You knew your clutter wasn’t going to disappear overnight but it feels like you’ve been chipping away at it forever. You’re starting to feel seriously demotivated so you want big results in as little time as possible. Well, you’re in luck, because you can declutter at least 100 items from your home in less than an hour.
You’re a busy person, but the slow and steady approach just isn’t cutting it anymore when it comes to decluttering. It feels like for every one thing you say goodbye to, two more sneak in to take its place. You want to get rid of a huge amount in one fell swoop, without needing an entire day to do it. (Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
What you need is an easy way to quickly eliminate at least 100 things from your life, leaving your home with a bit more breathing space and you with a deep sense of satisfaction.
Declutter 100 Items From Your Home
Here’s how it works: choose 10 items to declutter from each of the 10 categories below. Each category should take less than 5 minutes to complete. We’re talking quick and dirty style. No humming or hawing – just get in, grab the junk, and get out.
You can either dive in every time you have a few spare minutes, or you can knock them all out in one go.
Grab a bin or black sack and let’s get started.
Discard anything ripped, stained, or with holes that shouldn’t be there. Ditto anything that no longer fits or flatters. Do the same with uncomfortable shoes, underwear that’s past its prime, and tights that are stretched and saggy.
Have a root through your jewellery box too and remove anything broken or any earrings that lost their mate long ago. You can also dump or donate any excess clothes hangers (especially that fancy one you bought for your scarves when, realistically, you’re still rolling them up in a ball and dumping them in a basket).
Now’s not the time to be agonising over expensive items either. No matter what way you slice it, you’re not wearing it and the money’s gone.
If you’re stuck on an item, leave it and move on. We’re here for the quick wins.
Raid your fridge, freezer, kitchen cupboards, and pantry. Dump any expired food, anything mouldy or with a funny smell, bulging tins, sour milk, freezer burnt food, anything unidentifiable, those spices you bought for that one dish you tried and then never made again, anything you know you just plain won’t eat…
For anything still edible, pop it in a box and drop it off at a local food bank or homeless shelter. That way it’s less like (painful) decluttering and more like (saintly) donating.
Even though we do so many things digitally these days, paper clutter still seems to be a big problem. Here are some examples of papers you probably have lying around your home you can happily get rid of:
If this is an area you struggle with, I wrote an entire post on paper clutter, with top tips on how to get rid of it and make sure it stays gone for good.
4. Toys & Games
Don’t think this section doesn’t apply to you if you don’t have kids, because chances are you have a console or a stack of board games stashed away somewhere, or at least a deck of cards.
Get rid of anything broken or with missing pieces. If you don’t use it or love it, let it go. Check the quality of “perishable” items like paints and play dough, and dump anything that’s dried up. And let’s face it, you’ll have a few games that have been played or puzzles that have been completed that you’re not going to go back to. You can part with those. And what’s the point in keeping that old games console when you’ve got the new one? Someone else would be excited to have it.
If they’re still in good nick, donate them or try sell them online or to a games shop that stocks second-hand items.
5. Linens, Cloths, Etc.
We’ve all got a few ratty old towels and rags lying around. Now’s the time to part ways. Here are some other things you can get rid of while you’re at it:
No matter the condition, a local animal shelter would love them.
Make-up, toiletries, and cleaning supplies – you know you have more than you need or use. You probably have a few bottles whose contents you can’t identify, sponges that are so ratty they look more like swiss cheese, loofahs and scrubbers that have seen better days, and eyeshadows you wore in your teens. It’s time to let them go, along with any mascaras or lipsticks you can’t even remember opening (think of the bacteria!), free samples, and anything you don’t like the look/smell/feel of. If you’re not using it, gift yourself the extra space.
7. Reading, watching, & listening items
We all have books we’d like to believe we’ll read someday but, the reality is, if we haven’t made a start on it in the year we’ve had it, it’s OK to let it go, along with the guilt we subconsciously feel each time we see it. And don’t forget that stash of old newspapers and magazines you’ve been storing. If you’re not willing to cut that recipe or knitting pattern out right now, then let it go.
And are you really going to listen to that CD or watch that DVD again? Do you even have a DVD player? Chances are, you can easily find a digital copy, if you don’t already have it.
And I know you spent a lot of time and money amassing that collection of VHS tapes but what good is it to you? Say a fond farewell and set them (and yourself) free.
8. Cooking & Eating Utensils
It’s probably safe to say you have something that’s surplus to requirements in this category. Broken whisks and tin openers, splintered wooden spoons, blunt knives you’ve no intention of sharpening (contact your local authority about how to safely dispose of these), more mugs than there are days in a month, a collection of chopsticks you’ve been hoarding since the turn of the century… Go through the drawers and caddies in your kitchen and you’ll find a few items that really shouldn’t be taking up valuable real estate.
You can also include small appliances here too, if you like – blenders, mixers, scales, meat thermometers, etc.
9. Decorative Items
You’ve probably become blind to how many random knick knacks are lying around your house, forcing you to do more dusting than is necessary, and getting in the way of all the truly important things. Here are some items you don’t need:
If you’re afraid you’ll forget a particular moment because you’ve dumped the memorabilia, snap a picture and then send the item on its way. Memories are in your head and heart, not in things.
This is a bit of a bonus round where you can pick up 10 extra items that bug you and dump them in the bin or the donation box. If you have:
... Now’s the time to bin them.
Aaaand… you’re done! You should now have 2 or more black sacks of crap about to leave your house for good. Doesn’t that feel great?!
If you’re still on a roll and you want to keep the momentum going, do it! Dive back in and see what else can be dumped. Or if you’re done for the day, give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back for a job well done. Either way, take a few moments to appreciate all that extra space, and rejoice in the fact that you’ve just cut down on the amount of cleaning you have to do from now on!
What’s the first thing you’re going to bin?