I’m coming up on my 5th anniversary of living in San Francisco and the last few years I’ve really honed in on how to live simply. That’s one thing living in under 600 square feet will teach you. I don’t cover a ton of home topics on the blog, but decluttering is one thing I’ve become passionate about. How we can simplify our surroundings to allow us to live a fuller life really excites me. If you’re struggling or just need some ideas to kick-start change, here are 10 easy things you can declutter right now.
1. Old, expired makeup
Seriously, let it go. It’s not worth causing acne or an eye infection over. If products are underwhelming or underperforming, they have got to go.
2. Clothes you don’t feel amazing in
Life is too short to wear clothes that don’t make you feel like a 10. I sell them on Poshmark or donate where possible. I also started reducing the amount of hangers in my closet to minimize the temptation of refilling the closet real estate.
3. Costume jewelry
I feel like my style shifts every 3 or so years, and I’m just not wearing the amount of costume jewelry I used to. A lot of the stuff I used to buy in my early 20s was also poor quality. Decluttering my old costume jewelry was quick and easy, and I started with the broken and tarnished pieces that were beyond salvaging. I like to donate my good condition pieces to Project Glimmer.
4. Products that don’t work for you
If you find yourself using products just because you spent money on them, stop there. You may be falling into the sunk cost fallacy! If you spent money on something and it ends up not meeting your expectations, just ditch it and move on. This framework can also apply to all types of beauty and hygiene products, as well as home office and kitchen.
5. Redundant kitchen tools
I am definitely guilty of hanging onto too many wine openers, on occasion. And no one probably needs 10 aluminum reusable water bottles. I try to declutter my kitchen tools every few months because I often get freebies in event gift bags almost weekly. I know it’s time when I’m having trouble closing the drawer or cabinet they belong in.
6. Linens, bedding, and towels that have seen better days
Also guilty of clinging on to household linens for far too long. I recycle old linens, bedding, and towels as cleaning rags wherever possible.
7. Books & magazines you aren’t going to read again
Unless I have plans to re-read something or keep it out as a piece of decor, I try not to become too attached to books or magazines. I recommend donating books to the Little Free Library. Paper clutter is so freeing to get rid of, and I find that it helps you pick up momentum in other areas of decluttering.
8. Old tech
We live in a digital world, and devices become dated quicker than ever. Old phones, frayed cords, and obsolete accessories can be recycled at Best Buy stores nationwide. If you have something in good condition, sell it!
9. Boxes you’re hanging on to “just in case”
Guilty of this one right here, all the time. As I sell on Poshmark quite a bit, I can easily justify upcycling a box I received another shipment in. But I also tend to hoard box packaging when it comes to expensive things like electronics and other goods. Once that return or warranty period ends, throw it away if it’s cluttering your space.
10. Excessive reusable shopping totes
We all experience this phenomenon. Totes filling the under the sink cabinets, our closets, and the trunks of our cars. Even if we don’t purchase them, they still tend to accumulate in our homes. I know as a blogger, I often get a bag per week at media events. At some point you have to say, enough is enough. Pick your favorites and get rid of the others. Some cities and counties collect textile waste, so it’s worth checking out in your area. I also like to upcycle shopping totes for shipping padding (bubblewrap substitute), shoe dustbags when I travel, and as cleaning rags.
Do you have any tips on decluttering or minimalism? I would love to hear them in a comment below. Thanks for reading!
Lauren Falardeau Pariseau says
This is a great list! I recently went through the bathroom and tossed all the old, expired or unused products collecting in there. It felt amazing!
Melissa Marie says
I really need to go through my Make up! This list made me think of a few things I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about!
We will be moving into a condo in March. Our life has been boxed up for the past half a year. I am excited to be able to unbox everything and do a giant purge!
Dr. K. Lee Banks says
Ah yes, decluttering! That “necessary evil” we all should do on a regular basis! I like all your tips and have actually been working on most of them already. Our house is about 960 square feet – small for a house – single floor ranch. Between hubby and me – and 11 pets (3 dogs, 8 cats) – and all our STUFF … it’s crowded and really needs more decluttering. One idea I’ve heard is not to set something down “for now” – because then the “for now” pile just keeps growing!
Tatyanna Picou-Baptiste says
I’m long overdue for cleaning up my old makeup, jewelry, and my linen closet. I’ll take this as my reminder to add it to my to do list haha!
Follow My Gut says
LOL you had me at “eye infection”! I know there’s so much to do to declutter and so much of this I have to do myself. Love this post!!!
Danielle | FollowMyGut.com <3
Thank you for this, we forget about the little things that clutter our lives! I am guilty for holding onto boxes!
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