It’s the time of year for travel. Whether you’re going on vacation or having a little staycation, here’s what to declutter in August.
These 10 items will get you closer to a clutter free home, and free up serious space on your shelves.
Bonus: Your next trip will be so much smoother.
What to declutter in August
1. Suitcases & travel bags
As you grow older you upgrade your luggage – bigger sizes, better quality… But you always keep the old ones “just in case” (no pun intended).
How many suitcases, carry-on bags, backpacks, toiletries bags, etc do you truly need?
Donate the excess and let someone else benefit from you unburdening yourself.
A great way to do this is to fill one up with items to be donated – maybe from the rest of this list – and then drop the whole lot off together.
Think of all the extra space you’ll save just by getting rid of one or two cases!
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2. beach cover-ups
Kaftans, sarongs, shawls… They’re delicate and flimsy and only worn a few times a year, if even.
You deserve to feel your best at the beach (or by the pool) so declutter the ones that don’t suit you, that aren’t in good condition, or that are surplus to requirements.
3. hats & sunglasses
A lot of these are picked up inexpensively on sun holidays and then rarely see the light of day again.
And I get it – they’re easily damaged or lost (so long, blue sunglasses) so you don’t want to splash out on quality ones.
But neither do you need to buy a new one for each trip.
Stick to the ones that you like and that actually suit you, and set the rest free.
4. travel id & documents
First things first, check the expiry dates.
If you no longer need it, you can go ahead and (safely) dispose of it. (We were able to get rid of a lot of our visa documentation when our green cards came through.)
If you do still need to keep it, go ahead and fill out that renewal application.
Or if you realise you’re missing something, now’s a good time to track it down or order a new one.
And here’s a top tip: Keep all your travel documents, including your passport, in one place. I keep mine in a large plastic envelope, making it much easier to grab and go.
5. laundry supplies
One of the worst things about traveling is all the packing and unpacking. No-one wants to face into Mount Washmore when they return from a trip, so let’s make things a little easier.
Declutter all but your most used laundry supplies so you can streamline the whole process.
Then take the time now to clear away the piles of clothes that need washing, drying, folding, or ironing. When you come home with a full case of dirty clothes and can throw them straight into the machine, with no backed up piles of laundry, you’ll be extremely grateful.
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I use Grove for all my ‘green’ cleaning needs, including laundry supplies. If you’re new to them, you can use my referral link to grab a free cleaning set with your first order. (It’s seriously impressive.)
6. Beach towels & bags
As with hats and sunglasses, these can be cute and inexpensive… A dangerous combination when you’re trying to curb your clutter.
Whittle down to the ones you actually need and use, and declutter the rest.
7. foreign currency
You’ve probably got some foreign coins or bills you brought back from a previous trip. You thought you’d use them again next time you traveled there but now they’re just collecting dust.
Exchange them or donate them.
Or, if you truly intend to use them on your next trip, put them with your passport or in your suitcase so you don’t forget them.
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No-one wants to return home to mouldy bread and sour milk.
This is a great category to practice some natural decluttering – using stuff up.
Before you leave for your trip, make a concerted effort to use up anything that would go bad before you get back.
No food wastage, and space for all the groceries you’ll buy on your return.
Bonus tip: Make a quick list now of all the immediate things you’ll need when you get back, like milk for your coffee, or bread for your morning toast. That way you’ll know exactly what to grab from the store without needing to do a full shop straight away.
Or you could always place an order and have it delivered on the day you get back.
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We’ve all brought back small mementoes from previous trips. The trouble is, they’re usually junk.
And then the truly special things get eclipsed by postcards, mugs, keychains, and magnets.
If they’re not treasured items, it’s time to say goodbye.
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10. holiday photos
When you’re on holiday, everything is new and exciting. You snap photos of blue skies, beautiful buildings, and a view of your legs as you look out over the sea.
It’s wonderful to capture the magic.
But the truth is, when enough time has passed, you won’t remember where or why you took certain photos, or you’ll have duplicates of the same thing.
Choose a trip you took a few years ago and delete all the photos from it that don’t elicit the same excited feeling.
(A tiny caveat here: Think twice before deleting a photo of yourself just because you don’t think you look good in it. A few more years will soften your self criticism, and you’ll be glad you have pictures of what you looked like “way back when” to show your grandkids.)
RELATED: DECLUTTERING DIGITAL PHOTOS
I can’t promise to take ALL the stress out of traveling (if only!) but if you’re looking for some top tips to ease the headache of your next trip, watch this video:
And if you’re ready to take your decluttering to the next level, join the free 30-day challenge. Each day for a month you’ll receive a prompt for something to declutter in 5 minutes or less.
It’s a great way to kickstart (or ramp up) your clutter-free journey.