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Know the feeling of having last minute guests over only to panic and frantically run around the house hiding things, throwing things into unusual places, and moving furniture to cover the clutter?
You truly hope no-one notices the odd LEGO brick lying around, the cookbooks bulging out of the junk drawer and the kid’s toys hanging out from their plastic tub. It’s the house-keeping equivalent of being caught with your pants down.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution. A speed cleaning decluttering session for your entire home, featuring over 50 things you can declutter from your home right this minute.
The Big List of Things No-one Has Any Business Keeping
1. Cookbooks you promised you would try and never did (Yes, I’m looking at that Pegan Diet Cookbook on your shelf).
2. Pillows and scatter cushions you removed from the bed 5 years ago hoping that their ‘color’ will come into fashion at some point in the next decade.
3. Unnecessary paperwork and receipts (your work dinners included). Create an Excel Finance Spreadsheet and recycle all that paper.
4. Tubes of old, old lotion and cosmetics.
5. Printed photo duplicates and outtakes.
6. Those expensive jeans you haven’t fit into since 2009.
7. Pampered pet supplies (bowls in extra colors, leashes too small, and all of the extra stuff your pet has no idea you bought for them, let alone uses).
8. Chipped mugs that are ”otherwise perfectly fine”. Repair or get rid. Unless it’s your favourite, then you can hide it at the back of the cupboard.
9. All those dusty jigsaws and puzzles you keep for rainy day activities, but even when it rains, you do everything bar them.
10. Takeout menus you keep even though you know your order off by heart (psst, menus are online now!).
11. Stuffed kids toys your kids haven’t played with or wanted for months and months on end.
12. Jewellery you like so much you let your toddler play (read: destroy) it.
13. Clothes you’re holding onto that in reality you haven’t worn in years, and don’t have anything that matches.
14. Books you’ve read and now want to give a good home. Libraries and charities love donations if you’re feeling charitable!
15. Magazines that are taking up valuable space on your coffee table (we’re talking space for more coffee in case that wasn’t clear).
16. Cassette and CD mix tapes. Do you even have a player for these? Take a pic for the grandkids and get rid. (Maybe keep one or two for old times sake).
17. Your old mobile phones. I know they’re in your ‘junk’ drawer.
18. That tangled mess of cables and wires you promise you will ‘sort through one day’. Today is that day.
19. Old table sheets with those stains on.
20. Old ‘table sheets’ and ‘bed linens’ you promise to use for painting, but never do. Seriously, get rid of those table sheets.
21. VHS Tapes.
22. Lightbulbs that have blown (you’d be surprised how many of these are laying around).
23. Baby items that have been recalled.
24. Baby clothes and items your 7 year old no longer fits into (I know, I know, you’re keeping them for your next baby…but are you really going to have that last baby?)
25. Old toothbrushes. Eww.
26. ‘One-Use’ Themed party decorations. Chances are you won’t use them next year. No, really. Americans alone spend $3.4 billion on Halloween decorations EVERY. YEAR.
27. Themed party costumes you really don’t want to be seen in for the 3rd time in a row.
28. Random office supplies. I know stationary addicts, it’s hard, but it’s a necessary sacrifice. You don’t truly need all those pens and post-it notes *cries internally*
29. Swimwear you don’t feel awesome wearing.
30. Useless kitchen gadgets. Curse you TV adverts and clever marketing schemes. That automatic veggie peeler? More like an automatic ‘never’ peeler.
31. Holey socks you’re keeping to clean the TV screen. Do yourself a favour, and get this clever home dusting kit instead.
32. Old cameras with like a 0.5 Megapixel range.
33. Expired medications. Definitely don’t keep. Not safe. Dispose of according to your country’s regulations.
34. Old chemical cleaning supplies you would never touch with a ten foot barge pole.
35. Teddy Bears you’re hoping will be valuable one day *fingers crossed*. Donate soft toys to a kid’s home or a charity shop. They will be ‘beary’ happy to see you!
36. Half-empty, lid crusted toiletries.
37. The kid clothes your mother gifted to you (even though you’re in your thirties).
38. Those Disney mouse ears and refillable popcorn bucket you always forget to take to theme parks with you.
39. Unfinished Pinterest craft projects.
40. All those unmemorable souvenirs from every state you’ve ever visited. Frame the photos and ditch the cheap $1 souvs.
41. Expired coupons for when you were inspired by the $1000s of free groceries in ‘Extreme Couponing’.
42. Expired food. Not safe for you or your family.
43. Candles you don’t like the smell of. Burning those would be the opposite of relaxing.
44. Bottles of perfume you no longer wear.
45. Orphan socks that have been in the orphaned sock basket for 3 years.
46. All those water bottles you bought because of your New Year’s Resolution to go ‘jogging more’…(we hate jogging too).
47. Gift baskets our ‘well-meaning friends, family and acquaintances bought us, but we really have no idea what to do with so stay in the bathroom cupboard’. Yeah, those gift baskets.
48. Empty packages from products. Recycle and say goodbye!
49. Excess plastic containers, especially the ones stained blood red from that time you took spaghetti to the office.
50. Worn out, bacteria filled flannels, sponges and cloths. Yuck.
51. DVDs you’ve watched but can’t remember actually watching (oh well, couldn’t have been that good)…
52. Anything you’re tired of dusting *insert whole house here*.
53. Repair parts for things you no longer own. Still in use? Make some money! Sell them.
54. That can of old, crusty, cracked paint.
55. Phone books…when was the last time you used them?
56. Old and Broken electronics.
57. Skin piercing LEGO bits that don’t have a home. Ever stepped on one of these? Ouch.
The Ruthless Decluttering Approach
You may not relate to every single thing on the list, but we hope we’ve at least inspired some similar thoughts of things you can declutter.
The idea is to be super honest and real with yourself about what you need to hang onto. Once you’re less lenient on yourself and become more ruthless, you’ll see your clutter whittle down in no time.
Oh and to avoid arguments and tantrums, make sure to consult other people in your house before throwing something of theirs away!
What Should I Do With My Items Once I’ve Decluttered?
As always we recommend donating as much as you can. Charities, libraries, local homeless shelters – all of these organisations appreciate donations. It’s so much better than throwing everything on the landfill.