I have to be honest with you: I’m guilty of having clutter. A lot.
The reason I had to get that out of the way before anything else is because I’m about to tell you all about de-cluttering, including what items you should get rid of right away to improve your life.
And my desk, right now, is a mess.
So why should you believe if I don’t practice what I preach?
One thing people seem to forget about de-cluttering is that it’s not something you’re ever “done” with. It’s a process, right? Of course you can get rid of a bunch of things, but if you don’t actively pay attention, you’re going to have everything back - the same old clutter, albeit with new stuff.
So a few months ago, I got rid of all my clutter…
And now it’s all here again. It’s like they crawled out of trash cans and snuck back into my house or something, like it was Toy Story.
But the truth is that it’s all my fault.
Here’s why I’m telling you all this:
Don’t worry if it happens to you. It happens to everyone.
I’m simply guilty of letting things pile up. Now I’m going to have to de-clutter again. And if you’re here, that means you want to do it too.
So we’re in this together.
I’m going to tell you the 4 steps I took and all the things you can immediately throw away to improve your mood, along with tips to keep things organized from now on — and I’m doing the same here.
Let’s start with:
1. KITCHEN UTENSILS AND CONTAINERS
Don’t fall trap to “I might need it someday.”
Let’s face it, if you haven’t used it in the past year, you’ll probably never use it. It’s one thing to keep screwdrivers, but when it comes to kitchen stuff, you shouldn’t have to keep something you only use once a year.
And if you already have new and better versions of any utensil or container, feel free to throw the old ones away.
Some things I’m throwing away from the kitchen:
- A few plastic containers that were forever stained due to improper microwaving (my bad)
- An old whisker - it’s fine, but I already have one I actually use
- A couple of plastic bowls I didn’t know I had (seriously)
- Four redundant pans - I got a new set when I moved in and these were just taking up space
- About five old spices - hadn’t used these in a while and they were totally dry
- I also checked for anything in the back of the refrigerator that might have been there for ages, but luckily didn’t find anything
Now moving on to…
2. OFFICE STUFF
Unless we’re talking about important documents (that should be kept organized in folders, by the way), papers just clutter your desk. And it’s so easy to leave them there, isn’t it?
“But I might need them.”
Here’s what I’m clearing from the office:
- A bunch of old receipts I found in my wallet and my drawers
- A collection of random things I printed and have no use for anymore — I usually fold these in my drawer and they stay there forever
- A bunch of books I left on the table in the hopes I would someday read them. Hasn’t happened yet, so I’m putting them away on a proper bookshelf
- One old battery. I don’t even remember what it was for
While I was cleaning the office, I also took a moment to check my back pockets — I have the terrible habit of stuffing receipts in there and forgetting about them.
I find them often doing laundry.
No joke: I’ve moved houses three times in my life and while raiding my wardrobe, I still managed to find T-shirts I’ve had since I was 16 years old.
I used to keep these to wear just at home, but I literally had so many other new T-shirts I used often that these old ones never saw the light of day.
So they must leave.
This is what I got out of my wardrobe:
- Old T-shirts I either never used, didn’t like, or didn’t fit me anymore. In total, I counted 12 T-shirts I’m giving away
- Mismatched socks. So, so many of them
- Redundant bermuda shorts. I only have them out of obligation anyway, and I had SEVEN. Got rid of the older/uglier ones and kept only two.
- Three old pairs of shoes. One pair I had not used in years, one pair I didn’t like anymore, and one pair I got as a gift that didn’t fit me (I kept it because it was a gift, but it’s time to part ways).
- White boxers. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea?
Obviously, when it comes to clothing, instead of throwing them away, you can (and should) donate them.
And about mismatched socks, here’s a pro tip: gather the lonely ones in a basket in your room and keep them there for a week or so. If the other pair doesn’t show up in that time, then it’s time to part ways.
4. BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND MEDICINE
This was the part that shocked me the most — I was expecting to find a couple of things out of order, but the results just came to show how much we can overlook these items.
Here’s what I found in the bathroom:
- FIVE packs of expired medicine. Seriously. I figured I’d find one or two, but there were five. Luckily they were there because I hadn’t used them for a long time, but one of them was prescription medicine! Let’s get rid of these right away.
- Hair gel. It wasn’t expired, but since my hair got longer, I haven’t used it in months. And it’s a big thing cluttering things up. Out.
- One old razor. I had been using a new one for a while, but the old one was just sitting there.
- You might want to check for old makeup too, wherever you keep it.
- Finally, there was one empty shampoo bottle right in the middle of the good shampoo and the good conditioner.
I was surprised at how quick this whole thing was.
One of the main reasons why we let things pile up is because we think it’s going to take too long, or it’s going to be too troublesome… But I highly recommend you try these 4 steps. It’s simple, fast, and it makes a tremendous difference.
For the sake of comparison, I got this done in just over 2 hours.
Now it’s your turn!
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Keep on reading:
14 Things to Get Rid of Now to De-Clutter Your Home
7 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Trying To Organize
Weekend Challenge: Can You Clean Your Bedroom By Following These 5 Steps?
12 Insanely Clever Organization Hacks To Improve Your Lif