Inside: Your declutter checklist with 100 things to get rid of right now.
Deciding to start your decluttering journey will be the best decision you ever make. Honestly. Being surrounded by so much stuff all of the time has serious effects on your mental health and with the added dust that gathers in amongst it all, it is always a good idea to ditch the stuff! And having a declutter checklist can help you stay focused and get you started on your journey.
I have watched all of the tv shows, read all of the books, I am no Marie Kondo but I have managed to declutter my entire home top to bottom. Hopefully this home checklist can help you to do yours too.
Why should you declutter your home?
We are constantly growing as people, finding new hobbies, new styles of clothes, new tastes in decor. We are terrible for holding onto material goods ‘just in case’ or simply because we can’t bear to part with them.
When you factor in children, the amount of ‘stuff’ you accumulate seems to increase tenfold. Constantly growing out of clothes, shoes, toys – it all adds up and needs somewhere to go.
Of course, even as you try and get rid of things you have people gifting you more and more for birthdays and Christmas. And the more children you have the worse it gets. TV ads constantly telling us we need the latest thing – it is hard not to get sucked into it all.
We waste so much time tidying things away but if we just got rid of it all, there would be nothing to tidy away. Makes sense doesn’t it? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Effects on mental health
Clutter can affect your anxiety levels, sleep patterns, and ability to focus on everyday tasks. It can also make you less productive, making you turn to avoidance strategies such as snacking and watching tv.
We are all guilty of it, aren’t we? We have a long list of things to do but we go to the kitchen and fetch a snack before sitting down and binge-watching our favourite series instead. And yet we al complain of never having enough time to get things done.
Imagine this, if you had less stuff then you’d have less to tidy and therefore more time to do the things you really want to do.
Your house should be a haven, a place that makes you happy and calm, somewhere to relax and enjoy with the people you love.
So instead of lusting over beautiful homes on social media (and feeling bad that yours isn’t as lovely), invest in time in making your home a place to enjoy.
What does clutter mean?
cover or fill (something) with an untidy collection of things.
“the room was cluttered with his bric-a-brac”
a collection of things lying about in an untidy state.
“the attic is full of clutter”
In other words, it is the collection of stuff that you surround yourself with to create an untidy state.
“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living”– Peter Walsh
The decluttering process is deciding what items are unnecessary in your home, that make the house untidy and add to the overwhelm that you feel when you walk into a room.
What is the best way to start decluttering?
Making the decision to get started is the first step and the hardest part. And the sooner you start the better – research says that the longer you wait to declutter the harder it becomes to get rid of the things you own. Over 50’s are much more likely to struggle with getting rid of their possessions and will also be more likely to feel dissatisfied with their lives.
The thing to do is to choose an area to start with and not move on until you are completely satisfied with the results.
Good practices for decluttering
The easiest way to get rid of stuff is to look at each object individually. When you pick up an object, you need to really look at it objectively and ask yourself whether you love it or whether you’ve used it in the past year – does it spark joy?
More often than not, the answer will be no for each and that is why it has been at the bottom of that pile of junk.
Only keep items you love or that are useful. Discard anything that would be of no use to anyone and donate the rest. There are so many ways of giving things away these days – from selling sites, to charity shops to local swap groups.
How to declutter sentimental items
It is really hard to get rid of things that you’ve held onto for reasons personal to you. Whether they are clothes you wore in happier days, gifts that were given by loved ones or anything else that invokes a happy feeling. It is easy to hoard a lot of stuff.
But unless those items are being used or enjoyed regularly they are actually just added to the pile of ‘stuff’ that you accumulate over the years.
You have to be honest with yourself and remind yourself of this:
“Sometimes freeing the object and creating space will give you more joy than holding onto the object itself”
The memories created by the object can’t be taken away from you, so let someone else have the joy of owning it rather than hoarding it in a cupboard for nobody to enjoy at all.
And I can tell you thing, once you start letting go of items the process becomes so much easier and you feel liberated. You also come to realise that things aren’t what matter, the memories and people are the most important thing of all.
Declutter checklist: 100 things to declutter right now
Not sure where to start? I’ve compiled a handy decluttering checklist of things to get rid of right now.
1. Old electronic cables and chargers
2. Old mobile phones
3. DVDs that nobody watches anymore
4. CDs that nobody listens to anymore
5. Puzzles / games that nobody plays
6. Excess recipe books
7. Fake plants that look tired
8. Books you won’t read again
9. Old cushions
10. Decor that adds nothing to the space
Kitchen & laundry room
11. Takeout menus you never use
12. Cleaning products you will never use
13. Broken crockery
14. Excess plates and bowls
15. Excess water bottles
16. Unused utensils
17. Scratched pots and pans
18. Expired food
19. Excess mugs and glasswear
20. Excess Tupperware
21. Excess teatowels
22. Unused small appliances
23. Blunt knives
24. Serving dishes that never get used
25. Old placemats, napkins and tablecloths
26. Fridge magnets
27. Old bills – time to go paperless!
28. Kids’ artwork – take a photo instead and only keep the favourites.
29. Excess stationery in your junk drawer.
30. Gift wrap you will never use
31. Birthday and Christmas cards that mean nothing. And be ruthless with those that do.
32. Old magazines
33. Old textbooks
34. Email subscriptions you no longer want (unsubscribe at the bottom)
35. Files you no longer need on your computer
36. Photos you are hoarding on your hard drive – delete the excesses
37. Old contacts on your phone
38. Broken / unused makeup
39. Dried up or unwanted nail varnish
40. Old perfume / unwanted perfume
41. Excess toiletries you will never use
42. Mouldy bath toys
43. Old sunscreens
44. Old medicines that have expired in your medicine cabinet
45. Used up gift cards and unwanted loyalty cards
46. Excess reusable bags and plastic bags
Bedroom & linen closet
47. Unwanted handbags
48. Uncomfortable shoes and shoes you’ve not worn in the past year.
49. Socks and tights with holes in them
50. Underwear that has seen better days
51. Ill-fitting bras
52. Clothes that don’t make you feel good
53. Best clothes that realistically you won’t wear again
54. Hats, gloves and scarves you no longer wear
55. Coats and jackets you don’t wear anymore
56. Swimming costumes you won’t wear again.
57. Excess sunglasses
58. Glasses that no longer fit your prescription
59. Broken jewellery / single earrings
60. Costume jewellery you no longer wear
61. Mismatched/ broken hangers
62. Outgrown kids clothes
63. Pjs you never wear or that don’t fit well
64. Excess hair bobbles and clips
65. Bedding that is never used
66. Sheets that are worn or discoloured
67. Lumpy pillows
68. Broken toys
69. Finished / unwanted colouring books
70. Dried up pens / glue
71. Excess colouring pencils
72. Damaged books
73. Toys that are no longer used
74. Garden furniture / decor that is broken or unwanted
75. Rusted garden tools
76. Old plastic plant pots
77. Children’s play equipment that they don’t use anymore
78. Unused tools and hardware
79. Old paint you won’t use again.
Random bits and bobs
80. Old receipts
81. Old keys
83. Spare buttons
84. Anything you just don’t like anymore
85. Boxes from items you’ve bought
86. Memorabilia that isn’t lovingly displayed
87. TV shows / movies you’ve recorded on your tv box
88. Dead plants
89. Holiday decor that doesn’t get used
90. Christmas decorations
91. Old rugs that you won’t use again
92. Old towels
93. Hobby supplies you no longer use
94. Candles that have burned down
95. Unwanted gifts you won’t repurpose
96. Exercise equipment you won’t use again
97. Chewed dog toys
98. Anything waiting to leave the house
99. Anything you just don’t want anymore
100. Anything in the car that isn’t vital
All of these things are relatively easy to go to right now and start to sort through. You just need to dedicate the time to get the work done.
It is not an easy task to start and at times can become overwhelming, but it is such a worthwhile job and will get easier as you go along. Just keep reminding yourself of the end goal – to have a clear and stress-free environment in which to live in where everything has a proper place.
You’ll feel like you live in a new home!