Top 5 items to de-clutter

In the UK we are back in a national lock down. It is January, cold, grey, and often wet which makes it harder to get outside.

If you have extra time on your hands and what to do something productive, why not use this time to have a go at de-cluttering?

Taking the action to de-clutter your home now will free up time to spend later when the warmer weather returns and we can hopefully be back spending time with family and friends.

Here are our top 5 items to de-clutter:

1. Books, DVDs and CDs

Are you someone that reads a book once and then places it on the shelf to gather dust? Do you have loads of DVDs but find yourself searching for something new to watch online? Do you love music but just ask Alexa or Google to play your favourite hits? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then it might be time to de-clutter.

We had bookcases stuffed full of books and racks full of CDs and DVDs. It looked messy, took up space and gathered dust – something else for us to spend our time cleaning. Now we just have a small bookcase with select books that we really enjoy, and the rest is gone for someone else to enjoy – along with the storage units and players!

We saved all the CDs we wanted to enjoy again to our cloud storage. We gave good quality CDs to charity and gifted some to our local community weightlifting club. Anything that was below par went to the recycling centre. We kept the books that we loved and would read again, but all others went to the charity book bank. We decided to get rid of all the DVDs (and our DVD players) – the good quality DVDs went to the charity shop with the scratched or damaged ones going to the recycling centre. Amy’s brother was gifted one of the DVD players and the other we sold on Facebook market place.  

2. Towels and bedsheets

How many beds do you have in your house? How many sets of sheets do you have per bed? How many do you really need? 2 sets for adult beds, maybe three for children? If you have any more than this it is probably time to de-clutter. Same goes with towels – how many towels per person in your household do you need? If you have towels falling on your head every time you open your airing cupboard (as we did) then it is probably time to remove some.

We had far too many towels and sheets for the two of us living in the house. We gave a number of the towels to Amy’s Mum for cleaning her dogs after muddy walks. We also gave some to a local animal rescue centre. Some we put in the local materials recycling bank and others we cut up and made into cleaning cloths.

3. Kitchen stock, utensils and appliances

How many duplicate kitchen utensils do you have? When was the last time you used that lemon juicer? Do you have large kitchen equipment stored at the back of your cupboard that is just too much of an effort to get out and use? When was the last time you checked the expiry date on those tins and packets stored at the back of the pantry?

We found the kitchen one of the easiest places to de-clutter because it was a room we used so often. We knew straight away which items we used and which we didn’t, but we did have to challenge ourselves with the ‘just in case’ items and it took some effort to get everything out, remove the duplicates, out of date and never used items, and just put back just what we needed to keep – but the effort was worth it when the kitchen felt bigger without so much stored on the kitchen surfaces and we could easily access everything we used regularly.

We gave some items to friends and family that could make use of them – we sold some items such as the food blender – we gave some items to charity and the rest was recycled or thrown away.

4. Toys, arts and crafts and games

Do you have more toys and games than you have storage to contain? Do you have toys stored in your playroom or kid’s bedroom that they just don’t play with anymore? Do you have family games that you’ve all outgrown now? Are your kids more into TikTok and gaming than they are arts and crafts? If you’ve answered yes to any of these then it might be time to de-clutter.  

James’ son is now 19 so we don’t have that many toys and games anymore, but we do keep a few that our niece, nephew and friend’s children play with when they come to stay. Some of them we will admit were James’ son’s toys when he was small, but they are good quality and have lasted.

We now periodically look at what we are holding onto, what age range they are for, what still gets played with and what doesn’t. Anything that is now good to go either gets gifted to friends, taken to the charity shop or if broken and beyond repair, taken to the local recycling centre.

5. Clothes and shoes

Have a good look at your wardrobe – are there clothes that you just don’t enjoy wearing anymore? Are there clothes than no longer fit? Are there shoes that rub your feet every time you wear them? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then time to get rid – there is no point in keeping items that you just don’t or can’t wear any more – give them up to someone who can enjoy and make use of them.

We had so may pairs of shoes that we just didn’t wear, no longer suited our style or were just uncomfortable to wear. We put the quality ones in the clothes bank and took anything that was beyond use to the recycling centre.

Getting rid of clothes is challenging, especially clothes that no longer fit. The ‘one day’ aspirations mean we hold on for some time in the future but in the meantime make ourselves unhappy looking at clothes that we just can’t wear. We took the plunge to remove anything that didn’t fit, didn’t make us feel good when wearing it or had seen better days. We gave clothes to charity but there are many options for selling good quality items.

If this has inspired you to get de-cluttering let us know in the comments below. Wanting to de-clutter but just don’t know where to start? – feel free to get in contact with us.

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