Have you made the decision to pull up you’re big girl panties and get on with decluttering your house? Are you overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Well, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten, no brainer, things you can’t painlessly declutter right now. So lets do this!
- Paper; Get rid or the restaurant menus, expired coupons and offers and old catalogues. Say good bye to the stacks of magazines. These items may have held interest at one time, but in this age or digital information they only collect dust and take up space. Paper is a fire hazard and we have so much of it flowing into our homes. I never let “junk mail” come further into my home than the recycling box.
- Personal paperwork, bills, financial reports, banking reports; You can toss anything older than a year, unless you have a business in which case you’ll want to keep seven years worth of investment statements. For Income tax records, canada.ca says six years, but I keep seven just in case. Anything more than that clutters your filing cabinet. For extra credit, why not make all your bills and banking info paperless, you can even keep your income tax paperwork digitally now. Get rid of paper files all together. This is a picture of my filing system. It contains everything that must be kept in paper form, everything else is digitally filed. My next big project is to scan all that stuff into digital format and get rid of the paper.
- Kitchen gadgets; In reality you will use very few basic gadgets in your kitchen. Take a look at that gadget inventory of yours and ask yourself, when was the last you used that Slap chopper, Yonanas, or spiral apple peeler. What about the sandwich press? We are conditioned to want all the new sparkly gadgets yet we consistently use our old faithful tools. Personally I don’t see the need for more than a good food processor and blender. Get rid of what you don’t use and clear out some cupboard space.
- Other Kitchen crap; While your at it, get rid of the miss matched food storage containers, old stinky dish clothes (In reality we only need four or five), expired spices (Yes they do actually expire, who knew?), crappy movie theatre glasses and all those travel coffee mugs shoved into the darkest recesses of your cupboard. Keep one good mug for each family member and call it done. Don’t forget all those teas you will never drink and expired canned food.
- Bathroom; How many curling/flattening irons do you have? How many do you use? Get rid of the rest. Since you are now peering into your dark hole of hair styling stuff say goodbye to the old styling products you tried once and hated, the tangled elastics with hair wound around them and the hair clips from the 90s that were only really supposed to be used by hair stylists. You all know what I’m talking about and you all have a secret stash. Now let’s talk makeup, Personally, I don’t wear much, so generally I can almost guarantee that once I’ve used my makeup, it will go bad before I use it again. But for those of you who use it frequently, Good Housekeeping posted this article on when to toss it. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/makeup/tips/a17714/expired-beauty-products/
- Bedroom; Toss out the old, worn sheets. You only need two sets, one in the wash and one on the bed. Keep the best ones and toss the rest. Resist the temptation to keep a set for when one of the other sets wear out. Unless you are having lots of rough, kinky sex it will take a couple of years for a good set of sheets to wear out, and if they wear out sooner, you are one lucky lady. Celebrate with new sheets!
- Underwear drawer; Stains? Gone. Rips? Gone. Loose waistbands? Gone. You know those pairs that are in the back of the drawer because they are so uncomfortable to wear that you haven’t even given them a chance to break in? Gone. Same goes for the bras.
- Socks; All the singles, holes, stains and stretched out elastic, Gone! Oh and get rid of all those footie sports socks that slip off your ankle and drive you nuts.
- Books; You know that book shelf bowing under the weight of read and unread books, give it a much needed rest. If you’ve read the book, set it free. One exception here are those books you’ve read, and re-read so many times it looks like you’ve slept, made love to it and dragged it on every holiday and trip you’ve gone on. Something that loved, should never be discarded. If you have a book you keep putting off until after latest literary love, you will never read it. Therefore, Gone!
- A/V and Computer equipment; How many thumb drives do you have, how many can one reasonable computer geek use? Try to cut them down to half. Or better yet invest in some cloud storage. Ok all those cords that belong to…. wait! You can’t remember what those cords belong to? Get rid of them. If they were important they would have already been attached to something you currently use. Got any broken or out of date VCRs, DVD players, TVs? Gone! VHS tapes are so 1980’s, let them go! They will never come back into style. What about all those super cheep disposable printers you get for free with the purchase of computers or devices. They are just taking up space. Most house holds will only use one printer anyway.
Don’t let the act of decluttering discourage you. All you need to do is take that first step. Tackle that first room or thing. You will start to see immediate results that will fuel you into further action. You may even find that the act of decluttering will liberate and excite you. Why not start today!