Following on from last weeks Decluttering your Life post I realised that this may feel like a really big commitment for a lot of people. So I have prepared a list of all the things you can get rid of RIGHT NOW without even thinking about it.
Please don’t just throw them all in the bin however! Donate, recycle, re-purpose or re-gift. Every time I have a clear out, my best friend gets a selection of things handed to her next time I see her. If she wants it, great, if not it can be donated elsewhere.
You can do this all in one go or you may prefer to remove them room by room, or even a couple of these items each day, taking no more than 10 minutes and over time your belongings will be a lot lighter.
This is not including any children’s items. I find it much more difficult to get rid of Little K’s toys and clothes so that will be the next challenge!
Just so you can realise you are not the only one drowning in ‘stuff’ the photos throughout this post are of my actual belongings. As you can see, I am due a big clearing session!
- Out of date food
- Instruction Manuals – these can generally be found online these days
- Plastic carrier bags – I am trying to replace these with reusable tote bags. Will keep reusing the ones I have as I don’t want them going to waste, but really trying not to accumulate anymore!
- Tupperware without lids and lids without boxes
- Out of date coupons
- Excess mugs – In our household there is me, my husband (doesn’t drink hot drinks) and Little K (uses plastic cups etc). How many mugs do we have? 17! Needless to say, upon making this discovery, I have made a large donation to the local charity shop.
- Excess glasses – Keep enough for each member of the household plus a few spares, everything else can go! (As above, we had 30 glasses for three of us…. rather excessive!)
- Paper plates – We still have a set from Little K’s first birthday… bearing in mind she is now 2 and a half, this is crazy. I am going to recycle some and add some to her craft box.
- Old batteries – Should be recycled correctly. I have seen drop off points at our local Tesco and M&S recently. Recycle Now can help you find your nearest recycling point.
- Excess coasters/placemats
- Duplicate utensils – Why would you need two can openers?
- Plastic cutlery
- Pens that don’t work
- Excess pens – If you make a ‘home’ for your pens, then you shouldn’t really need more than 2 of any colour, as long as they always go back to where they live then they won’t get lost and excess will become unnecessary
- Books you will not read again – To really cut down on your belongings, buy a kindle!
- Tealight candles – Use them or the can go. For some reason we have a full collection of candles but have not lit one in the entire 4 years we have been in our current home.
- Old magazines/newspapers
- Excess vases – I have 8. Have only had that many flowers when Little K was born. Never before, never since. It’s fair to say some of them can go
- Coffee table books. Do you really EVER look at them?
- Out of shape clothing hangers
- Earrings with no pair
- Broken necklaces / bracelets – If they have been broken for more than one month and are still not fixed, chance is it never will be.
- Socks with holes/no pair
- Any item of clothing with holes/stains
- Excess pillows – My husband and I only use one pillow each. We had 7 spares! Why would this be necessary and they take up so much space!
- Spare bedding – Maximum of 2 per bed should be kept
- Old purses/wallets
- Old bridesmaids dress that haven’t been worn since
- Any clothing item you have had for more than three months that still has the tag
- Clothes more than two sizes too small. By all means, keep dreaming, but once you’ve lost three dress sizes you deserve a whole new wardrobe!
- Shoes that are so uncomfortable that you can’t wear them. They won’t suddenly become comfy, not matter how beautiful they are.
- Sample and hotel toiletries – Always feels like a good idea to take those small bottles with you, but really? Who even uses them? Exception: If you are living frugally and only use these without buying any from the store, then obviously don’t get rid!
- Nail polish that is dried up or colours you don’t like/use
- Expired make up – Who knew these had expiry dates? I used to hold onto mine for years before realising how bad it was for my skin!
- Any old (and possibly mouldy) kids bath toys
- Expired medication – Shamed to admit I once had paracetamol 3 years out of date! Always worth checking
- Lighters that don’t work
- Boxes – I am the biggest culprit of this. I keep all sorts of boxes of varying sizes because ‘they may come in useful one day’. Unless they are particularly lovely, get rid!
- Old unused phones – You can recycle them for cash online. Check outCompare and Recycle to see where you can get the best deal.
- Old phone chargers, if it doesn’t match your current phone say goodbye!
- Other wires that you don’t know what they’re for
- Old calendars
- Old unimportant receipts
- Greetings cards – Keep the special ones. Recycle the rest. Any with a particularly bright or fun picture I cut out and put in Little K’s craft box
- Old/unused notebooks
- Old party supplies
- Old school books – It’s been 13 years since I left school but I still have numerous exercise books and text books. Definitely haven’t been looked at in 13 years and I don’t think they ever will.
- Pet toys your pet has destroyed/doesn’t play with
- Spare buttons – Chances are you don’t even have the item of clothing it came with!
- Gifts you don’t love – I feel so guilty for not loving every gift that has ever been given to me, but sometimes it should be re-gifted or given to charity to make someone else happy rather than sitting at the back of a cupboard
- Unused picture frames
- CD’s – Do people still use CD’s? If you do burn them to your computer.
- Paperwork over 7 years old – If you are really worried you will need something (why would you?!) scan it or take a photo.
- Children’s ‘artwork’ – Did I really just suggest you dispose of the uncooked spaghetti picture that is shedding its subject all over the inside of a box somewhere…. Yes. It’s probably time. I’m not saying get rid of everything, but I would be drowning if I kept everything Little K ever made.
- Everything in the ‘random items that don’t have another home’ drawer – Everyone has one of these right? Mine currently holds a wall clock, a replica of Hermione’s wand and a selection of half used packs of baby wipes….
I’m sure you can even think of any more so go, get rid and give yourself room to thrive!