|How is your house doing? Is it fresh and clean and ready for anything? Or has quarantine caused you to squirrel things away in every nook, cranny and corner of your home? If you’re like me, you probably land somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.|
Don’t worry! If you spend 15 minutes a day for even the next 7 days, you’ll be able to declutter lots of stuff from your home. Start creating a declutter kit by collecting a “give” box for donations, a “return” box for items that need to go somewhere else (or to someone else) and a garbage bag. Now, read the list below and get started!
1. Garbage. You might be surprised how quickly you can fill a bag with junk mail, old magazines, food wrappers and hole-y socks. Do a quick sweep through your house and be ruthless in the items you decide to throw away.
2. Clothes that don’t fit, you don’t wear or they don’t match your lifestyle. Look at yours and everyone in your family. Get rid of anything that you know you won’t wear this year. This is not the time to be keeping clothes you hope to fit into someday. If you lose weight, you can reward yourself with something new. This will clear up so much space in all of your closets!
3. Kitchen gear. Eliminate all duplicates and anything you haven’t used within one year. Bonus points if you can get rid of unused appliances that take up lots of space.
4. Sports gear and camping equipment. Do yourself a favor and ditch outgrown skis, skates, soccer cleats and those golf clubs you’ll never use as well as duplicate gear for camping. (I think we have six sleeping bags for four people. Why?)
5. Linens. Your kids don’t use or need those Star Wars sheets or that Ballerina Barbie beach towel. Also, you likely don’t need more than two or three sets of linens for each bed.
6. Cleaning supplies. This is a really good time to take stock of what you have, consolidate like supplies (can all that Windex fit into just one bottle?) and to toss or donate anything you don’t use, want or need. Our local food pantry accepts partially used cleaning supplies.
7. Craft supplies. Are you hanging on to supplies for hobbies you don’t participate in anymore? Are there some neighborhood kids who might enjoy your old pens, crayons and watercolors? Or maybe your friend would love your stash of beautiful wool yarn from 2014.
|8. Artwork and home decor. There comes a time when you realize the canvas you bought from IKEA in 2002 doesn’t really count as art in your home anymore. That’s okay! As you wander though your home, consider what decor you don’t like or you may have outgrown. Your local furniture bank or Habitat ReStore may be able to take it off your hands.|
9. Old school supplies. Backpacks, lunch boxes, new notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. Whatever you don’t see yourself using in the foreseeable future, consider donating to a local Boys and Girls Club.
10. Redundant furniture. It’s surprising how often people collect far more furniture than they can use. Do you have more than you’re using? Can you shift it to another room for another purpose? Or is it time to let it go to the Northwest Furniture Bank?
11. Old magazines. Due to COVID, they probably aren’t donate-able right now. Recycle them or give them to a friend.
12. Lawn furniture. Did you get new furniture for your yard last summer? If you haven’t gotten rid of the old stuff, it’s time.
13. Unfinished projects. This includes furniture you want to refinish, a car that needs a new engine, and the quilt you started when your child was a baby. If they’ve been untouched for more than a year, it’s time to let them go.
14. China, crystal and silver. If you don’t use (or want to use) your grandmother’s finest dinnerware, consider giving it to a family member or a friend who would love it.
15. Coffee mugs. I bet you could remove ten extraneous mugs from your cupboard in the next minute without batting an eye. Do it and put them in the donate box.
16. Expired food. Check your pantry, your fridge, your freezer and your snack basket. Time to eliminate old spices, expired canned goods, stale chips and the science experiment at the back of your refrigerator.
17. Plastic cups and dishes left over from when your kids were little. Once I cleared this stuff out, I felt like I reclaimed my kitchen cabinets.
18. Books. Okay. This one I’m using as a reminder to myself. I need to take all the books and decor off my bookshelves and return only what we really love. In 22 years of marriage, I don’t think we’ve ever cracked open those giant coffee table tomes about WWII.
19. Musical instruments. If you keep instruments you don’t play, maybe it’s time to let them go. That includes the piano. And the cornet in the attic. Ahem.
20. Games and puzzles. Some games and puzzles are for a younger set which makes them no-brainer giveaways. Just do it. Anything missing pieces or if the box is torn beyond recognition, just toss.
Are you feeling inspired? Ready to purge all your redundant clutter? You can do it! Let me know how it goes. I’d love to encourage you along the way.