31 Things to Declutter This Year

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:

  1. Out of date makeup– It’s just unsafe for your skin and eyes.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!
  2. VHS tapes– If you are still clinging to VHS it’s time to let it go, it’s not coming back.
  3. Old cell phones– Many electronics stores or phone companies have boxes for recycling cell phones and batteries.
  4. Spices that have expired– Check your cupboards and pantry, toss out old spices. Here’s an article with details about how long spices last.
  5. 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.
  6. Old stretched out bras– Keep those comfy old jogging pants but stretched out bras are not doing you any favors.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 31 things to declutter. Choose a few or choose all 31 and get to work making a more peaceful home this year.
  9. Clothes that don’t fit– Clothes more than one size too small/too big should be donated or sold.
  10. Unused or duplicate kitchen utensils– 6 wooden spoons? 3 meat mallets? Unopened egg poacher? Clean it all out of those drawers!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Unloved toys– Donate or toss toys as needed. After the holidays kids have an excess and this is a great time to declutter.
  15. 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!
  16. 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!
  17. Paperwork– Junk mail, old bills, or other out of date filing. Grab an inexpensive paper shredder or toss them in the fire.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Freezer items– Freezer burnt, well past their date, inedible or unappealing food should be tossed!
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Personal care items– Old perfumes, lotions, and shampoo bottles with 1/2” left in the bottom-get them out of the bathroom for good.
  29. Cards– Open your wallet or purse and declutter customer loyalty, rewards cards, empty gift cards and the like.
  30. 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.
  31. 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?

Related articles:

Achievable Back to School Tips and Tricks

Back to school tips and tricks

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.

Back to school Tips and tricks

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’s 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 girls and I are going to sit down to brainstorm all the items that they would like eating in their school lunch. I’m going to divide it up into categories:

  • Main dishes
  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Snacks/Treats

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 are not my favourite. Admittedly, they happen way more often then I would like.

However, both of my kids still find having a morning routine written down really helpful. To help them along, I’ve made up a list of these steps I need them to follow:

  1. Get Up
  2. Get Dressed
  3. Eat Breakfast
  4. Pack lunch (I like to do this while they are eating, but they can put it in their backpacks.)
  5. Brush teeth & hair
  6. Backpack & Shoes on
  7. 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’s where I ordered ours from.

I’d love to know your back to school tips and tricks. Leave them below in the comments!

No Spend Declutter Challenge: Day 18

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!

No Spend Declutter Challenge: Day 17

Day 17 Declutter Task:

Today, we’re going to tackle our desk areas. Now this year, things might look different than normal. You may be using a table as a make shift desk for school or work at home. So I guess you can tidy up the spot you call a work area!

In our home, I have a desk, but the girls are the ones who use it right now for making crafts and colouring. (We are fortunate to have in-class school!) My husband also has a desk that tends to get cluttered up with toys because it’s in our basement where most of the toys are. So today, I’ll tidy them up and make sure all the random items are in their proper place.

Day 17 No Spend Task:

Well, once again, we’re going to intentionally not spend money on unnecessary things! But we are almost finished! Have you noticed a big change in your mindset? Are you less tempted to purchase random items now?

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!

No Spend Declutter Challenge: Day 16

Day 16 Declutter Task:

Today, we’re going to declutter and organize our craft/hobby supplies. While we don’t have a dedicated craft room, I still find it very helpful to occasionally go through our craft supplies! I seem to have bins all over the house. I’ll be sorting through my daughters’ craft supplies too. Actually, mainly their supplies. I’m still trying to figure out what my hobby is. 😛

When we moved into our house almost four years ago (!!), we purchased a few of these ALEX drawer units from IKEA. My husband created a desk out of them by placing a piece of pine board overtop. It has been the most wonderful set up for the girls!

Here are some links to great craft organization tips that I thought you might enjoy:

Day 16 No Spend Task:

Once again today, we’re going to keep it simple, and not spend money on anything unnecessary. What did you do yesterday for your self care? I ended up with an hour to myself so I forced myself to not do any chores and read a book!

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!

No Spend Declutter Challenge: Day 15

Day 15 Declutter Task:

Today we’re going to start a task that I dread. Filing paper. I’m not sure why I don’t like it so much, because when I do take the time to to it, it really doesn’t take that long. Once it’s done I’m always left feeling satisfied too! I just don’t know…

I think it was about a year ago that I overhauled our filing system and I’m really liking it! If you are in need of some filing system inspiration, here are some great links:

Related: Tips to Tame the Paper Clutter

Do you have a system that works well for you?  Care to share your tips in the comments?

Day 15 No Spend Task:

I definitely think it’s time for some intentional self-care, don’t you think? If you can’t find time today, make some time this week! Here are some ideas for self care that you may enjoy:

What do you do for self care?

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!