliberately trying to be better at it. One of the things that we decided when we moved was we were going to get rid of 90% of our storage bins and just be very clear on what does and does not come into our house moving forward.

Cables, Cables, Cables

I love Chad, bless his heart, but honestly, we have a collection of cables in our basement that makes me sick. This is a cable collection that has seemingly been building for decades, and for the most part, I don’t even know what they’re for! I typically don’t like to enforce things in the house, but I’ve recently laid down the law with Chad and his cable collection because it sort of angers me (in case you haven’t been able to pick up on that). So, cables are something that Chad’s working on. It’s a work in progress, but as long as it’s progressing, we’re on the right path.

baby stuff

All the Baby Stuff

Riley is almost nine months old, which has given us quite a bit of time to accumulate baby stuff. We’ve really tried to be ruthless about what we buy and what we accept from friends and family—but it’s tough! Now, when I say ruthless, what I mean is we’ve only asked for things that are useful, that we want and need, and that are sustainable when possible. Still, some things have come our way that we haven’t really been a fan of, and of course, there a bunch of things that Riley has just grown out of. So what we’ve done is sorted through everything and donated where possible, re-gifted when appropriate, and anything that’s left behind that we don’t plan on using, we’re moving on from.

Pantry & Dry Goods

Packing up a kitchen is overwhelming, to say the least, and when going through the motions of packing it up you have to scrutinize every item that you’re putting into a box and think, “Is there going to be a place for this in my new house?” This could not have been truer than when it came to pantry items and all of my dry goods (tea, spices etc.). I really tried to be as minimal as possible. I cooked off as many things as I could before we moved, and then got rid of any spices and/or tea that I hadn’t used in a long time. Then, while unpacking, I got rid of even a few more things that I just didn’t have room for.

living room furniture

Furniture & Decor

We had a lot of stuff that we thought made our old house look really nice. But then, when we were moving into this space and we were settling on the theme and the decor, a lot of that stuff didn’t make sense. We thought, “Well, we can keep it and just use it in the guest room or box it up and save it for later”. It started to feel a little too close to all of the decluttering sentiments that we talk about every day here at the CMS HQ. So, we’re donating a lot of stuff—we’ll let it beautify someone else’s home. If you have the time though, I would definitely recommend trying to sell it. There are local websites and even Facebook groups where you can post a lot of these higher value items and sell them to make a few bucks.

Paperwork

Every household should have a good quality filing cabinet that’s organized and keeps your household papers available and intact so that if you ever get audited, or you ever need to reference that paper, it is easily accessible. We live in a house where we not only have the two of us, we also operate a business. Needless to say, we have a lot of paper. In fact, we have one of those big old metal filing cabinets, with three massive drawers, in our storage room. The opportunity here is to go through all of that paper and get rid of as much as possible. I got rid of a ton of stuff. I threw it all in a few boxes and took them to my local office supply store where they shredded it for me. Really cathartic. 🙂

Cloths, Towels & Rags

Packing and unpacking the linen closet was an overwhelming task. Yes, we have a lot of towels and a lot of cleaning cloths. There were towels that we had that were kind of those old beater towels and we thought, “You know what? The time has come. We’re moving into a new house. We have the towels we love, so why do we have these other ones kicking around? We don’t really need them”. Donated! The other thing we really slimmed down on was our cleaning cloths. We went through and plucked out all of the ripped, frayed, unused or just nasty ones. Now all we have, of course, is our Maker’s Clean microfiber cloths, so I know that any time I go into my cloth bin I’m always picking out a high-quality cloth that will get the job done.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

3 COMMENTS

  1. the useful helpful tips and advice are very welcomed and appreciated. what are some helpful tips for passing it on and making a few dollars to put toward the new place. and how to adjust to a much smaller space. all the furniture, extra bedding, towels, dishes. oh for the dishes and glasses i like when they do not match it is a feature of mine, plus not spending any money is the real key for all of it. words on yard/garage/ sale themes, times, etc. thanks mega and blessings on all your endeavors. oh if you ever can please consider the request of donating to nun Sister Catherine of Spirit Haven 27 Krakow Street Brampton, ON L6Y 0K7 Canada some of your terrific cleaning cloths…

  2. During our last move I had a large number of old towels that weren’t in terrible shape, but I hadn’t used them in forever. I took them to our local animal shelter and they were THRILLED to have them for the animals.

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