We are all busy and so tired at the end of the day. Whether we are busy with work, kids, or just life in general, it is easy to let the clutter in our house pile up. I’m going to share with you easy (or rather, lazy) ways we are all declutter (y)our home.
Fast and easy ways to declutter sounds like a trick, right?
I’m sharing with you how to declutter that it is at a level of good enough. I’m not going for model homes here haha. Just simple and small items that you can get rid of. If you want to start tackling the bigger items, you’ve got this!
Maybe you feel the same way as I do. I just want to look around the house and feel that it’s organized enough and see the floor or table (oops).
Let’s get into it.
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Here are 10 easy ways to declutter your home:
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1. Start with one drawer at a time (lesson from the Home Edit)
I have been reading this book called The Home Edit to help me get started with removing clutter and organizing my home. It’s a great book and have very beautiful and organization examples that can inspire you to get started too.
One of the main takeaways from this book is to start with one drawer at a time. It is small and manageable.
It is also hopefully easier to decide what you want to keep and throw away.
Before you decide that you want to declutter your entire home, start small with one drawer.
Thanks The Home Edit for this tip!
2. Paper and Flyers
Paper can be overwhelming when there is a lot of them all over the place. You do not need to get rid of all of them right away. Decide what is important to keep and what is good to throw away.
Let me tell you a story.
In one of my previous jobs, I had to help someone remove some of the documents left behind by a retiree. I kid you not, I could not see the guy’s desk from outside his cubicle. There were just so much paper and files everywhere. He just needed to keep every document.
When he retired, he just left them all behind.
We started looking through some of the documents he left behind.
It took some time to clear everything, however, we took it a day at a time. I was assigned an easy part as I was not familiar with this guy’s work. My task was to go through 2 or 3 drawers and find any documents or files from the 80s and 90s. I toss everything that was not labelled confidential.
It was so satisfying to toss and fill up the recycling bin with these papers.
So, you can start small and easy too.
Trust me, it is so satisfying to get rid of some of the papers and see that you have more space in your home.
If you have a lot of paper in your home, here are some easy ones to get rid of right away:
- Expired Flyers
- Expired Coupons
- Junk Mail
- Random pieces of paper with scribbles that has no context
- Torn wrapping paper
- Receipts where the ink dried off
- Paper that you don’t find useful in general (like you ask yourself, why do I have this?)
Here is a helpful post by The Spruce: How to get rid of paper clutter
3. Expired food & Mystery food
Another easy way to declutter your home is to get rid of expired and mysterious food and drinks.
Go into your pantry, fridge, table, counter top, and anywhere that has potential food in your home. Look at the expiration dates.
This is probably best done the day or few days before your garbage day (if you have one).
When we did this last month, we’re surprised to find what is expired (like last year!). If it’s expired or have mold, please throw them out.
Mysterious food in containers (with no labels or dates) should go in the bin too.
If you live with roommates, you might want to ask around before tossing food and drinks out.
4. Clothes that don’t fit or you haven’t worn in years
Clothing is an emotional item to get rid of.
Maybe we bought a dress that we want to work out and fit into, or we wore it once to so-and-so’s wedding. Clothing can make us feel polished or awful about ourselves.
I am not giving advice on fashion (not qualified and I’m wearing sweatpants right now as I’m typing this). Haha
Here is how I get rid of clothing (hopefully it helps you):
- Go to my closet
- Immediately decide what I don’t really like and put those clothing in a box for donation (I put this box outside of my room)
- Look for pieces that I have not worn in 2 to 3 years
- Hang those clothing in the guest bedroom closet (or you can put in another box)
In a few months, revisit the guest bedroom closet or the box that you have. If you don’t feel great about certain pieces, put them in the donation box. For the pieces that you missed and want to wear, move them back to your closet.
After a few months, we would donate the box of clothing when it is more or less full.
Try this process and see if it works for you.
Some people suggest that you get rid of clothing that you haven’t worn in a year. However, I was pregnant and then went on maternity leave. My body is different now than I was pregnant or on maternity leave. All these factors play into what I decide whether I still wear them or not, or keep them for a little longer.
You can make your own criteria and do what works best for you.
5. Toys that your kids grew out of
Our kids grow up so fast and the toys that they play with will change once in a while. You do not need that teether if your kid is 10.
Unless you are planning to have more kids, look through what you have.
You can decide if you want to go through them with your kid(s) or just do it by yourself. Donate or sell old toys or give them away to friends and family who have younger children.
Maybe keep one or two for memory (or grand kids), but not a room full of toys.
Yes, I’m a parent too and the toys have taken over my living room even after I put a box of toys away. How did that happen?
6. Old textbooks
Raise your hands if you have old textbooks from high school or university or college. Both of my hands are up!
I’ve been out of school for so long and what I realized is that they are no longer of value.
Searching for their value online to see if I could sell them was such a sad time. They are basically worth nothing though I paid a lot for them. The latest edition of my textbook is at double digits now.
Someone tell me why they are making so many changes to this textbook every. single. year.
Basically, if you have old textbooks like me, you have a few choices:
- Recycle them
- Donate them
- Reuse them for crafts or other purposes
- Style them on your book shelves or floating shelves
- Give it away
Getting rid of old textbooks is a quick way to declutter your home.
7. Expired make up or toiletries
Similarly to expired food, this is another easy way to declutter your home. You can look through your make up and toiletries to see which one is expired and toss them out.
I’m not sure about you but for us, we tend to gravitate towards our favorite products and only used them. Meanwhile, the other products that we bought to try or were gifted stay in the washroom cabinet for years!
I didn’t know that these things expire, but apparently they do. Be sure to look through the back of your washroom drawer or cabinet to check for expired products as well.
Just toss out the expired stuff, you can always purge the other unused products in your washroom later if you are up for it.
I found this rotating make up organizer that will help you organize your make up and products in the washroom in one place. It looks like a great idea and it is on my to-buy list. Hopefully now it is all in one place and everything would be easier to find.
8. Used baby bottles
We have quite a number of baby bottles that Baby K used and I didn’t know what to do with them.
So I kept them in a box.
I finally decided to search up what to do with them. Here are some suggestions of what to do with used baby bottles:
- Donate them to an animal shelter
- Reuse them as mini containers
- Recycle them if they have a recycle sign at the bottom
- Use them as bottles for your next child
My preferred choice is to donate them to an animal shelter so that they can use them. What about you? What did you do with your used baby bottles? I would love to know!
9. Regift gifts that you don’t want or use
Now I am okay with re-gifting gifts if I think someone else have a better use of the gift than I do. Maybe you are too, or you are not.
Instead of having certain gifts sitting in my home and for me to wonder when am I ever going to use this gift, I try to think of who would appreciate this more than I do. Or, I save it for the next Christmas time and have it ready as a stand-by gift.
You know, the one where someone gives you a gift unexpectedly and you want to give back a gift to them, but don’t know what to give. Use your stand-by gift.
If it makes you feel any better, you can tell the person that it was gifted to you but you think that they will appreciate it more.
10. Build confidence before decluttering your entire home
Start with these easy and small things to get rid of before you start cleaning and declutter your entire home. Know that it takes time, however, you’ll feel refreshed after it’s done.
When you feel great about your space becoming more organized with less clutter, you will start to build the confidence to clean up and tidy your house one day at a time.
Remember that it is about the small wins.
We can relapse to having clutter again (maybe it’s not us, but the kids!). It is okay. Just start the process again and take it one drawer or one space at a time.
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