Deciding what to toss is one of the toughest parts of decluttering your house.
It’s natural to develop a certain attachment to your possessions, and it can seem wasteful to give away something you’ve hardly used.
Believe it or not, there are some things that really aren’t that difficult to part with.
Start with this list of 41 easy items to toss on your decluttering journey, and you’ll soon be decluttering your house like a pro.
1. Junk mail
Believe it or not, junk mail is stuff we don’t need to hold onto. It’s true. I mean after all it is called “junk mail.”
- Go through the mail and make sure you don’t have any unpaid bills
- Don’t keep any coupons unless you are 100% sure you will use them
- Shred or tear up any personal mail
- Set aside any bills that can go digital and call them immediately after you declutter junk mail to set up digital bill pay (and then be sure to throw those bills away if they have been paid)
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You can use something this junk mail holder to organize your junk mail and keep it separate from the rest of your mail.
2. Old Calendars
Look at you walls. Do you have any old Calendars hanging around? I don’t know why but every time I visit my parents house they have an old Calendar hanging on the wall.
It drives me crazy! I just want to rip it off the wall and scream:
1960 was 60 years ago!
Okay their old Calendars aren’t really that old but you get the point. So, if you have some old Calendars hanging around, please toss them.
They aren’t doing any good accept collecting dust. And who likes dust?
3. Duplicates of Anything
Despite the desire to declutter your house, it remains a fact that we all need material possessions for practical matters, right?
Things like kitchen tools, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, media players, and more are things we need and use on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, even the most basic daily resources can take up room in your home. So, what do you do about it?
It is actually pretty simple to be honest. There are ways you can save space and money with multipurpose items.So anything you have “duplicates” toss them while you are decluttering house. Boxes like these are great for decluttering. You can mark them sell, donate, and keep.
4. Broken or Ugly Jewelry
Okay I know the title says broken or ugly jewelry but in all seriousness you should toss any jewelry you don’t wear.
My mom, again great example, has a tall jewelry box full of jewelry. And to be honest most of it isn’t real and she never wears it!
Maybe this is how I became a decluttering freak, my parents. Growing up they held onto everything and still do.
I remember I never had friends over because I was too embarrassed of what our home looked like. And if I’m being honest and I promised to always be honest, your home just doesn’t look clean if you own a lot of clutter.
Back to the jewelry. Toss any ugly or broken jewelry. And don’t forget those earrings without a mate!
5. Empty Perfume Bottles
Did you have one of those grandmas that held onto every Avon perfume bottle she ever bought? My grandma used them as decorations on shelves.
Sadly that has carried over to some of us today. We hold onto those expensive and not so expensive empty perfume bottles.
As if it makes a statement or something. Just toss it because honestly the only statement it is making is clutter!
6. Old Makeup and Beauty Products
Yes, you read that right. Declutter your makeup. As women we tend to hoard makeup from time to time.
I know I do and I’m a minimalist! It is so easy to fall into the makeup trap though.
Makeup is one of my favorite things to buy for myself. It makes me feel pretty and good about myself. As I am sure it does you too.
But what good is make up we don’t use doing us? Besides causing more clutter.
Go through your makeup and:
- Toss products that have expired or are just old
- Get rid of items you don’t like for whatever reason
- If you haven’t used it within the last 6 months throw it out
7. Outgrown Toys and/or Games
Decluttering toys with your children can seem like a daunting task. But it helps if you get your kids involved and let them choose.
Follow these steps to quickly declutter toys and games:
- Get a garbage bag and 2 empty boxes or laundry baskets
- Decide if it will go into 1 of 3 spots – Trash / Donate / Keep
- Don’t forget about the toys from fast-food children’s meals
Don’t be scared to use the 1 year rule when decluttering toys. If they haven’t played with it in a year it gets donated if in good condition and thrown out if not.
If your house is anything like mine you have socks that are a.) missing a partner or b.) have holes.
It is time to let go, my friend. When decluttering your house be sure to sort and throw away all your socks that a.) missing a partner or b.) have holes.
9. Stretched-Out Undergarments
We all have them. Stretched-out undergarments. Why do we keep these things I have no idea.
Let’s do ourselves a favor and throw them out!
10. Kids Clothes
Just the other day I decluttered my son’s closet. To my surprise I ended up with a garbage bag full of clothes to donate to my cousin.
11. Boxes from Electronics or Small Appliances
If you have any of these laying around your house do yourself a favor and throw them out.
12. Unused Paint
I am guilty of this one. When we moved in I had 5 gallon bucket of paint that sat in our laundry room for months! Finally I got tired of looking at it and threw it out.
Did I mention I hate painting 🎨 😂
13. Non-Perishable Food Items
Have you ever gone grocery shopping only to come home and have no room to put anything? I have and it is super annoying!
Seriously, who wants to carry all the groceries in and then have to arrange the cabinets to make room? Not me.
When you are decluttering your house be sure to go through the cabinets and pantry and dispose of any non-perishable foods you haven’t or won’t eat.
14. Unused or Old Spices
If there is a cook in your home then you most likely have spices that are just sitting in the cabinet.
From time to time its a good idea to go through and throw out any unused or old spices. By simply using a spice rack like seen here you can cut down on space and have a constant visual of your inventory.
15. Frozen Foods
The freezer is one of the last places you may think to look when decluttering your house. Look for frozen foods past their use by dates.
16. Excess Plastic Shopping Bags
Plastic shopping bags are good for using in small trash cans but if you have a big family or go grocery shopping quite a bit these can multiply very fast.
My husband had a bad habit of sticking them under the sink. Before I knew it we had hundreds of bags. Last time I checked we didn’t have that many small trash cans in our house.
So we started tossing them when we bring them home.
17. Outdated Holiday Ornaments
Storing holiday decorations is already a pain of its own. But why hold onto broken or outdated ornaments?
18. Broken Laptops or Devices You’ve Been Meaning to Fix
Okay just toss these things. If you haven’t fixed them by now chances are you aren’t going to. My husband had a laptop that was ancient just sitting in a box in our closet.
Needless to say it is no longer sitting in our closet nor is the box it once sat in.
19. Extra Blankets
I get it you have extra blankets for when you have company, right? Let’s be honest. How often do you have company?
Why not just ask them to bring a pillow and blanket? It would make your life so much easier and it would clear some clutter, too!
20. Memorabilia You No Longer Value
Trophies are something that we are all proud of. Unfortunately, they loose their value over time.
Just because you throw the trophy out doesn’t mean you have to give the memory up too.
Sharing the the memories and telling the story is a lot more enjoyable than some trophy.
21. Buttons and/or Sewing Boxes
If your not a seamstress then throw the buttons and the sewing boxes out. This is 2020 and we are not our grandmas.
If you have a shirt or two that you really love but they are missing buttons take them to a seamstress and have it fixed. It really doesn’t cost but a couple bucks. And you would be supporting a small business!
Some things we just need to leave to the professionals.
If you have receipts that you absolutely must keep then scan them or put them in a designated folder. Throw the rest out.
23. Accessories for Hobbies
Do you have accessories for hobbies you no longer pursue laying around your house?
Maybe your husband used to hunt and fish but doesn’t any more. Or maybe you used to love to read but don’t much anymore.
24. Vacation Souvenirs
Why hold onto vacation souvenirs you never look at? Again these items are just cluttering your home.
Declutter your house by throwing these things out. Like I said before, the memories you have are way more cherish-able than any souvenir will ever be.
25. Purses and/or Wallets
It is high time to declutter those purses and wallets that are out of style. Even purses you haven’t used in a year, throw them out!
Face it… how often do you really switch you purse out?
26. The Clutter in Your Purse
Is it just a woman thing or what? Is it just me or does it seem that “everything” seems to fins its way into our purses?
27. Instruction Manuals
Do you instruction manuals for things you no longer own? Toss them. And even if you do still own the thing that the manual belongs to ask yourself this “When is the last time I needed this manual?”
I bet your answer will be when you first bought it.
28. Craft Supplies
Craft supplies for projects never begun or completed. Donate them if they are still in good condition. You could even sell them and make some extra cash.
29. Pens – Pencils – Marker
We all have a collection of pens that don’t work. And if you have kids you probably have a drawer full of markers and crayons too.
Go through these and throw out all the broken ones, dried up ones, and ones that just don’t work.
How many pens do we really need anyway?
30. The Junk Drawer
Stuff that’s been in your junk drawer forever will never get used. It’s a fact. That is why it is called the junk drawer. Junk drawers are one of my many pet peeves. I simply can’t stand them.
Junk drawers are not allowed in my house. One way we keep from having junk drawers is by using drawer dividers. Drawer dividers are helpful in stopping you from tossing and shoving junk mail, cords, and well anything else you can’t find a home for in the drawer.
Do you have gift you never liked in the first place? Why hold onto them?
In all honesty the person that gave it to you will most likely never know you got rid of it.
Or they probably already forgot about it.
32. Anything You Haven’t Used in a Year
Okay I get it this one could literally be anything. Just think about it. What all do you have that you haven’t used in a year because you forgot you had it?
33. Pet Supplies
Is there unused pet shampoo under your bathroom sink? What about pet supplies from animals that have long passed?
Do you have torn up dog or cat toys laying round? Bird cages but no birds? Pet food but no pets?
34. Chipped or Mismatched Dishes or Cookware
I get it, I know dishes and cookware can be expensive. However, chipped dishes and even cookware can be dangerous.
Most sets allow you to replace pieces that have become broken, chipped, or lost.
35. Kitchen Gadgets
Kitchen gadgets you don’t use (sandwich press, ice cream maker, etc.) are great items to declutter.
Recently we bough new pots and pans so I thew out all of our old ones, lids and all.
We even had a few gadgets we didn’t use like some canisters. They was just causing clutter on my kitchen counter.
36. Home Decor
Is there any home decor that no longer fits your personality in your home? If so these are great items to declutter and get rid of.
It is human nature to change over time. Therefore our taste in home decor changes along with our personalities.
Believe it or not medications both prescription and over the counter have expiration dates. Be sure to check the following for expired dates:
- Pain Medicines
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Band-aids (yes Band-aids these lose their stickiness after a length of time)
- Pet Medicines
- Diabetic Supplies
38. Chargers and Headphones
Electronics chargers without a device need to go in the trash. There is no sense on holding onto these.
Have you have noticed every time we get a new phone we also get a new charger?
Before we know it we have a drawer full of chargers. And what about headphones? We had so many iphone headphones laying around I threw the old ones away.
After all they do get kind of gross after a while. Also a great way to store any cords you need to keep is by using an organized cable bag.
39. DVD’s and VHS’s
I know this might break your heart but videos you no longer watch (anything VHS not a collector’s item) needs to go.
Just yesterday I was talking with step-mom about my dads dvd collection. Which by the way is very large.
The thing is he doesn’t watch any of them and haven’t in a long time. He watches re-runs on tv instead. It just doesn’t make since to buy or hold onto movies like that.
40. Video Games and Consoles
If your family always wants the next best console or video game what do you do with the others? Are you holding onto them?
I our home it is a rule, in order to get the upgrade they have to sell or donate the one they have.
A great example of this is my son. This last Christmas he got a new Gaming Computer. However, he already had a desktop and a laptop.
Knowing he wouldn’t use all three I asked him to give one away and sell the other. Surprisingly it worked out well. He is extremely happy.
This is even made room for his new light up gaming keyboard.
41. Swimwear and Sunscreen and Summer Essentials
How often do we run out every summer and buy more sunscreen, swimwear, and beach towels? Only to find we have half bottles at home from the previous year or swimwear with snags?
When I decluttered my son’s bedroom the other day I found swim trunks that don’t fit him anymore along with some sunscreen from last year.
Tip: Make sure you check the dates on the sunscreen as some may expire in a years time.
Other summer items to declutter:
- beach balls
- pool tubes
- pool noodles
- broken or old flip flops
- worn out beach towels
- expired tanning lotion
- broken sunglasses
- beach bags
- water shoes that are now too small
- life vests
- bikes your kids have outgrown
- yard toys
Conclusion to Decluttering Your House
There are a ton of things you can discard or donate easily with little stress.
Go give it a try and see how your motivation increases when it comes to ditching your old stuff.
You’ll be making a dent in the clutter before you know it!
Related posts on Decluttering:
- The Psychology of Clutter and What to Do About It
- How to Stop Accumulating Clutter: A Life Decluttered
- How To Reduce Clutter in One Afternoon
- 13 Signs You Need to Clear the Clutter
- 3 Actionable Declutter Hacks You Can Take Today