10 Things to Get Rid of Today to Combat Clutter
If we’re being totally honest, the majority of people have too much stuff in their homes. From gadgets in the kitchen, to the baby gear and kid’s toys that have taken over, we live in a world where we’re told what we need and when we need it. And the blessing and curse is that things are so easy to get our hands on, which means they accumulate quickly if we’re not careful.
No judgement here! I’m completely guilty of this as well. I’m just happy you’re here and hope that we can tackle the clutter together. Whether you’re looking for a major home organization overhaul or a routine declutter, I encourage you to start right where you’re at. Take drawers one at a time and begin to get rid of the things you haven’t used in years or aren’t serving a purpose.
To get the organization juices flowing, here is a list of 10 things to get rid of that will simplify your space and help tidy your home.
1. Appliance & device boxes
Apple Watch box, iPhone boxes, iPad boxes, Air Fryer packaging, the list goes on and on. Why do we save these? Some would argue that if you decide to sell old devices someday there’s a benefit to keeping the box. I disagree. I’ve resold phones in the past and have earned just as much money without the box. Are you really going to go to the trouble of selling your old phone? Maybe. But in the meantime, these bulky items are taking up valuable real estate in your closet or storage area.
The exception to this rule is TV boxes. I always save TV boxes. In the event of a move or need to relocate, these specially fit boxes are needed to easily and safely move your TV.
2. Excess coffee mugs
If you have to pick your two or three favorite coffee mugs, it would be easy, right? If you’re like me, I gravitate to the same mugs morning after morning. I’ve worked with clients before who have (literally) dozens of mugs and can’t seem to part with them. Here’s a little tough love: I get the dilemma, they can be sentimental, but you can either have the space or the stuff. Not both. So choose a handful to keep, then donate the ones gathering dust at the back of the cabinet to someone who will love them and put them to good use. Sarcastic organizer comment: I don’t believe that you have 25 guests staying in your home at the same time and will need them all.
It’s amazing how many vases accumulated in my kitchen cabinets over the years. When I decluttered, I didn’t realize there were 15 various shapes and sizes taking up valuable space. Vases are something you should absolutely donate after the flowers from the florist have wilted away. Save 2-3 favorites at the most. The reality is you'll never use the rest.
4. Expired spices & pantry goods
This one is pretty self explanatory. Anything expired needs to go. While old spices won’t necessarily hurt you, they lose their vigor over time and your dishes will begin to lack flavor. Instead, throw out anything past its expiration date and make a list of the spices that need to be replenished or replaced.
5. Mismatched tupperware
If your tupperware is missing the lid, toss it! Take everything out of your drawer and store it together with the lid. Sometimes you need a fresh start altogether. If your tupperware is warped, stained, cracked, or tired-looking, grab a new, uniform set to maximize the storage space.
6. Kitchen gadgets
Do you know what works in place of a "Butter Boy Corn Butterer" (look it up), Ratcheting Pineapple Slicer, and avocado masher? A knife and a spoon. Is your mind blown? Gimmicky kitchen gadgets must go. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again - you can have the space or you can have the stuff, not both.
If you find yourself repeatedly moving a gadget to reach something else in your drawer, they’re not saving you time. Donate them!
7. Restaurant condiments & packaged cutlery
Enough said here. The packaged cutlery and condiments from your take-out order need to go in the trash if you didn’t use them with the meal you ordered. If you need disposable cutlery, grab it from a box in your pantry. The packaged carry-out sets take up valuable space and clutter your drawers.
8. Happy Meal toys
Nothing drives me more insane than Happy Meal toys. Is it shameful that we accumulate so many? Absolutely, but kid’s activities are in full-swing and sometimes dinner-on-the-go is our reality. My rule of thumb is to let the kids enjoy them for 24-48 hours, then toss or donate them. With all the toys they have, these are cheap and serve their purpose quickly. After that, they just become clutter.
9. Cardboard packaging
I’m a huge proponent of ditching the packaging in your home. From toilet paper and paper towel plastic to cereal boxes and pantry goods, swap out the cardboard packaging and decant with glass or plastic containers. Clear, acrylic containers are my go-to along with baskets and bins for containing the visual clutter. Not only will containers streamline the look of your space, you’ll be able to save time finding what you need and make grocery prep a breeze. Seeing exactly how much you have remaining tells you when you need to add it to your shopping list.
10. Paper & artwork
Hear me out here. I’m going to be as delicate with this subject as I possibly can be so you don’t think I’m a monster. The reality is that you can’t save every piece of paper or artwork that your child brings home. What you can do is save your favorite, most special pieces. Organize those precious works in a container sorted by age or grade level. Not only will you be able to streamline and organize your child’s most special artwork, you’ll also give them the gift of time by not having to sort through it all someday themselves.
My mom did this for me when I was little and I’ve never wished she would’ve saved more. By giving your child samples of special pieces, they’ll be able to look back and remember what they worked on in school and know you treasured their very best. What a gift! I started offering Milestone Boxes as a way to functionally and beautifully organize kid’s artwork. Shop them here!
Pro Tip: Store kid’s artwork in folders vertically rather than laying them flat. Tossing them loosely in a box means they’ll be lost and (likely) never looked at.
Need some help getting started? Contact the professional organizers at Simplified Kansas City to help you get started. We're located in Overland Park, Kansas and are 100% judgement-free. Our team will meet you where you're at led by Organizer Emily Wimer to help you get started. All you need to do is setup a consultation to get off and running and step up your organization game!