Need a quick tidying boost? Here are 10 things you can declutter right now:
- Books. Look around your home for books you’ve finished and won’t read again. Or books you started and gave up on because they didn’t grab your attention. And how about books you had every intention of reading but know you’ll never actually get around to? Pick up each book and ask yourself, if I were to start reading right this minute, would I choose this? If not, say let it go.
- T-shirts. We get them free from fundraisers, school events, clubs and sports teams. We get them for 99¢ at thrift stores. Every now and again I catch myself accumulating more T-shirts than I really need. When I notice that my drawer is getting a little too full, I make a point of counting how many T-shirts I use for pjs, workout attire, and regular wear for one laundry cycle–that tells me how many I need and makes me feel comfortable donating the excess. Side note: I’m much more likely to have too much of something if I’m not aware of how much I actually use it. Once I know quantitatively how many/much is appropriate for me, I feel confident about getting rid of the rest.
- Travel containers. These are also easy to accumulate items. Little bottles, jars, squeeze tubes, and makeup bags–there are a million ways to pack your toiletries. But you know what? I only use one. I found the packing method that works best for me and I stick to it. Having a system makes packing easier and quicker. All the other little packing containers didn’t seem so useful once I nailed down my system, so I let them go.
- Towels. Over the last 6 years I’ve found that 4 bath towels is just the right amount for me. Any more and I never use them all, any fewer and I run out a few days before laundry day. Since they are rather bulky, extra towels can be real closet-eaters, so I would definitely recommend down-sizing to the amount that’s right for you.
- Bed linens. I still remember the day that it dawned on me that I don’t need a spare set of sheets–it felt like a pretty big revelation. After all, my mom and grandma can’t be the only ones with entire closets devoted to linens in their houses, right? It seemed odd not to have a spare sheet set until I realized that I didn’t really need to use it. When it’s time to wash my sheets, I strip the bed, wash and dry them, then make the bed. No second set of sheets needed. In fact, the only thing the second sheet set was doing was allowing me to leave my dirty sheets in a pile on the floor instead of washing them right away.
- CD + DVD jackets. I saved a ton of shelf space by ditching CD + DVD jackets for a disc binder. It holds way more than I currently–and probably ever will–own, but takes up less space than my collection did before. While you’re at it, it’s probably a good idea to give your collection a once-over to see if any of the discs can go, too.
- Medicines. Do a quick check of your medicine cabinet to see if anything is empty or expired.
- Sock drawer. Check for tights with runs, socks with holes or without matches, and anything with worn-out elastic. Before you run out and buy replacements right away, take note of how many you wear in a laundry cycle. Do you need more or do you already have enough?
- Junk mail. Is there a pile of unopened mail sitting in your house? Go grab it and do a quick sort. Anything that requires action to be taken goes in one pile, anything that doesn’t goes in the recycling. You should be left with only the important stuff.
- Downloads. When was the last time you cleaned out the folders on your computer? Take 5 minutes to clear out your downloads folder and empty the trash. Any other folders you want to tackle are just a bonus. 🙂 Struggling to come up with a system for digital organization? I did a whole video on my digital document organization and how I got rid of paper files, which you can check out here.
Catch up on all #MinimalismMonday posts