14 Effortless Things to Declutter Without Thinking Twice


Out with the old! It’s time to declutter!

While it can be challenging to let go of prized possessions, few experiences are more satisfying than throwing away junk you don’t need. Believe us…you’ll NEVER use that shiny Apple box you stashed away somewhere.

And it’s better off recycled than sitting in the back of your closet. And no, you’re never going to reread those old issues of Cosmo. Let them go! So if you’re finally ready to start decluttering your home, we have you covered.

And the best part? We won’t be telling you to spend hours under piles of boxes and trash bags. We have an easier system that will feel effortless. Getting rid of a few small things at a time will give you a sense of calm and relief that might have been missing from your life.

From useless utensils to impractical products, consider this list of 14 items that are worth decluttering and parting ways with.

Photo by iravgustin at Shutterstock

Extra Cooking Utensils

Even if your cooking utensils drawer is overflowing, it’s hard to track which pieces you use on a regular basis. Declutter and throw away any that are chipped or have peeling plastic. Now, here’s a brilliant tip: Put the rest into a box and leave it on your kitchen counter.

As you the utensils, put them back in their original home in your drawer after you finish cooking. After a week, if there’s anything left in that box on the counter, there’s probably a good reason. You should chuck it!

Hardware And Extra Parts

We recommend taking a few minutes to organize and sort out your collection of extra bits and pieces to get down to the nuts and bolts of your hardware collection.

Throw out spare parts to machines you don’t have anymore, toss the Allen wrenches or any other tools that came with your assemble-yourself furniture, and throw out anything that’s rusted.

Once you’ve decluttered and have an orderly stash to draw from, you’ll find that your fix-its will be quicker and easier.

Instruction Manuals

Most manufacturers put their user’s instruction manuals online nowadays. So you really don’t need that insane pile in your junk drawer. You can download any manuals you might need for your appliances and store them in a folder on your computer, then declutter and throw away that stack of paper manuals into the recycling bin.

Extras From Fast Food Purchases

If you tend to get takeout a lot, the leftover plastic forks, condiments, and straws from your orders tend to pile up. And we all know that most of the time, they turn into unwrapped straws or scrunched-up napkins.

We recommend limiting yourself by keeping only a few packets of soy sauce in the kitchen or a couple of napkins in your car. And if you don’t intend to use them when you order something, ask the cashier to hold the plasticware so you don’t have to declutter your home later on.

Plastic Containers

Plastic containers come in handy when you have leftovers. But do you really need a whole kitchen cabinet full of them? Don’t even get us started on all those mismatched lids! You should match the tops and bottoms and recycle the strays.

Even though it’s a good idea to keep a few plastic containers around so you can store that last piece of chicken or send some leftovers home with your guests, buy a set of glass containers instead. They’ll repel odors and stains, and they’ll also last you much longer.

Old Papers And Notes

You probably have a stash of scribbled-down notes, phone numbers, and random ideas for planning a trip or event. All those little details we gather during our “planning stages” feel so necessary. At the moment, you swear you need ALL that scribble on all those little notes.

But the truth is, when your event or trip is over, most of this information will be old news. So let’s begin the decluttering process. Go through the pile, glance the information over in case there’s something truly important in there, and toss the rest in the trash.

Vital phone numbers or addresses can go in your phone, and a memory-filled item can go in a scrapbook or be scanned for a digital album.

Photo by New Africa at Shutterstock

Water Bottles

Between tumblers with straws, smoothie bottles, regular water bottles, and thermoses, those containers really do take up a lot of cupboard space. You should trim it down to just the water bottles and travel mugs that you use regularly.

Hold on to the one that fits your cup holder and yoga bag, and let the rest go.

Gifts That Missed the Mark

As much as we appreciate other people’s generosity, we don’t need to hold on to every scented candle or monogrammed towel we receive as a gift.

Relish the sentiment that someone thought of you and got you a gift, and then declutter by donating them to a local donation center or thrift store.

Old Phone Chargers

As nostalgic as many of us are, we’ve got sad news for you…You’ll never need to charge your Motorola Razr from 2004 ever again! We live in the smartphone era now. So it’s time you declutter by chucking all those old chargers in the bin.

Spices And Herbs

Knowing when to throw out sour milk or soggy greens is easy, right? Well, did you know that you may be keeping your spices and herbs too long? They won’t technically expire because they’ll make you feel unwell. But they’ll eventually lose their potency and flavor.

To know for sure, grab a bit of the herb or spice and crush it between your fingertips. If it doesn’t have a scent, it won’t have any flavor, either. That’s how you know it’s time to toss it in the trash.

Expired Coupons

Have you used any of those coupons lately? Sadly, most of them are probably expired. Take a look through your coupon book, or even better, just throw it out and begin again.

Old Makeup

Your best bet is to throw away mascara after 3 months and products containing SPF after about 6. For everything else you have in your makeup bag, throwing away everything after about a year is a good rule of thumb.

Using expired makeup won’t necessarily cause you too much harm. But it COULD cause rashes or blemishes. We recommend writing the date you opened it on the product. You should also declutter and throw away products if they change color, consistency, or scent.

Photo by Creavist at Shutterstock

Broken Furniture

Do you have an old wicker chair that needs to be rewoven? WILL you actually get to it? If an old piece of furniture you keep meaning to redo has been taking up space for over a year, it’s time to part with it. You can post it on Craigslist under “free stuff” or donate it to charity.

You might be shocked to see how much space your basement or garage has to offer all of a sudden.

Plastic Shopping Bags

We understand that those reusable grocery bags can come in handy. However, that doesn’t mean you should start hoarding them. Think about how many you will actually use in a week. Add a couple more if you want to play it safe…And declutter by getting rid of the rest!

The most important aspect to keep in mind is that you don’t have to declutter all these things at once. Take your time, getting rid of a little bit each day so as to not get overwhelmed.

And if you enjoyed reading about the best ways to declutter, we’ve got many more helpful tips and tricks. Check out: 16 Things in Your Home You Don’t Clean but Should ASAP

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