We’ve made it through the first week of January – phew! How’ve you been doing with your New Year’s resolutions? If one of your goals is to declutter and become more organized, you’re in luck! I’ve come up with 75 things to throw away and declutter so you can live a more organized and happy life. Read on below to find out how you can simplify your home and live a happier and more relaxed existence 🙂
I’ve split it up by room and let you know what things you can ditch, donate, and generally just get rid of. It may seem like a daunting list at first, but trust me, it goes quick and you won’t even miss these items once they’re gone! Make this year your year and get organized with these easy tips and tricks!
- Clothing – If it doesn’t fit, is from college, has holes or stains, is a duplicate of what you already have, it’s not your style anymore, or you just don’t wear it… get rid of it! Same goes for undergarments and socks. Donate good condition items and toss the rest.
- Bridesmaid dresses and costumes – unless you really will wear that bridesmaid’s dress again, it’s time to let it go. Same goes for old costume pieces for parties long past.
- Accessories – This encompasses jewelry, scarves, hats, watches, etc. If the jewelry is tarnished or broken beyond repair, the watches no longer tick, and the hats and scarves aren’t your style, it’s time to say buh-bye.
- Shoes – If they pinch or fall off, are scuffed or damaged, or just don’t go with your sense of style, toss ’em or donate them. Also get rid of duplicate types and styles.
- Crappy hangers
- Extra purses/luggage/backpacks
- Extra decor
- Worn out bedding and pillows – Don’t punish yourself by sleeping with flat pillows and tired, threadbare bedding! Get rid of items that are no longer fluffy, have lost their color or comfort and invest in some nicer bed linens to make catching Z’s sweeter.
- Ratty linens – Threadbare towels, stained washcloths, and excess linens simply need to go. Some animal shelters will take old towels, but if items are too far gone, in the trash it goes.
- Old Makeup/nail polish – Expired makeup isn’t good for your face and clumpy nail polish is just a no-go. Check the dates on you face creams, powders, eye shadows, and mascaras and chuck old products in the bin ASAP.
- Expired Medicine – Old medicine is not only not helpful – it can be seriously harmful. Go through all the bottles in your medicine cabinet and dispose of expired items – check with your local police station to find out how to get rid of prescription drugs.
- Hair accessories – Get rid of any items that are stretched out or broken.
- Travel shampoos and soaps
- Unused lotions and novelty items – Lotions, face masks, sugar scrubs, bubble bath… if you got any of these items as gifts but never use them, it’s time to let ’em go.
- Burned out candles – Burned your favorite candle down to the wicks? Either find a way to clean and reuse the jar (find out how HERE!) or recycle the glass.
- Non-working hair tools – If your hair dryer, curling iron, or straightener has bit the dust or just isn’t performing at full capacity, throw it out and invest in a new one.
- Empty or almost empty soap and shampooo containers
- Icky Loofah – You should be replacing your loofah every 2 months, so if yours has been there longer than that, it’s time to get it outta there!
- Excess dishware – Somehow I always end up with a crazy amount of mugs… If you do too, it’s time to pare down and keep only the ones you use frequently or really care about. Same goes for kitchen tools, utensils, and servingware.
- Plastic bags
- Expired food and canned goods
- Mismatched tupperware
- Tote bags/reusable grocery bags – Keep a couple around if you’ll use them but get rid of the rest!
- Excess kitchen magnets
- Excess pots, pans, and lids – Keep only what you will use, and keep what is in good condition. If it doesn’t get used often or is chipped, scratched, or dented, toss it. Make sure lids go to specific pans and get rid of mismatched ones.
- Cookbooks – The internet (i.e. Pinterest) has basically any recipe you could ever want to try, so donate those old cookbooks that are just gathering dust on top of your fridge.
- Cleaning Products – If you have any cleaning products that either didn’t work for you, you don’t need, or are almost empty, take the time to dispose of them properly!
- Novelty Kitchen Appliances – That ice cream maker or fondu set may have seemed like a cool purchase at the time, but if you don’t use it frequently, send it on its way to the Goodwill.
- Expired Fire Extinguishers – Safety is super important, so if your fire extinguisher is expired, it’s time to toss it and buy a new one. Same goes for broken smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- College furniture – Say bye-bye to crappy MDF and cheapy furniture!
- Gross rugs – If it’s frayed, stained, or doesn’t fit the space – toss it.
- Furniture that has no place in your home – if it doesn’t fit, have a place to go, or no longer fits your style, sell it or donate it and free up some space!
- Extra throw pillows
- Wall decor – Get rid of extra frames and art pieces you no longer love!
- Dead house plants
- Old/non-used electronics – If you have TVs, computers, cell phones, or cameras you aren’t using anymore, sell them on LetGo or Craigslist for a tidy profit and more space in your home!
- Books – Keep the ones you really love and donate the rest.
- DVDs and CDs
- Furniture and electronics manuals – Most manuals are online nowadays – no need to keep the paper versions!
- Unused coasters
- Old receipts – Unless they are for big purchases or you need them for taxes or returns, ditch ’em.
- Expired coupons
- De-stash your craft supplies – If you can’t see yourself using it in the next couple months, give it to a friend or donate it.
- Offices supplies – dried out pens, excess binders, folders, highlighters, etc
- Fabric and paper scraps
- Paid off bills/old statements
- Old school notes/papers/homework – You’ll probably never need your old college science class notes again – promise!
- USB Flash drives – Keep 1 or 2 handy, but throw out all the cheap thumb drives.
- Other people’s business cards – most info you need should be online!
- Extra power cords, extensions cords, phone chargers, etc. – Keep a few extension cords around, but toss out extras as well as chargers for old phones or tablets.
- Excess toys – If it’s broken, not played with, or not appropriate for you child’s age, donate it! Help kids choose what to donate to encourage a giving attitude.
- Board games you don’t play/have missing pieces
- Random knick-knacks – Kids accumulate SO much stuff! Toss all the random tchotchkes, party favors, or cheap items that no one will miss.
- Excess children’s projects/artwork – Snap photos and save them in a digital scrapbook or keep a few extra special pieces.
- Children’s blankets/clothing with no sentimental value – If it doesn’t have a special significance and you aren’t having any more kids, donate or hand-down blankets and clothing.
- Extra decks of playing cards or flashcards
- Things they’ve grown out of – clothing, sippy cups, pacifiers, stuffed animals, shoes, strollers, car seats, etc.
- Old/broken/unused sports equipment – Be honest, are you every really going to play Squash again?
- Dried up/old paint, spray paint, wood stain – Contact your local hazardous waste drop-offs to learn what can go in the garbage and what can’t.
- Broken/unused garden tools and fertilizers
- Busted power tools
- Old Product boxes – There’s really no need to keep boxes for cell phones, TVs, computer parts, amazon purchases, etc. Recycle and enjoy a clean garage!
- Random extra screws, bolts, nails, etc.
- Extra/Unused flower pots
- Burned out Christmas lights
- Projects/Things you wanted to fix but never got around to – If you haven’t needed it or finished it in over a year, it’s okay to just let it go!
- Old batteries and lightbulbs – Dispose of these properly – most batteries and lightbulbs shouldn’t go in your household trash!
- College Textbooks – It’s very unlikely you will use them again – either sell them online or donate to your local Goodwill.
- Pet supplies – Torn up, worn out, or non-used pet toys, beds, leashes, and bowls should be donated or put in the trash, depending on their condition.
- Spare Change – Round it all up and cash it out – you’d be surprised how much money you have in coins!
- Gifts or gift cards you will never use – It’s okay to let go of a gift if it’s something you’ll never wear or use. For gift cards, there are online websites or in-person kiosks where you can trade your cards for cash.
- Invitations and Cards – This includes wedding and party invitations, save-the-dates, birthday cards and Christmas cards. Unless they are particularly poignant or meaningful, recycle them!
- Photo duplicates – You really only need one of each photo!
- Ticket Stubs – Don’t let them collect dust in a drawer – either get rid of them or make a cool display for them (like I did HERE!)
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What will be the hardest space to declutter in your home?
This is such a good thorough & informative post! Bookmarking for when I’m doing a spring clean:) x
Yay! So glad I could help, Tereza 🙂 Happy cleaning!
Do you have any suggestions for what to do with old eyeglasses? That’s something I came across in my decluttering this week but I don’t know what to do with them! Is there somewhere you can donate where they will get used?
It looks like there are a few places that accept donations of eyeglasses so that they can be reused by those who can’t afford them – OneSight, Lions Club International, LensCrafters, and New Eyes for the Needy! Google each one to see where the closest drop-off location is or some of them accept donations via mail. I hope that helps! 🙂
Re to eyeglasses, Lions Club takes them, Walmart did have a box outside of their eye place to put them in. You might check:)
I’m not sure if you got an answer. There should be a local place to drop them off. Example: We have the lions club. I would check with your local groups.
Where do we donate books,China,pictures,etc
The Lion’s Club will take old eyeglasses.
The Lions collect them.
The Lions Club use to take glasses. They use the frames to help those who cannot afford them.
Hi Lindsay… at my old Library, there was a bin full of eye glasses that anyone could try on and see if they worked for what their eyes needed. Anyone could drop-off old ones or comb through to find their own fit. Maybe a local library has a similar concept?
As a thought I wish you could write Salvation Army as places to donate.
I had homeless students & parents, that were helped by the Salvation Army in amazing ways. Other people that had lost their jobs do to drugs. Salvation Army has many programs and they help thousands of needy people by teaching them the tools to survive.
Before tossing old fire extinguisher, check to see if it can be recharged. Your local fire station may be able to tell you where to get that done.
Also, old travel shampoos and soaps can be donated to nonprofits that provide hygiene kits for the homeless. I put them in the zippered bags I sometimes get during Clinique promotions. If you’re feeling generous, put in a toothbrush, toothpaste and a comb as well. They will be appreciated.
I saw very beautiful and intriguing thing on your website
I knew of an Indian Food restaurant that would send eyeglasses to India for the poor. I don’t know if there is such a program in the USA, but there are a lot of our citizens who could crrtainly use them too! I suggest contacting your lical eye care professionals, or the Red Cross, if nit International Donation Aid programs.
This was amazing. Thank you for allowing me to peak.
Lise Sue Delawder
Although I do agree with most of this and am guilty as charged, I cannot agree with throwing out odd bolts, screws, nails washers etc. The times I have had to rummage through these items I’ve kept in containers and saved the day for someone! Especially screws/nuts and bolts with an old thread no longer easily found today. PLEASE amend this suggestion.
Teachers love to get craft supplies, sheets, office supplies and fabric and paper scraps for projects and to help offset their expenses for school supplies they pay out of pocket for. They have to buy all of their art and office supplies, plus many of their children’s school supplies and in some schools, their toiletries. My 2nd graders were super excited to get their own combs one year! Food for thought, there are other’s with a lot less than we have. Oh, and non-profits can really use office supplies too!
Thank you that was very informative. I will be taking sometime off next week and can’t wait. To start to get rid of some clutter in my house.
Yessss this is a good list. Ruthless. I am trying to be minimalist. Thank you for showing the way!
Very motivating! These ideas got me moving. We just recently moved (a year ago ugh!). I moved into a much smaller place and my daughter and granddaughter are temporarily living with us while they build a new house. I feel so relieved just getting started. I am doing well but this might take a while yet. Thank you for your help and for making me proud of myself
How about sell, recycle, donate instead of throw away.
I love all your ideas, it helps me alot
Very interesting, inspiring AND motivational! ( Guess I got the message!) I’m excited and have a heart of a minimalist…just lack inspiration…thanks for doing that job!
Definitely saving this post as spring cleaning approaches! Rounding up random spare change around the house is always an adventure for my kids. Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas!
Erica, some extra food for thought. There are certain receipts you should keep due to something called the IRS. They often want up to 7 years back information for audit. Next, don’t just get rid of coins. Some of the old coins you have may be worth quite a bit of money. Same with old toys in good condition. Collectors want some of the strangest things. Never underestimate the value of what you have, especially from long ago. It is agony to find out that penny you sent to the bank is worth over $2000. I suggest diligence in finding out the value of something before you throw it away. I have a set of encyclopedias from 1939. I find information in those books that has been removed from the new books as well as the Internet due to PC.
This is a really insightful to the point and thorough post! I will be referring back to your post often as I am currently decluttering our home right now as we are getting ready for a major renovation. Thank you for sharing.
Wrapping paper both birthday and Christmas! recycled Gift bags, bows, ribbons and tissue paper! 😂 that is my issue
I try to keep up with paring down and clearing out each time i open a drawer, closet or cabinet door. Just something removed makes a difference over time, otherwise I procrastinate on a full on attack to declutter. And, out of sight, out of mind is so true. Once i remove something, i forget it. It’s very freeing to have a stack of items to donate.
Thank you so much for this post! We have been helping my mom declutter her house and she has SO MUCH STUFF!! We had to get a dumpster rental for all of her stuff! We’ve been trying to help her to see that it’s ok to get rid of things and I think I’ll show her this post to help. Thanks again!
Thanks you for your advice!
I thought I’d mention, the linens, towels, blankets and pillows can be donated to an animal shelter. There are also some places in some communities that will take holey, ripped stained jeans and make insulation out of it.
Just trying to trim down the landfill guilt.