There’s a broad spectrum between minimalist and hoarder. I fall somewhere left of center, closer to minimalist, categorized under Strictly Intentional. Imagine a strict, British house marm who likes to scold but instead of a ruler to slap your hand, there’s a joy-o-meter, and any items too boring or sad get thrown out. Okay, that may be my weirdest analogy to date. Anyway, here’s a list of quick items you can throw out right now.
1. Old makeup pallets
How long do these things last anyway? But only keep ones that you use.
2. Travel mugs you don’t use
3. 50 different sticky notes
Seriously, do you have an entire drawer dedicated to sticky notes? What do you think you’re going to use them for? I love stationery as much as the next person, but only keep the ones you really use.
4. Costume jewelry
Unless you use costume jewelry, clean it out.
5. Old high school or college papers
Don’t you have a digital copy of these anyway?
6. Books you haven’t read
Let’s be real, you gonna read all thirty of those books before you buy another one?
7. Old textbooks
You don’t need them.
8. Random stationery
Do you use all the cards you have? Do you have a large portion of them that you don’t care for? Gift these away to someone with a matching style, or give them to some children. Children love free stuff. But adults… adults love free space.
9. Gift wrap that you don’t even like
Yes, those rolls in the back of your gift wrap closet that you’re avoiding. Why are you avoiding them? Because you don’t like them. Donate them, gift them, recycle them.
10. Mismatched drinking glasses
Unless you swing that way.
11. Ugly water bottles
I bet you have too many. I know I have too many. I’m getting rid of one right now…
12. Scarves that didn’t make it out this winter
Do all the sheets you have in the closet actually match to mattresses in your house? Have they all been used in the last year or two? And check the pillow cases, too, while you’re there.
14. Keys that no longer match anything
Old apartment keys… Scrapbook ’em or get rid of ’em.
15. Scratchy blankets
16. Magazine subscriptions
And, hey, this saves some money, too.
17. Remote controls that don’t match any of the devices in your home
Or maybe even in this century…
18. Tea bags, K-cups, coffee grounds of flavors you don’t like
Look, we all make this mistake. I recently bought a box of K-Cups called Hot Buttered Rum Coffee, which I thought would be a lovely September drink, a back-to-school, Harry-Potter-esque beverage. It would have warm Hogsmeade feeling to it. No, disgusting. Face up: get rid of the bad purchases.
19. Tchotchkes with no sentimental value
Tchotchkes might be my favorite word from last year. It’s a useless item except for perhaps its aesthetic. Evaluate your enjoyment from the various decorations lying around your house.
20. Napkins that don’t match
Maybe you’re better than I am, but when I go to grab a napkin I never grab the bent ones, the misshaped ones, etc. Straighten them up or throw them out.
21. Movies you don’t watch
Hey, you can make a buck on this one, too. Clean out the DVDs, Blu-rays, Redbox rentals, etc.
22. Hobbies you don’t care about anymore
Oh, this one hurts. Sometimes we hold on to old or unrealistic identities of ourselves. You have a guitar, but do you love the guitar? Do you play it? Is it a source of guilt every time you see it? Let it go, love. Keep only what you need. I got rid of my sewing machine, book collection, knitting needles, piano… It hurt.
23. Outdated fruits and vegetables
This one’s easy. Open the fridge. Grab what looks bad. Throw it out. Check mark.
24. That stack of mail
You know where it is. File them, scan them, recycle them.
25. Arts and crafts products
Okay, so you finished a project. And now you have a tchotchke. Good for you. Is it any good? What about every single piece of paper your kid created? How about you pick your favorite(s) and trash the rest.
What did you think of my decluttering list? Feel inspired? What do you want to clear out to kick off the new year?