20 Things You Can DECLUTTER in 20 Minutes or Less

Jan 27, 2016 | Home Organization, Simply Organize

Clutter is the one thing that we can all live without but rarely do. In our house we use a nifty clutter basket, it helps us to manage most of our excess clutter but there is always room for improvement.

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In these past few years, I have been striving to create a space for my family in which we can just enjoy life together, without constantly worrying about stuff. Working towards minimalism (which means something different to everyone), slowly and steadily.

Although our clutter basket is really handy and effective, I still sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I have been, subconsciously piling up over the years. You come to a point where you don’t even notice that it is there, it feels like a part of your home and life.

With that in mind, I created a list of 20 items that you can declutter in 20 minutes or less per day. The benefit of letting these items go is that you will see a difference instantly. If you do find it difficult to let something go, try identifying the underlining emotion that keeps you from discarding certain items, then deal with the emotion instead of the “stuff” first.

Here is the list of the top 20 items you can declutter in 20 minutes or less:

  1. Magazines & Newspapers – We all have a pile of old magazines or newspapers laying around, somewhere in our house. It is time to let go… If there is something special you want to keep, tear it out and file it away. The rest, well you know what to do…

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  1. Plastic Containers – Just like those magazines and newspapers, most of us have a stash of old/broken/incomplete containers, which really serve no purpose and take up precious space. Either throw them away or if they are still usable add them to your clutter basket and donate them to someone in need.
  1. Old CDs, DVDs & Computer Games/Software – Go through all your discs in the house and decide, whether they are still useful and current. Do I really still listen to that 1996 Spice Girls cd? Well, if the answer is no, in the trash it goes… (Or donate it to a charity shop)!
  1. Sports Equipment – This is something that can really take up a lot of space, if not managed well. You really need to dig deep and ask yourself, am I REALLY ever going to use my tennis racket again? Or that old hockey stick? Or if you haven’t used it in the past 3 years, do you REALLY still need it? When will you use it again? {It’s all valid questions and be honest}.
  1. Old/Broken Toys, Incomplete Puzzles & Board Games ­– If you have children, you are bound to have old/broken toys, one’s that they have outgrown or cannot be played with anymore, puzzles that have missing pieces, and that board game that is just not as fun anymore.
  1. Cleaning Supplies ­– Go through your cleaning closet, and take out any old rags, expired products, or any products you have bought, but have never used. It will free up a lot of space.
  1. Ornaments & Momentos – These can gather up so quickly and are sometimes the most difficult to let go of. We usually have some sort of emotional connection or memory that goes with each one. If you have difficulty letting them go, find a creative way to display them or challenge yourself to a 4:1 ratio (for every 4 items you keep, you have to let one go).
  1. Old Food Items ­– It is always a good idea (at least once a month) to go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry to eliminate all expired food items or if you notice that muffin mix has been in your pantry too long, make an effort to use it. If you don’t want to eat the muffins yourself, take them to someone in need, and make their day or surprise your work colleagues.
  1. Old suitcases or backpacks – You can always turn these into an awesome {act of kindness}, by filling them with hygiene products, a few snacks, and some thick socks. Then hand them out to people in your community that will benefit from them.
  1. Shoes – Yeah, ladies you don’t need 99 pairs of shoes… Go through your shoe closet and donate a few of your old pairs (those that you don’t wear anymore) to a charity or someone in need. They will be so grateful.
  1. Old Medicine ­­– Just like old food items, it is very important to eliminate any expired medicine. It will also give you an opportunity to see what you have and what needs to be replaced. It serves a double purpose. Remember to rather take old medicine to your local pharmacy to dispose of, and NEVER throw it in the trash.
  1. Wrapping Paper – If it is torn, wrinkled, or too small to use for wrapping a gift, you can {probably} live without it.
  1. Old Electronics & Cables ­– I am not even a techy and I have a pile of old cellphones, electronic devices, and cables, which is no longer useful and taking up a lot of space in our apartment. Go through the house, collect all your old devices and cables, select a backup phone/charger and recycle or donate the rest.
  1. Product Boxes & Manuals ­– Most products only have a one or two-year warranty, in which it is necessary to keep the original packaging and papers. If the warranty has expired, throw the box away, and you will save a lot of space. As for the manuals, most of them are available online, make the switch.

  1. Duvet Covers, Sheets, Pillowcases & Old Towels ­­– Just like most of the other items on this list, we all have a closet somewhere in the house that is filled with any and all our sheets, old pillows, towels, and covers. Take them out and keep only those that you regularly use and are according to your style. The rest can go…
  1. Toiletries & Beauty Supplies – You will save a lot of space by, removing those samples, items that you have purchased, but only used once or twice, gift packs, or expired products. Either give them to someone you know will use them or throw them away.
  1. Books ­– This one can be especially hard, mostly because we convince ourselves that, maybe one day I will have time to read that gardening manual or that cute baby playbook, although your kids are all grown up. Just ask yourself, is it relevant? Will it be helpful? Have I already read it and will probably never read it again? Do I even have an interest in the subject? If not, let them go and enjoy the extra space you have created.
  1. Notebooks & Old Diaries ­– I can’t leave a store without considering buying a notebook, I absolutely adore any kind of notebook (it’s one of my biggest weaknesses), but it is the things that we love the most that we have to let go of. Just like all the other items, go through your old diaries and notebooks, keep the necessary ones and recycle the rest.
  1. Stationery ­– Collect all your stationery around the house, even those that the kids use, place them on one big surface, group the same items together, and decide whether it is necessary to have 5 staplers, 20 erasers, and 100 pens. If not, donate the excessive items to your local children’s hospital or home.

  1. Broken Crockery – It has been months since that broken cup has been quite an irritation, but every time you use it you think to yourself, “I will give it one more try”. Go to your cupboard, take out the cup and accidentally let it drop on the kitchen floor… Alternatively, you can add it to your clutter basket and donate it to someone who needs it.

BONUS ITEM: DEAD PLANTS – No judgment here! Keeping plants alive is a specialty and sometimes no matter how hard we try, we just can’t keep it going. So, if you have any dead plants, throw them away. It will make a huge difference to your space.

Getting rid of these items, you are not only freeing up space, but you are also on your way to living a clutter-free and simpler life. You will experience more freedom and the more you let go, the easier it gets.

Do you have any other items that you can think of, which I can add to the list? Feel free to comment below, would love to hear from you.

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Hello, Im Lone

Nice to meet you! I am a wife to an amazing husband, a mother to a very busy toddler, an online entrepreneur, and an “I am sure this can wait till tomorrow” type of homemaker. I like sunny days, building puzzles, and spending time outdoors with my family. Read more…

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