What we keep and what we let go of is a very personal thing, but we might be able to agree on this easy list of stuff to declutter right away.
Isn't this supposed to be hard?
I get it. When you think about decluttering, your mind automatically focuses on the stuff you think is going to be super difficult and gnarly. Maybe it's your home office where you can barely see the top of the desk. It might be your hall closet with the door that you have to lean on to close because it's so crammed full of who-knows-what. Or maybe the space under your bathroom sink is the stuff of nightmares. So what do you do? You feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start, and you beat yourself up because of it. But there's another way.
I've talked before about how to get started the easy way by doing two steps before anything else: trash, and putting things away. This post breaks it down in more detail, but the basic idea is that when you start your decluttering by doing what doesn't require any decision-making, two things happen: you feel a sense of accomplishment without having to do anything too mentally or emotionally exhausting, and you build momentum that can help you drive through the harder stuff. I've seen it work with my clients, and it's worked for me. Even better? Snap before and after pictures of your progress with just those two starting steps. You'll be surprised at the difference you can make.
Can't you just tell me what to do?
I tend to shy away from telling people what to keep or what to get rid of, but here's a list of items in your home that might fit into the "trash" step I mentioned.
Unused or expired spices
Plastic food containers that are missing the bottom or the lid
Broken small appliances
Random takeout condiments
Food that's been in the freezer too long
CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES
Underwear with holes or broken elastic / underwire
Shoes you don't wear anymore because they're in such bad condition
Broken cheap jewelry or single earrings
Worn out belts
Broken clothes hangers
Purses with holes or broken straps
Expired, broken, or dried-up makeup
Old nail polish
Expired beauty items (lotion, skincare, etc.)
Expired medicine or vitamins
Broken styling tools
Old makeup brushes
Candles that are burned up
Toys or games that are missing necessary pieces or broken
Unused very old cleaning supplies
Chargers or remotes for stuff you don't own anymore
Start where you are.
We are our own worst enemy when it comes to decluttering. More than the deep dark closet or the stuff shoved under the bed, the number one thing that keeps us from getting a handle on our stuff is our own belief that we can't do it. I won't tell you it's always easy, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Something as simple as getting rid of trash can make a big impact, especially if you do it routinely. A start is a start. So start where you are and let that be enough.
Tell me how it goes.
If this tip worked for you -- or if it didn't -- share your thoughts below, or you can drop me a line here. I'd love to hear from you. Truly.