Too many of us overwhelm ourselves with the decluttering process. Let’s face it – It is hard to say goodbye to our stuff, but at the same time we know that we must. There are ways to declutter in quicker and more efficient ways.
What we found works best is to declutter in small sprints. Just a little bit per day goes a very long way to accomplish a lot. So here are a few ideas for the daily 5-minute declutter schedule. Pick just one thing per day, cross it off your list, and feel great.
Old hairbrushes, old makeup, and old cosmetics. If you haven’t used the item in the last six months, toss them out. Bathrooms are often full of stuff that we buy and never use. Do a quick check of what you are still using and have no mercy on tossing out the rest. When it comes to cosmetics and makeup, they often begin to fade after three months. So the amazing lipstick you bought last year may have completely changed in color and consistency if you wear it today
Magazines. Anything over six months old should go. Most magazines today could be accessed online or if you feel the need to clip anything out, do so and put the clippings in a binder. With the remaining magazines, decide why you are keeping them. If you haven’t read them yet, throw them away and make a note to cancel the subscription. If there is a recipe or article you wanted to keep, cut it out and place in a three-ring binder. Place the final cut of magazines in a small basket and promise yourself you will NEVER have more magazines than the basket can keep.
Mismatched socks or ones with a hole in it. It is pretty simple to go through your sock drawer and toss out any mismatched or damaged socks. If you have pairs that haven’t been worn in months, toss them out as well.
Extra Wire-Dry Clean Hangers that are not in use. If you use dry cleaning services pretty often you likely have many wire hangers around. You can recycle them in either your curbside recycling or take to your local cleaners. Most likely your closet is filled with these and they shouldn’t be. Dry-cleaner hangers are harmful on your clothes and further more, they are the LAST ones anyone chooses to hang up their clothes and they make your closet look disorganized.
Paperwork. Many of us pile up mail that we receive and never sort it. Take 5 minutes to make a dent in your pile. Shred anything you don’t need and file away anything you may need for the future.
Old CDs. We all love the collections of CDs or cassettes we had as teenagers, but when was the last time you’ve actually listened to one of your CDs? Many can be donated or recycled.
Unidentifiable chargers and adapters. If you have no idea what the charger belongs to, throw it away. Technology is constantly changing, so the charger to your Palm Pilot (circa 2000) most likely won’t come back into fashion.
Old/Broken Electronics. Still have that Palm Pilot or old cordless phones sitting around and collecting dust? here is your chance to get rid of them for good. Some older/working electronics may have some market/collector value so if you want to do a quick check, ebay is likely your best bet.
Coats & Jackets. When I buy a new coat, I rarely toss my old ones. As a result, we have a closet full of winter coats and jackets collecting dust. Consider donating coats to your favorite charity — they are especially in demand during the fall and can make someone else’s winter much warmer.
Remember, part of the process of decluttering is giving yourself permission to release the items from your house. In the case of every item above, you should not worry about the emotional attachment. They are impersonal things that have served their purpose and now it is time for them to be discarded. You might be surprised after you get through this list, what other items you find.