12 Unbelievably Easy Items to Declutter NOW
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post by Daria Harvey of Your Organized Life
Some items are a no-brainer to throw away. And getting rid of this clutter will give you an instant boost! Seeing one small area in your home purged, cleaned, organized, will inspire you to keep going. Below is a quick, manageable list to get you started. Here are 12 unbelievably easy items to declutter NOW. Bring out the trash bags!
Mismatched Tupperware containers
Match up all your bottoms and tops and throw away the extra. If you do not have the room to store the containers bottom and top together, stacked, then take the lids and put them in a bin. Arrange them smallest to largest. That way when you need a lid you can pull out the bin and select the one you need.
I HIGHLY recommend you get rid of all your plastic containers and switch to glass. Plastic breaks down over time and can release phthalates into your food, which are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. I had no idea how scary this was until I read a few articles on the subject. (Click on the link words in this paragraph to learn more.)
A client had both expired spices and medications in her lazy Susan. She was so happy to toss the spices I just kept hearing jars hit the trash can as I worked in the pantry. Remember spices are at their best within in six months of purchase. This is why I always get the smallest jar I can.
As for medications, there are drop off locations throughout the U.S. When my father died several years ago he was in Hospice care and had quite a few prescriptions. After he passed his nurse told us it was acceptable by U.S. law to dispose of them in the trash, as long as they are rendered unpalatable (i.e., no person or animal in their right mind would touch them.) So we mixed the leftover medications with used coffee grounds and poured rubbing alcohol on them. If you have a cat, just mix them with the used kitty litter.
These can add up fast. Before you know it, it’s like rabbits multiplying! When you read a magazine, remove pages that interest your or dog ear if you plan to pass on the magazine to a friend. Chances are there are only a few pieces of information you are truly interested in. Keep this information in digital form, perhaps. When I see a product I like to try, it goes into my “products to try” list in Evernote. Picture of a flower arrangement you’d like to copy? Just take a picture of it and upload to your computer. It’ll be there when you need it.
I used to keep a basket for “need to fix” items. Until I figured out that if I was really upset when something broke, I fixed it right away. The stuff that stayed in the basket, turns out I didn’t really need it anyway.
The Lonesome Earring
I always think I could make an earring into a brooch but jewelry making isn’t one of my hobbies. How long have you been missing it’s partner? If it’s a long time, cut your losses.
Free Stuff from Companies
My hubby took my daughter to look for a used car. They came back from the Ford dealership with these horrible baseball hats. We ALREADY have too many hats around here! So I put them in the charity pile. Now, I have learned to kindly refuse when offered these types of “gifts.”
Dried up Nail Polish/ Make-Up You Don’t Use
If it’s the former, trash it. If the make-up you don’t use is still in good condition, consider donating it to a local women’s shelter. Some of those women flee an abusive situation with only the clothes on their back and would be happy to have a gently used blush.
Old Cell Phones
Take your old cell phones to your Sprint or Verizon dealer. They’ll wipe them clean and recycle them. Plus, you’ll get some money off your next bill! Even really old phones are worth a little.
Old Eye Glasses
Donate to www.thegiftofsight.org
Movies you will never watch, CD’s you will never listen to
It’s just a fact of life that most of us have gone digital with Netflix and Spotify etc. Consider donating these items. Someone who will not or cannot afford digital memberships will be very happy to have them.
Manual to items you no longer own
When I get a new appliance or any item with a manual, I put the manual into a plastic sleeve and file it in a binder. If I ever need to access the manual, I know exactly where to find it. If I sell that old robot my son never plays with I can send the manual to the new owner.
The only thing I would add is to consider DONATING your used cell phones to a women’s shelter. Even if there is not a service plan on the phone, if the battery is charged, someone can dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
I lived through a season when I carried a restraining order around with me…and hid old cell phones around my house and in both vehicles so my daughter or I could call the Sherriff, if necessary (in case I didn’t have time to even grab my phone or purse). It was a scary time, but having multiple phones around relieved us of the worry of not being able to find one when we really needed it.