When I’m feeling overwhelmed with stuff (like, at the end of a loooooooong winter for example), there’s five go-to items in my home I can quickly declutter that instantly give me room to breathe. Of course, you may not have the same hoarding issues as me but if you do here’s a few things you can clear out in under an hour (total!) that will get you to a fresher, more spacious home almost instantly. So go grab some bags and let’s get decluttering!
1. Donate Wire Hangers
Most dry cleaners actually accept these for recycling, so if you have some piling up then grab a bag and donate them! It’s better to use sturdier hangers anyways, so also consider replacing wire hangers with higher end styles to extend the life of your clothes.
2. Recycle Plastic Bags & Cardboard
I try to use reusable bags, I REALLY DO, but every few months the pile of plastic starts to literally hang over my head as I continue stuffing them into my straining bag holder. Most grocery stores have a box where you can recycle plastic bags. Recycling them not only helps out the earth but also buys you extra space and piece of mind.
Another hoarding issue I have is with cardboard boxes. It’s like I’m afraid I’ll suddenly need to move. I also hang onto my kid’s shoe boxes, which either harkens back to my teacher days when we used them in the classroom or my unreasonable attachment to those teeny tiny shoes. It always frees up tons of space when I tear down my cardboard and recycle it– even if I do shed a tear or two at those adorable shoe boxes.
3. Tear Out & Recycle Magazines
We’ve been trying to go digital with our magazines but it’s a slow process. Plus I’ll admit it’s hard to read a magazine online while taking a bath. Not that I’ve tried. Probably. Anyways, I set aside about an hour every few months to go through my (ridiculous) pile and tear out the pages I want. Most magazines have their content and recipes online nowaways, so I can go online and pin them. If I can’t find it online, I’ll either save it in a binder or tack it up to my enormous bulletin board as an idea for inspiration. The rest of the magazines get recycled.
4. Donate Outgrown/Unloved Clothing
In each of my kids’ closets I have a bin just for outgrown clothes which makes decluttering them a cinch, but when I’m really in a frenzy I can always find more clothes to add. Did you use the hanger trick in my closet organization post? If so, go through and find those backward hangers. Most likely they belong to clothing you can donate. Take a quick peek into kids closets and dresser drawers, and I bet you’ll find a few things that won’t fit them anymore. BOOM– you have a bag of clothes to donate or hand down!
5. Toss Expired Food
Do you go through your pantry and fridge methodically each week to locate expired food and throw it away? Neither do I. I try to keep everything fresh but unless I pull it all out and look at every label I always miss some containers. Do this quickly by pulling out all the cans/ boxes/ etc. from an area, check the dates, and either put them back or toss them out as you replace them in the cabinet or fridge. No judgments, but if you’re like me you’re likely to find more than expected. 😉
Also, if I find food that ISN’T expired but I’m unlikely to make (when I switched to gluten free, for example) I gather up a bag and donate it to the food bank. This goes for UNUSED personal items too– if you’re a bargain shopper you may pick up items like shampoo and toothpaste for free– might as well declutter and donate the extras so it can go to a good place at the same time. WIN-WIN, am I right?
If you don’t have the same
hoarding issues areas of clutter, here’s a few more that you can usually use a quick “weeding” instead:
- kitchen utensils
- expired medicine
- expired beauty products or unwanted samples
- paint cans
- craft supplies.
Now that you’ve cleared them out, make sure to immediately hop in the car and dispose of them! Don’t let empty bags and boxes take up physical (and mental) room in your home. It’s not worth it!
If you’re into decluttering, here’s a few more posts you’ll adore:
If you can’t decide whether something stays or goes, here’s a mantra to get you closer to a decluttered home:
Those are my top 5 quick clutter busters. How about you? What are your top 5 areas that you can quickly declutter?