I thought I’d make a list of ten things that are relatively easy to declutter; they’re main areas that usually build up items we don’t like or need.
My top tip for this is: take everything out of the wardrobe. Looking at an item in your closet makes you more likely to leave it in there even if you’re unsure you’ll wear it. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit or that you find uncomfortable. Since I’ve decluttered my wardrobe every item of clothing is my favourite and I feel good in everything I own.
I also used to keep a bunch of items that I was definitely going to alter one day. Sarah, you said that two years ago; you’re not going to get around to it. This is the trap of op-shopping; it’s cheap, so even if it doesn’t fit well you buy it, hoping to alter it or use the material for something else. Not many of us do; I would say I’ve altered three out of twenty items in my life.
2/ Old electronics
Why do you still have these? You’re not even going to notice they’re gone.
Books. My main downfall in life. But what’s the point in having that collection of Shakespeare if you’re not going to read or enjoy it? I know it looks great and all those books are the same height (goals) but if they add no value to life, get them outta here! Use the space for books you actually want.
I used to keep a lot of makeup products for the sake of it, because I might need it one day. But deep down we all know what products we’ll use and what we won’t. What’s the use of me saving a tube of primer for a special occasion if I don’t use it in my normal makeup routine? I wear makeup a few times a week and stick to the same products; there’s no point in me buying extra products for a ‘what-if’ occasion. I probably wouldn’t even know how to apply it properly. I find that these products we save for special occasions end up being in our drawers for months and months; if this is the case you shouldn’t be using it anyway because makeup goes feral quite quickly.
There are definitely some papers you need to keep. But I reckon you’ve got a lot that you don’t, like manuals. I’ve also changed some settings so I now get Compassion letters online, as well as bank statements; I don’t need that extra paper lying around.
6/ Wallet items
Do you need that blockbuster card? No. Clear out those bad boys.
7/ Email subscriptions
I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but you’re probably ignoring emails without unsubscribing. They fill up your inbox and serve no purpose other than to irritate. There are even websites that go through all your subscriptions for you and let you unsubscribe from websites in bulk.
Most things are digital these days, but I personally listen to CD’s in the car. If you do have an impressive CD collection, you might want most of them. That’s cool, but do you really need that Hits for Kids 4 CD from when you were twelve? (Sorry Hits for Kids 4, but things just aren’t the same between us.) (Though I really am missing listening to ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’.)
9/ Gifts you don’t like or use
No, don’t do it. I know you feel guilty about getting rid of it and obliged to keep the gift, but it’s done it’s purpose. It’s been given, and now you can let go. The person probably won’t ever find out you got rid of it.
In the same ballpark, old cards. I keep birthday and Christmas cards from family and close friends, but I’m sure we’ve all had a collection of cards from people we don’t care about. Remember in primary school there would be two or three people who’d give out cards to every person in the class? Yeah, you don’t need to keep that card. It means nothing.
10/ Old toys
This is verging into sentimental item territory, which can be difficult to declutter; in all honesty I still have my My Little Pony collection from when I was in primary school. (I have managed to donate the My Little Pony Dance Studio, however, so we’re making progress.)
Sentimentality aside, you might have toys that don’t hold value to you anymore. I had a bunch of plastic farm animals that didn’t mean anything, so away they go. Decluttering is about clearing the stuff you don’t actually like or use.
There you have it!