111 Things to Throw Away to Cut Down on Clutter – Spring Cleaning, Recycling, Upcycling. How to start the process of decluttering your life.
Whether you are spring cleaning, Marie Kondo-ing, or simply looking to free up space, I’ve got you covered
If you have reached this post, then you are likely looking to declutter your home and your life. How can you start the process of decluttering? Well, you just have to start. I know that may sound overly simplified, but that really is all there is to it. Don’t let the process overwhelm you. Start one room at a time. If that still feels overwhelming, then start with one drawer at a time. Commit to working on it a little each day, even if you only have 10 minutes to spare. I am a firm believer that physical clutter equates to mental clutter. I think that once you begin purging the clutter from your home, you will find that you feel a little lighter and a lot happier. It is so freeing to let go of “things”. After all, it is people that matter the most, not things.
If the answer is “NO”, let it go!
We all get that familiar itch at the changing of the seasons that tells us it is time to purge. Purge the unwanted, unnecessary items from our home. Often times, our social circle could use a cleansing as well. For me, this feeling always comes at the close of a year, as I look forward to the possibilities of a new year. Call it my end of year cleansing, if you will. Part of my tradition as I bid farewell to the current year and welcome the incoming year is to take stock of the people and things in my life. Do they bring me joy? Do they add value to my life? Are they are source of positivity? If the answer to any of these are “NO”, then they have to go.
If you need some ideas of where to start, I have compiled this list of 111 Things to Throw Away to Cut Down on Clutter. I hope it helps. Anything you would like to add to the list? I would love to hear it in the comments.
Here is another post that might help you along on you mission to live an uncluttered life – How to Free Your Life of Unwanted Clutter.
Please note: Some of these items may need special disposal and should not end up in landfills. See the guidelines in your area for disposing of potentially hazardous waste. While you are at it, here is a list of 40 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. We only have one planet. We need to take care of it!
Some great books written on the subject of decluttering:
- The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
- 10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home
- Declutter Your Home Effectively: House Cleaning Hacks to a Clutter Free Life
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
111 Things to Throw Away to Cut Down on Clutter
1. Anything in your “junk” drawer that you haven’t used in more than a month. Let’s just admit it, we all have one
2. Old magazines that you’ve already read – donate or recycle them.
3. Out of date media – cassettes, vhs tapes, floppy disks, old hard drives etc.
4. Random pens, pencils, markers etc. (They seem to be in every drawer in my home)
5. Any clothes that you haven’t worn in more than a year. Donate them to a local shelter.
6. Expired makeup, beauty and skincare products. While you are at it, consider switching to Safer Skincare
7. Socks with holes in them, with stains, or without a match
8. Board games or puzzles that never get used or have missing pieces
9. Product boxes and packaging
10. Expired vitamins, supplements and medications
11. Old or unused stuffed animals and toys – the kids and the dogs. Donate the ones that are in good condition and toss the rest.
12. Extra water bottles and travel mugs (these things have a way of multiplying)
13. Stale or expired pantry foods. (You might be surprised how far gone some of the items in your pantry are. You’ve probably just gotten used to seeing them and they are a part of the landscape now)
14. Hangers from the dry cleaner or from purchased clothing
15. Old paints, primers and caulking
16. Dead batteries
17. Old remote controls
18. Old bath towels that are faded, ripped, stained or just past their prime
19. Old perfumes, body sprays and colognes (did you know these actually expire and can become acrid?)
20. Clothes, toys, car seats, play pens, high chairs etc. that your child has outgrown. Donate the items that are in good condition.
21. CDs and DVD’s that you do not use
22. Old bedding that is just taking up space in your linen closet. Donate these to a local homeless or women’s shelter.
23. Spices and seasoning that have been living in your cupboard for years. Make your own seasoning blends instead.
24. Kitchen utensils in poor condition or that never get used
25. Old cellphones, radios, mp3 players, alarms clocks and any other outdated technology
26. Toxic cleaning products. Even better, toss them out and then make your own.
27. Scrap yarn, thread, fabric or other unused sewing and crafting materials
28. Christmas gifts that you received and never used because they just weren’t for you
29. Broken or unused lawn equipment
30. Old purses, handbags, wallets and coin purses that are just collecting dust
31. Shoes that have holes in them, are the wrong size, or just don’t get worn
32. Any clothes that don’t fit – too big or too small. Get rid of them!
33. Knick knacks and figurines without sentimental value that are just collecting dust
34. Posters, pictures, paintings and other artwork that isn’t currently being hung
35. Old, dried up, or separated nail polishes
36. Expired coupons and ad circulars
37. Any junk mail that is laying around the house
38. Sheet sets that don’t fit any of the bed sizes in your home
39. Old greeting cards and stationary
40. Extra vases. How many do you actually need? Now, how many do you have?
41. Anything you have multiples of but don’t actively use
42. Earrings without a match
43. Extra extension cords, surge protectors and a/v cords
44. Hair ties, chips, bobby pins and other unused hair accessories
45. Chipped or broken dishes
46. Plastic food storage containers in bad shape or that don’t have lids
47. Expired makeup
48. Old candles – melted down, missing wick etc.
49. Leftover home remodel scraps – tiles, small pieces of hardwood or laminate, trim etc.
50. Old furniture collecting dust in the garage
51. Half finished DIY projects that you plan to get back to “Someday”
52. Broken cosmetic jewelry
53. Old camping gear that never gets used
54. Old sponges and rags
55. Books that you will never read again
56. Unused or mismatched glassware
57. Old pet collars
58. Old blinds that you took down and will never use again
59. Curtains that don’t match your decor. (Will you really ever put them back up?)
60. Dead household plants. You know the one. You feel bad about killing it, so you just let it sit there haunting you
61. Expired or canceled credit cards
62. Old or unused store loyalty cards
63. The stack of sweats, yoga pants, and shorts that have become your “house clothes” (How many times have you worn the bottom couple pairs in the stack in the last year?)
64. Everything you bought from the dollar store or the dollar bins at Target because they were only a dollar and then never used.
65. Old cellphone cases
66. Old landline phones. Do you even have a landline? No? Then why do you still have all those cordless phones?
67. Empty jugs, laundry soap container, dish soap containers etc. (You know the one. The one that got put back empty. You see it every time you open the cupboard but you still haven’t thrown it away.)
68. That bag of wine corks you collected six years ago to make a diy wine cork wreath.
69. Random keys that don’t go to anything
70. Samples that you kept just because they were free but are never actually going to use
71. Name tags, lanyards, tchotchkes and disposable bags from meetings and conventions
72. Self inking stamps or address labels for out of date addresses
73. Tax documents more than 7-10 years old
74. Outdated calendars and stationary
75. Old hotel room keys
76. Ticket stubs that don’t have great sentimental value
77. Non-working Christmas lights and unused decorations
78. Take out menus, plastic silvers, chopsticks, and condiment packets
79. Leftover stuff that didn’t sell at your yard sale last summer
80. Old sunglasses – scratched, out of style, broken etc.
81. Dried up pens and markers
82. Broken crayons and colored pencils
83. Old belts that no longer fit or are worn out
84. Store loyalty cards for stores you no longer shop at
85. Old prom and bridesmaids dresses. You will never wear them again and you don’t need them
86. Random save-the-dates and invitations. If it has never made it into a scrapbook yet, it never will
87. Novelty kitchen gadgets that you just had to have, but never used.
88. Outdated travel guides and brochures. You know, like that 15 year old Paris Frommers Guide on my shelf 🙂
89. Promotional T-shirts. Have you ever even worn them?
90. Hotel shampoos, conditioners and soaps. You don’t need them. There will be a shiny, new set at the next hotel
91. Old day planners and work journals
92. Decks of cards with missing cards
93. Extra shoelaces. Wouldn’t they seem necessary, the 10 pairs I just found in my closet would say no.
94. Food magazines and cookbooks that you never reference. Try Pinterest instead!
95. Dried up air fresheners. Try using essential oils instead
96. Placemats, napkins and tablecloths that haven’t seen the light of day in ages
97. Everything that lives in the bottoms of your old purses that you never moved into your new purse
98. Old swimwear
99. Old bathmats, rugs and towels
100. The boxes and boxes of “art” that your kids made. Just pick a few sentimental pieces and frame them for display
101. Old bath sponges, toothbrushes, washcloths etc. You would be surprised how much you can throw away just from your bathroom alone
102. The collection of plastic grocery bags in your pantry. Switch to paper. Or better yet, get these reusable bags.
103. Stained clothing from that favorite outfit that is never going to come out
104. Old magnets
105. Old planters and pots that haven’t been used in quite a while
106. That collection of empty shoeboxes up in your closet
107. Furniture and appliance manuals. You can find all of that information online. They are just taking up space
108. Old contact lens cases. They should be switched out regularly anyway
109. Phonebooks – No one uses these anymore
110. The old landline phone stored in the closet
111. Used ink cartridges. Recycle them or get refillable cartridges instead