You’re ready to start the new year with a clean slate so it’s time for a clutter clear-out. But how do you know what to declutter?
Well, I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you.
Bid farewell to these 10 things so they don’t burden you for the rest of the year.
What to declutter in January
1. unwanted or 'leftover' gifts
Maybe you received something that doesn’t spark joy. Or you may have purchased some “just in case” gifts that you never ended up giving to anyone.
(Looking at you, bath and shower set.)
Don’t let them take up space in your home for the rest of the year.
2. Old or outdated devices
If you were lucky enough to receive an upgrade this past holiday season, don’t continue to store the old version.
Unless you truly have a use for it, give it a second chance at life by donating or recycling it.
(Remember to send all the cables, manuals, and accessories on their merry way too.)
3. Christmas decorations
Before you store them all away for another year, decide whether some can be decluttered.
Maybe they’re in poor condition, or they don’t fit your style anymore.
Or maybe they never even made it out of the storage box to begin with.
Make next year’s decorating job easier by whittling down the amount of stuff you have to drag out.
4. fun festive items
Seasonal stuff can really stack up – Christmas jumpers and pyjamas, Santa hats and centrepieces, festive tea towels and napkins…
And let’s face it, holiday items are usually poor quality. They’re more about the fun and less about the function.
Don’t suffer through another season of sad table settings or cheap trinkets. If they’re not pretty AND practical, it’s probably time to part ways.
5. holiday themed software
Before you skip this section thinking it doesn’t apply to you, have a look at the following list:
If you’re anything like me, space is at a premium on your phone and you can’t afford to save things that you only use once a year.
Delete them and, while you’re at it, clear your cookies and cache so those sites and apps can’t continue to track you across the internet.
6. Leftover food
The excess of the season often extends to food too. This is particularly the case if you’re hosting a holiday meal or having a festive party.
You probably erred on the side of abundance when doing the grocery shopping, or had to buy extra ingredients for a recipe, and now you’re left with items you’ll likely never use again.
If it’s in good condition donate it to a local food bank or community pantry, but don’t let all that food clog up your fridge and cupboards for another year.
7. unwanted emails
If your inbox is overflowing, it’s time to flex your ‘unsubscribe’ finger.
Whether it’s a newsletter you no longer want to receive, or a store that keeps sending you sales notices (thus tempting you to buy even more clutter), it’s time to cut off all contact.
Don’t just delete them; all that does is remove that individual email. In order to stop them coming for good, scroll to the bottom and find the ‘unsubscribe’ button.
Use it with wild abandon.
(And psst, here’s another top email tip: the fewer you send, the fewer you’ll receive.)
8. "filler" photos & videos
Like I said, space is something I don’t have a lot of on my phone. Between baby photos (she’s now 8) and puppy pics, plus all the photos and videos I take as part of my job, my phone fills up FAST.
That’s why I clear it out as part of my weekly reset.
Take some time to go back over all the photos and videos you took the past year (hopefully it won’t be as many as mine) and delete the ones you no longer want.
Duplicates, blurry pics, selfies your toddler took, all those screenshots…
When you’re scrolling back over your images from that year, make sure it’s full of only the standout memories.
Re-evaluate your love for that magazine you never seem to find time to read, or that streaming service you always skip over in favour of watching one more YouTube video.
A good way to find everything that’s sucking money from you on a regular basis is to go through recent financial statements.
Note what’s not worth it and then cut it off at the source by cancelling your subscription.
10. unrealistic expectations
Sure, set some resolutions for yourself. But let go of the idea that you have to (or will) become a totally different person overnight.
Instead, put systems and habits in place that, with persistence and consistency, will pay off down the line.
Or maybe you’ve been setting the same resolution for the past few years and you never seem to stick to it.
If that’s the case, it’s probably time to realise you have other priorities.
Let it go, along with any guilt.
I share a new list of 10 things to declutter each month throughout the entire year but if you can’t wait for the next instalment, join the 30-day decluttering challenge.
Each task can be completed in 5 minutes or less, and then you can kiss goodbye to all that clutter.
Download your ‘Clutter-Free In 5’ workbook and dive right in!