31 things to declutter this year
I love decluttering. Not only do I love the feeling of having more breathing space in my home, but I always find decluttering to be a wake up call to my spending habits. It helps me realize just how much money I’m “throwing away” on things I end up not using or liking in the end. Ugh!
If you want to enjoy a more peaceful home and keep more money in your pocket (because you’ve realized how much you’re wasting!), then I’ve got the perfect list for you! 31 things you can declutter this year. Choose a few or choose all 31 and get to work! Maybe in the end, your list will hold more than these 31 items with all the momentum you’re getting!
Even if you choose just a few things off this list it will feel so good to lighten up! Most of these things are items none of us need but we hang onto “just in case” and feel panicked at the thought of letting them go. In my experience, it’s not often that I have needed something I decluttered. These days, it is so easy to reacquire that needed item by borrowing or repurchasing.
31 things to declutter:
- Out of date makeup– It’s just unsafe for your skin and eyes. Toss it out and treat yourself to a new lipstick or eyeshadow!
- VHS tapes– If you are still clinging to VHS it’s time to let it go, it’s not coming back.
- Old cell phones– Many electronics stores or phone companies have boxes for recycling cell phones and batteries.
- Spices that have expired– Check your cupboards and pantry, toss out old spices. Here’s an article with details about how long spices last.
- Non working electronics– If you haven’t dropped off the stereo or DVD player to be fixed and have no immediate plans to do so, just get rid of it.
- Old stretched out bras– Keep those comfy old jogging pants but stretched out bras are not doing you any favors.
- Plastic bags– While it is handy saving your grocery store bags for other uses, we all wind up with an excess of them that we just don’t need. Toss them in the recycling.
- Ragged towels and washcloths– If they can be upcycled for cleaning rags, cut them up into small pieces and find a new home for them. Otherwise get them out of there.
- Clothes that don’t fit– Clothes more than one size too small/too big should be donated or sold.
- Unused or duplicate kitchen utensils– 6 wooden spoons? 3 meat mallets? Unopened egg poacher? Clean it all out of those drawers!
- Books– If you have read it and won’t read it again or you didn’t like it then it’s time to clean off your shelves and nightstand.
- Single Earrings– If it has been in the jewelry box for a year with no mate, chances are it will always be a single, go ahead and set it free.
- Single Socks– When you are all caught up on your laundry go through your odd sock basket and match up, get rid of any without mates.
- Unloved toys– Donate or toss toys as needed. After the holidays kids have an excess and this is a great time to declutter.
- Unused sports equipment– Ice skates from lessons two years ago that have never been picked up again? Donate them. Too small hockey gear? Sell it!
- Items that don’t belong to you– If you have a spot that houses casserole dishes, borrowed books, etc. waiting to be returned to friends and family that you borrowed from, go ahead and return it all asap!
- Paperwork– Junk mail, old bills, or other out of date filing. Grab an inexpensive paper shredder or toss them in the fire.
- Odd storage containers– You know that cabinet with plastic bowls that have no lids or lids that have no bottoms? Get in there and toss out mismatched pieces.
- Old linens– While towels may be cut down and used for rags in the garage, other items like sheets that either don’t fit or won’t be used on current beds, excess comforters (keep one spare) etc., can be decluttered.
- Blurry photos– If you have a box full of family photos through the years remove and toss the really bad ones, if that is the only one you have for an event you might keep it but otherwise just keep the best of the best.
- Ink Cartridges– If you have a stockpile of old empty ink cartridges you can find somewhere local to recycle or many places like Staples let you use them for credit towards new ones.
- Freezer items– Freezer burnt, well past their date, inedible or unappealing food should be tossed!
- Dried up pens– Take 5 minutes to go through your various pens, test them all on paper quick and throw out the ones that are dried up or leaking.
- Manuals– I used to be one that kept every single manual/instruction book for every piece of equipment i owned, I had a drawer full of them and rarely ever needed to look at them. Then I realized that I could find them on the manufacturer’s website should I ever need them and I tossed those suckers out!
- Spare change– Unless you are saving up for something really big, It’s time to grab that change jar, clean out couch cushions, get that pile on the dryer and turn it all in. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi or add the cash to your savings account!
- Craft supplies– Take an afternoon to go through them and donate items you won’t use in the next couple of months to a Children’s program or somewhere else that could use them.
- Paint– Do you have a garage shelf full of paint that you keep just in case? If it’s just for touch ups pour some into a small mason jar with a lid to make it last. Otherwise dispose of it properly.
- Personal care items– Old perfumes, lotions, and shampoo bottles with 1/2” left in the bottom-get them out of the bathroom for good.
- Cards– Open your wallet or purse and declutter customer loyalty, rewards cards, empty gift cards and the like.
- Pet toys– Toys that are shredded, dirty, and unplayed with should be tossed, just like kids toys they need to be decluttered and occasionally replaced.
- Boxes– Do you have a big collection of boxes somewhere, either packaging or packing boxes for another just in case? Clear them out and make room.
Any other things to declutter that you would add to the list? Did you get any good ideas for a starting place?
(Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.)
40 of the Best Planners to get you organized
I’m must confess. If I could, I would buy all the pretty planners out there. Just the idea of having all my to-do’s and ideas in one place gets practical old me really excited. Now don’t get me wrong, I do actually own a planner of my own and I love it. In fact I buy the same one year after year. It’s a Blueline Daily planner like this one, but it doesn’t have time slots and I purchase it in-store at Staples. I love that I have an entire page devoted to one day. I can jot down my to-dos, appointments, reminders, menu plan, shopping list and even my ideas!
If you’re a planner geek but haven’t quite found “the one” yet, this round up is sure to help you find one of the best planners that will work for you!
First of all, let’s take a look at some things to think about before purchasing a planner:
How to Pick the Best Planner
Purpose: Knowing what you wish to keep track of in your planner is key to finding the right one for your needs. Do you simply want to keep track of appointments? A monthly calendar might be great for you. If you want to keep a to-do list and appointments easily accessible, then a weekly planner could be the right fit. If you intend on keeping a to-do list, appointments, a meal plan, a shopping list and some thoughts or ideas, then a daily planner would be perfect!
Portability: Will you be carrying your planner around with you or will it just be sitting on your desk or counter? If you will be carrying it around, then the size of the planner matters. Make sure the size you choose fits into the bag or purse you will be using. I personally like the 8″ by 5″ size best.
The Best Monthly Planners:
WSBL Grow Wild 2022 Monthly Planner – This one is pretty, a great price and includes some extra features like a back pocket, to-do lists, address and phone number pages, and travel planning pages.
Brownline 2022 DuraFlex Monthly Planner – This is a great basic 11″ by 8.5″ planner that would be great for leaving on a desk.
At-A-Glance 2022 Monthly Planner – Another great basic, large monthly planner that includes thick pages so you don’t get ink bleed.
5 Year Monthly Planner – Because this is a 5 year planner, I think this would be great to use as a personal notebook, journal, or diary! Or, you can use it to set goals, important dates, or deadlines, as well as jotting down notes and ideas.
Orange Circle Studio Just Right 2022 Monthly Planner – This is a smaller monthly calendar that is perfect for carrying around. This one has tear out shopping or to-do lists and a storage pocket.
Staples 2022 Monthly Planner – This is a smaller 6-7/8″ x 8-3/4″ basic monthly planner that includes telephone and address pages, dates to remember page and more.
Gallery Leather 2022 Monthly Planner – This highly rated monthly calendar is a perfect portable planner with a simple and clean design.
The Best Weekly Planners
High Note 2022 Weekly Planner – This one is so pretty! It is slightly larger than a typical weekly planner at 9″ x 10″. It includes some goal setting and project planning pages for every month. Also includes monthly tab dividers, a handy pocket and some stickers.
Bright Day 2022 Treeline Weekly Planner – This planner includes a monthly check in, habit tracker, a schedule section, monthly view, weekly views and a notes section.
Maalbok Weekly Planner – With lots of room for planning, this portable sized planner might be perfect for you!
Blueline 2022 Weekly Planner – Perhaps the perfect simple weekly planner that will suit your needs.
Blueline 2022 Duraflex Weekly Planner – This planner is like the above planner, but it includes a weekday hourly schedule for putting in appointments easily.
Planberry Weekly Planner – This is a great undated weekly planner if you really want to hit some goals this year. Also unique to this planner, you will find built in budget planner sheets!
Clever Fox Weekly Planner – Another undated planner great for hitting goals and reflecting on life.
Leuchtturm1917 2022 Weekly Planner – This one is unique in the way that it features an entire week on the left and an entire page for notes on the right. Perfect if you love a lot of room for thoughts and ideas or note taking.
Mom’s Weekly Planner – Each two-page spread displays your weekly master plan, with five columns: one for Mom, and one for each of four other family members.
Action Day Weekly Planner – Each day offers hourly scheduling from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Also includes a 12-page teaching tool to see yourself as the person you want to be, what values you want to live by, your goals and actions.
Blue Sky Laila Weekly Planner – This beautiful simple weekly planner is perfect for a clean look at your week or adding fun doodles or stickers!
Mead 2022 Tropical Escape Weekly Planner – This affordable weekly planner is simple in its design and includes handy tabs to easily flip between months.
Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer – A planner especially for moms! Includes a big space for a weekly to-do list, tear off grocery and menu plans, motivational quotes and stickers!
Polestar Family Weekly Planner – This one is unique and especially great for the person who wants to track appointments, meal plans and home tasks all in one spot!
Passion Planner – This one looks great for goal setting as well as keeping track of your weekly to-dos. Their Instagram page looks like it’s full of inspiration on how to use it.
Emily Ley Simplified Weekly Planner – This is the one I’m currently using! I love the colours and simplicity of it. I also like how each day is separated into two parts: My Day and To-Do.
Legend Undated Weekly Planner – This one is on the pricier side, but looks amazing. This one is great for the working person that wants to track work to-dos and personal to-dos. Looks fantastic for goal setting and creating a better you.
Wordsworth Undated Weekly Planner – This one reminds me of the Simplified planner, but with a heavy dose of goal setting pages that look helpful!
The Best Daily Planners
Blueline Daily planner – This is the one I used for years, but then they added the times in 30 minute increments. I am personally not a fan of the times added, but that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for you!
2022 Daily Simplified Planner – This is like the Weekly Planner that I have, but a daily version that includes time slots for each day.
Day Designer Daily Planner – The daily calendar view page contains hourly schedule in 30-minute increments, top 3 priority items, to-do list, notes section and an inspirational quote, as well as a dedicated gratitude section.
To Do List Undated Daily Planner – If you are looking for a way to track your daily to-dos, fitness, meal plan, and top priorities for each day, then this planner is worth looking at!
Clever Fox Daily Planner PRO – This undated planner is unique in the sense that it lasts just 3 months if used consistently. Perhaps a great way to test drive a planner! This planner has everything though: create a vision for your life, define and break down your goals, and incorporate these goals into your schedule. It has a separate page for each day of the week, with an hourly schedule, daily goal, priorities, to-do list, daily reflection, and plenty of space for extra notes.
Blueline NotePro Undated Daily Planner – This planner has an undated daily planner on left side and is ruled with margin on the right side for note taking.
Poprun 2022 Daily Planner – This daily planner presents spacious everyday planning with hourly schedules for your appointments, which makes your busy daily routines organized.
The Best Specialty Planners
Horizon STMT Planner – I think that this planner would be fun for a teen! It’s a DIY planner that includes colourful gel pens, fun-shaped paper clips, stickers, punch-outs, frames, and more.
52 Week Meal Planner – This planner contains space to plan a year’s worth of meal’s and grocery lists.
Meal Planner – This is like the meal planner above but has dedicated spaces for breakfast and lunch ideas too.
Weekly Budget Planner – Keep track of your spending, plan monthly budgets and set savings goals with this planner!
Teacher’s Planner – This planner will help you keep track of weekly lessons, seating plans, attendance, and grades!
CREATE Blog and Editorial Calendar – A planning and editorial system designed for
ambitious bloggers and biz owners to create intentional content, grow and nurture an audience, and build a business around their blog
Mega Homeschool Planner – Whether you homeschool 1 child or many, this planner will keep you organized, hold your important records, make planning a breeze, track anything, is portable and conveniently stores away.
Coupon Planner – 52 Weekly (undated) shopping pages to plan which stores to hit, keep track of sales, and organize your coupons to make the trip as smooth as possible.
There you have it, 39 of the best planners you can get in Canada. If you use a planner, do you purchase the same one year after year or do you like to switch it up?
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Free Printable 2022 Weekly Household Planner
Here’s a GREAT freebie from The Confident Mom! It’s a FREE printable 2022 weekly household planner! If you are looking for help with getting household tasks completed, check out this free planner! You receive two versions with your download: a ‘blank’ version and a ‘just tell me what to do’ version.
If you’d like to build a complete home management binder, you can also purchase a special supplement pack for only $10.
The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:
- Master Family Planner. Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
- NEW—Appointment Calendar. Organized by week, use this new addition to keep track of appointments, meetings, and other events.
- Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner. You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
- Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet. Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
- Babysitter Information Form. This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
- Quick Contacts. Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
- Family Emergency/Medical Information Form. Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form—it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
- Website/App List for Kids. An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
- Website/App List for Me. A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
- Account Keeper Sheet. Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
- Household Maintenance Log. Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
- Special Occasion Reminder Chart. To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
- Gifts Received List. Record gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
- Let’s Plan a Party Form. Keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
- Blessings For Your Home. Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
- Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List. So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
- Track Donations. Make tax time easier when you write down all your donations on one form for the year.
- Freezer/Pantry Inventory. Helps with meal planning and also saves you from purchasing something you already have on hand.
- Multi-Store Shopping List. Get rid of all those little sticky notes and scraps of paper! List all your shopping list items for different stores on one organized form.
- Monthly Bill Schedule. Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form!
- Bible Bookmarks. Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire bible in a year.
The printable 2022 planner is free, but you can add the supplemental home management forms (which are editable) for only $10!
Back to School Tips and Tricks
If your summer is anything like ours, (late nights, slow mornings, unscheduled days), then the thought of school starting again is probably exciting, but might stress you out a bit. Going from no schedule to a structured day can be tough at the beginning.
Because I find the adjustment tough myself, I have come up with a Back to School Action Plan that I hope you will find useful as well! The plan covers three areas: shopping, meals and organization. By tackling these three things I know our mornings are going to run smoother and we’re going to save quite a bit of money!
Let’s get started with the back to school tips and tricks, shall we?
Back to School Shopping Tips:
Since the first year my oldest started going to school, we have implemented a tradition of going on a date together to get her school items. We both really look forward to spending some quality time together and I think the one on one dates we do is an investment into our future relationship. That being said, we don’t start our date day without a plan.
It can be so easy to walk into a store and buy whatever is on sale or super cute. But lets avoid that this year because quite frankly, it will be overwhelming to know how much money you actually spent on clothing that wasn’t actually needed and now has to be laundered. Ugh.
So, this is what we do here:
Inventory Clothes: This may sound overwhelming, but it literally took us less than 10 minutes. I simply pulled out every single item of clothing (including socks and underwear!) and asked her to say Yes or No to each item. If she said No, that item either got donated or put into the bin for her younger sister one day. With everything that was a Yes, I took a mental inventory of what she needed. I discovered that all she needs is a pair of indoor shoes and a sweater. That’s it! I also purchase one (on sale) outfit for her first day of school and a “special” accessory.
School Supplies: This is the first year that we have to purchase school supplies since previously everything was included in the school fees for kindergarten and grade 1. Cost is more of a concern for me so, my thoughts for this is to shop the dollar store, home and maybe even Staples when they have a good sale going.
If time is more of a concern for you, try doing all your school supply shopping online at Walmart, Staples or even Amazon. Pick it up in store when your order is ready or have it shipped to your door!
Back to School Meal Planning Tips:
Meals can be a big stress inducer for me so that why this year I have a plan for school day breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I even made some printables for you to use!
Breakfast: My kids never know what they want to eat each morning so this year I will decide for them by creating a menu. Every day of the week will be the same thing all year long. For example, Mondays I will serve muffins and fruit. Tuesdays will be pancakes or waffles. Wednesdays will be toast and fruit. And so on.
Lunch: This year, my oldest and I are going to sit down to brainstorm all the items that she would like eating in her school lunch. I’m going to divide it up into categories:
- Main dishes
Dinner: If I don’t have a dinner plan, dinner will either be take out or grilled cheese and tomato soup! 😛 And neither of those are healthy or good for the budget on a regular basis.
Back to School Organization
Morning Routines: Rushed, hectic mornings with short tempers are not my favourite. Admittedly, they happen way more often then I would like. Both of my kids (ages 3 and 7) still need help with their morning routines but my oldest is definitely more capable at being self directed. However, to help her along, I’ve made up a list of steps I need her to follow.
- Get Up
- Get Dressed
- Eat Breakfast
- Pack lunch (I like to do this while she is eating, but she can put it in her backpack)
- Brush teeth & hair
- Backpack & Shoes on
- Out the door
Set out outfits for the week: One thing I found super helpful last year was putting aside 7 outfits for each day of the week. This made getting dressed every morning so easy. My oldest tends to shut down when she has to decide so this has helped her tons.
Labels: With all the money that is spent on school items, it’s not a good feeling when something goes missing! Make it easier to find important and favourite items with labels. We love the labels from Mabel’s Labels so that where I ordered ours from.
I’d love to know your back to school tips and tricks. Leave them below in the comments!
10 Cheap Road Trip Hacks You Need to Try
Will you be heading on the road with your family this summer? Road trips can be a great way to spend time with your loved ones or to get a brief respite from this crazy world. Whatever your reason for the trip, planning is key.
One of the most challenging things for a family road trip is just getting to your destination. Anyone who has taken a trip with kids knows there are constant stops for snacks, bathroom breaks and meltdowns over a toy or blanket that may have fallen beyond their reach. If you prepare for the situations you can control, your trip to your destination will go smoothly (and hopefully with as few stops as possible).
Before you hit the road, be sure to take a look at these 10 cheap road trip hacks. The dollar store or even Amazon are great places to look for inexpensive items that can be used to make your trip run as smooth as possible. Here are some cheap road trip hacks using simple items that will ensure your next road trip adventure is a success.
These mesh plastic caddies are great for snacking in the vehicle. Use the compartments to put a juice box or water bottle, bags of snacks, napkins and utensils. Each person in the car should have their own. No more making stops to get everyone their snacks. They can help themselves as you drive.
Mesh Pop Up Hamper
These small hampers fold up into a disc so they don’t take up much room in the car. Pop one up to be a catch all for larger toys or put a plastic bag in a small one and place in the back seat with the kids so they can throw their trash in it (and not on the floor).
Elastic Sheet Straps
Elastic sheet straps have little tabs that affix to fabric on each end. Tired of your kid losing their blanket and you have to pull the car over to find it? Do you want them to have a sweatshirt or jacket readily available? Attach one end to their clothes or fabric of their car seat and attach the other end to the blanket or jacket.
Plastic Mattress Protector
Plastic mattress protectors are a must have in your road trip arsenal. You can use them as a picnic table cover in a pinch if you stop to eat at a rest area or park. You can also use them to catch sand and dirt in the trunk or cargo area on gear, clothes or shoes. If your lodging on the way to your trip isn’t up to your usual standards, you can use these mattress protectors to keep you and the sheets separated.
Mesh bags are great for road trips. Most dollar stores sell them in a pack of two or three and they have so many uses. You can tie one to the back of a headrest and put your child’s blanket and stuffed animals for easy reach. You can also use mesh bags to air dry wet items or collect dirty laundry.
Sometimes your car can become a dumping ground on a road trip and before you know it you find yourself looking for everything from sunscreen to bug spray. Accordion files can keep everything in one place. Place the item in a gallon size plastic bag and label the top. This also works for games, coloring sheets, puzzles and other activities for the kids. Empty the pieces into a gallon zipped bag, label and place in each compartment.
Stacking Pill Organizer
When you take a road trip, space can be limited. One way you can save space is by using the stackable pill bottles. Put your eye cream, toothpaste and lotions in them to avoid having to bring larger containers. You can put over the counter medications in them. Or if you like to bring your favorite spices along, you can put them in there too. The possibilities are endless.
Fishing Lure Box/ Small Hardware Storage Box
These small boxes can be used to keep things together in the car during travel, whether it is small parts for crafts, spare change or earbuds to your devices.
Shower Trays with Suction Cups
Are you tired of picking up Legos or small toys and want to keep them together and in arm’s reach of your kids? Suction holders can be the perfect solution. Just suction the trays to your kids’ window and they have a place to store their favorite things.
Shower caps are also a great staple to have on hand. If you make stops and your kids get their shoes dirty, you can place them in the shower caps. Or if you don’t want to take their shoes off, place the caps around their shoes. If you stop to have a picnic, you can also use these to snap around a plate to keep the bugs away from your food.
Clip-on LED Light
For night driving, you may get distracted by turning the overhead lamps on for the kids to read. The clip-on LED reading light can come in handy. Clip onto seat belts so kids can have a reading light at their disposal. Clip onto your kids if you have to get out of your car at night to stretch your legs or go into a dark rest stop. These are portable and give just enough light for them to read, but not enough that it will distract you from driving.
Do you have any cheap road trip hacks to share? Leave them in the comments below!
Can you believe we have reached the last day in the No Spend Declutter Challenge? It’s so hard to believe we’ve been working away for nearly a month! I still have areas of my house that need some fine tuning, but overall, I’m quite happy! I think I brought in 5 boxes/bags to the second hand store.
One thing I wish I would have been better at, is using stuff we already have in our pantry and freezer. I feel like I still spent the same amount on groceries as I do every month.
Day 18 Declutter Task:
We’re going to close out the month with something that I like to do about once a month or so. A digital declutter. This is when I go though my email accounts and delete emails I no longer need. Unsubscribe from newsletters that don’t interest me any longer. Unfollow social media accounts and delete photos off my phone and computer that are no longer needed.
It’s sort of a mindless task, but feels so good to have only the stuff you need and the stuff you love in the end!
How often do you do a digital declutter?
Day 18 No Spend Task:
Remember when a couple of weeks ago, our task was to create “wants” list? Well, today, we’re going to revisit that list.
When you revisit your list, cross off the things you realize you no longer want. With the items that are still on the list, I want to encourage you to try buying used, borrowing from friends or family, or asking in a local Buy Nothing Facebook group.
I know you will will feel just as satisfied with those options when you receive the items you want!
I’d love to know, after nearly an entire month of not spending unnecessarily, how many things do you no longer want or need?
Thank you so much for joining me this month! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I will be posting each task in the Simply Frugal No Spend Declutter Challenge Facebook Group. This is where most of the discussion will be happening.
I will also be posting random progress reports throughout the challenge over at Instagram! Follow me on Instagram @simplyfrugal and use the hashtag #nospenddeclutter to get updates and see what others are up to during the challenge!
If you do not use social media, I would love to read your comments on each task, right here, below each challenge post on SimplyFrugal.ca!