Decluttering: 30 Things to Get Rid of in the Next 30 Days

Do you want to cut down on the clutter in your home but don’t know where to start? Today we’re sharing a list of 30 things to get rid of in the next 30 days!

Last winter I had to clean out my mom’s house and move her to an assisted living facility, and to be honest, I was a little shocked. Her home was filled with clutter! My parent’s home was always neat as a pin, but they sure hid it well. Drawers were full of free promotional tote bags, lanyards from conferences, 14 different address books, and multiple old wallets. The garage was full of broken appliances, old Christmas decor, masses of costume jewelry, and more tools, screws and nails than any one family could ever need!

After I spent a few full days cleaning out her clutter, I decided that I never wanted my own kids to have to do the same thing. We didn’t have nearly as much as her, but we certainly had our fair share. So I set about emptying my home of things I wasn’t using or needing. It’s amazing how much of that can accumulate in our homes without our even realizing it! 

Today I’m sharing 30 things to get rid of in the next 30 days to get organized for the new year! This isn’t an organization challenge where I’m telling you to clean out your whole house, nor is it a specific closet overhaul or a kitchen clean out. It’s an easy way to get rid of lots of things that you probably don’t need, and maybe didn’t even know you had. Just clear out one of these every day for 30 days (or more if you choose)!

A lot of these things we don’t even realize we have because they’re stuffed in drawers and the backs of closets. But physical clutter does clutter our minds and our lives, even when we can’t see it. This list of 30 things to get rid of will give you a jump start on decluttering and getting organized so that you can start fresh in the new year! BONUS: Just to make it easier, I’m including a free printable with a list of all the items to get rid of at the bottom of the post!

*And one thing to note, when I say ‘get rid of’ I don’t mean you need to throw everything out! Recycle any paper, glass or plastic. Donate clothing/bedding to schools, animal shelters or The Salvation Army, and books to your local library. Sell things like electronics or cell phones (or donate to charities that take them). There are so many people who are happy to receive your hand offs – you’ll be doing good while also getting organized. 🙂

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30 Things to Get Rid of in the Next 30 Days!

 

Kitchen

decluttering the kitchen white kitchen with pitcher and lemons

  1. Unused gadgets or small appliances. For me these were things like the apple peeler/corer (I’d just slice and core them myself when I baked a pie), and the avocado de-pitter my husband bought that we never used. If you use them, great. But if you have tons of gadgets you don’t use, then they’re taking up valuable space in your cabinets!
  2. Mismatched/free mugs. Whether they were a gift or a freebie, no one needs a million mugs. I bought 8 matching simple white mugs and ditched the rest, and it makes me so happy to look in that cabinet now!
  3. Duplicate/extra water bottles. Same as the mugs. No one needs 10 of these for a family of four. Think about how many you really need (maybe one for each person and a couple of extras) and get rid of the rest.
  4. Un-matching food storage containers or ones without lids. Take stock of your storage containers by matching them all to their proper lids, pitching anything that doesn’t have one. Mine were also all different colors/types so I took this opportunity to switch to all glass containers (much healthier, too).
  5. Any cracked/chipped dishes. Then take stock of what’s missing and replace as needed. And like the mugs, if you have multiple mis-matched bits and pieces, buy a simple, white dish set. Food looks better on white, too!
  6. Extra plastic bags. If you are overflowing with plastic grocery bags, now’s the time to thin them out. We use reusable grocery bags most of the time so I just keep a handful of plastic ones for when we need them and I store them in this fabulous container.
  7. Take out menus. You no longer need these! Simply go online to see the menu rather than having these take up space.

 

Living Room 

gorgeous french farmhouse living room with builtin bookshelves organize and declutter

  1. Old magazines/newspapers. I’m still a fan of actual magazines but I make sure I only keep the past year’s worth of each one. I also tear out any ‘inspiration’ pages and store those in a file in the office to refer to when I need them. You can recycle these or donate to a doctor’s office or nail salon.
  2. Movies you’ll never watch again (or are in a format you don’t use anymore). Guilty as charged. We still had not only dozens of DVDs but also VHS tapes from when the kids were small. And rather than give these to Goodwill, I donated them to the local library where they still use them.
  3. Books you’ve read and won’t read again. There’s really no need to keep every book you’ve ever read! We thinned ours out and kept only research/reference books and novels we’ve truly loved or will read again.

 

Bedroom 

gorgeous french country master bedroom blue and white

  1. Socks with holes or without mates. 
  2. Torn or worn out underwear or bras.
  3. Clothing you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit. Here we’re not doing a full closet overhaul, but do assess the items you aren’t wearing at all. If you haven’t worn something in 2 years (and it’s not formal wear), donate it. And if it doesn’t fit and you’re hoping to wear it again, get rid of those too. If/when you lose the weight reward yourself by buying some new things!
  4. Broken or tarnished costume jewelry. Toss anything that is tarnished, single earrings and broken pieces that can’t be fixed. For real jewelry, you may want to fix the broken items and sell anything you don’t use or wear. And while you’re at it, make sure you have your jewelry stored nicely in some type of storage container or drawer (The Container Store has a particularly great collection for this – I just got this pretty jewelry stand that I love!)
  5. Mismatched/wire hangers. Buy matching thin velvet hangers and you will not believe what a difference it makes in your closet. Not only does the uniformity look so much better, but you’ll have way more room than before!
  6. Free promotional tee shirts. This includes any freebies you got or ones you’re saving for ‘dirty work’ or painting. You don’t need 5 painting tee shirts, one or two will do. Donate the rest.
  7. Old sunglasses. You’ll never wear them. Trust me on this.
  8. Old wallets. Ditto.

 

Bathroom 

gorgeous farmhouse style bathroom neutrals and white

  1. Old/not used makeup. Here you should go through and throw out anything that is expired/changed color, etc. along with anything you don’t really love or use.
  2. Dried out nail polish. While you’re at it, pitch any colors you don’t love.
  3. Free samples you’ll never use. The samples are so small that I can’t make a decision as to whether I would buy that product in the future anyway, so I’ve gotten rid of almost all of them. And now I decline them unless it’s something I really want to try.
  4. Expired medicines. This goes for over-the-counter as well as prescription. 

 

Linen Closet

decluttering 30 things to get rid of right now linen closet organization

  1. Extra sheets you don’t use/need. I found 3 sets of twin sheets when I redid our linen closet, and we haven’t had a twin bed in the house in over a year! Assess what size sheets you need and keep two sets for each bed, one for using and one as a spare. Another tip? You don’t need to keep multiple ‘extras’ for painting and the like. Save a couple of the extra flat sheets for messy projects, store them in the laundry room or garage, and donate the rest.
  2. Worn out/old sheets. There’s nothing like new sheets! Buy high-quality, all-white sheet sets and only as many as you need (see above). 
  3. Worn/mismatched towels. And is there anything more satisfying than fresh, new towels all neatly stacked in the linen closet? If you have old, worn out towels, get rid of them, keeping only a few for dirty jobs. Then treat yourself to a new set of all white towels. You’ll thank me later. 😉

 

Office/Desk

office decluttering 30 things to get rid of now gorgeous French country office

  1. Extra cables and chargers. We had a box of these. Yes, a box! Go through all of them and match them to the electronics you currently have, making sure to label them for later. Donate the rest.
  2. Old cell phones and cases. Sell or donate any cell phones you’re not using. Many charities refurbish them for the military or abused women. Be sure to restore the factory settings and remove any of your data before you do so.
  3. Old, unidentified keys. Test them in every lock in your home and if they don’t fit, feel free to pitch them. If you do figure out some ‘mystery keys’, be sure to label them.
  4. Wrapping paper scraps. During the holidays I keep some of them when we’re all wrapping a lot of gifts. But the rest of the year, they never all get used up anyway. Recycle them.
  5. Mismatched/free promotional pens. Throw out the freebies and buy a bunch of black pens, all the same. Your office will immediately feel neater!
  6. Warranties. For years we kept paper copies of these but they’re now all available online so there’s no need to store them. Recycle them.

 

Garage

  1. Dried out or no longer needed paint cans. Pitch any paint that is dried out, along with any paint that is no longer a color you use in your home. While you’re at it, make sure the paint cans you do keep are labeled and properly sealed. Contact your city or trash collector for the proper disposal of paint in your area, or bring them to your local Benjamin Moore for recycling.

 

I hope you’ve found this list of 30 things to get rid of helpful! And just think – in a month (or less) your home will feel neater, more organized and you’ll have room to spare! 

 

Shop Decluttering Essentials 

 

Happy Decluttering!

Sheila
xo

And if you want a copy of my 30 Things to Get Rid Of checklist, click the photo below to print!

 

And if you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more cleaning and organizing tips below:

Linen Closet Organizing 

My 5 Favorite Organizing Tips

Favorite Cleaning Tips: How to Keep your Home Clean Everyday

5 Tips for Organizing Cabinets (for Good!)

 

Simplify your Home: 30 Things to Get Rid of in the Next 30 Days graphic on Maison de Cinq

 

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29 Comments

  1. Oh wow did I need this! I didn’t even think I had clutter until I read this, so thank you!

  2. I’m currently working on closets what a mess. Eventually will be done and hopefully this won’t happen again. LOL

    1. Oh boy, I feel you Diana – I’ve been there lol! But it’s soo worth it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I loved this post. You had several ideas that I hadn’t thought of. Thank you for the links, too.

    1. That’s so great! Thanks Susan and Happy New Year!

      sheila

  4. Betty M Bashaw says:

    You are always inspiring!

    1. Aww thank you Betty – that is so kind!

      Happy New Year to you!

      Sheila

  5. When sorting through your used sheets and towels, check with your local animal rescue to determine if they can use them. They use them for bathing and making bedding for their wards.

    1. Hi Bonnie! I actually mentioned that in the beginning of the post, but definitely worth reiterating! Thanks – and thanks for stopping by!\

      Sheila

  6. Great ideas for decluttering. Same ones I’ve been doing with “Simple Lion Heart Life”
    For your readers, this is a great blog to follow, you’ll get great tips and encouragement all year long.

    1. Aww thank you Debbie – so appreciate that!!

      Sheila

  7. Candida Fortune says:

    I really appreciate your ideas. Especially the colored sponges just started doing so but as far as you did .Thanks

  8. Bernadette Rogers says:

    I love all of these suggestions! Thank you for getting me motivated to purge – off I go!!

  9. Happy New Year, Sheila, and great post! One question I have regarding the linen closet. We have a CA king, a queen, an XL twin, and a regular twin in the house. We have flannel sheets for winter for each bed. Do I have one set flannel and one regular? Two regular? Either way, it’s still a lot of sheets in our house and my linen closet is bursting. Also, I have a few of our old flip phones that have a few photos on them that I would love to have but no idea how to get them so I can delete and donate the phones. Any advice? Looking forward to another great year of your blogs!

    1. Oh gosh you have a lot of bed sizes, haha! If it were me, I’d probably keep 2 for the beds that are slept in more (for instance, if there are guest rooms then just one set of flannel and one regular). If it’s your bed or someone who lives there all the time, then perhaps you have flannel and 2 regular. You can stack them neatly and they won’t take up much more room that way. As to the flip phones, I’ve never had one that took photos so I’m not sure (the flip phones I had were not smart phones!) Maybe google how to remove them? Good luck!

  10. Such great suggestions Sheila! I thought I was pretty good but you’ve made me realize I’m still keeping more clutter than I need to. Thank you for all you do!

  11. Roseann Pluchino says:

    Sheila, I hate clutter! After cleaning out my parent’s home not once but twice. I cleaned out my home. , Then I downsized in 2013 and two estate sales. 5yrs ago we relocated yes, another estate sale & lots of donations.

    My rules are you haven’t used it in six months it goes on to a new life.

    I love reading your blog, we truly have much in common.

    1. Aww I love hearing that Roseann! Thanks for the kind words, and here’s to a clutter-free 2022!

      Sheila

  12. I love this list! Such good ideas!! Gonna pin it so i can keep coming back!

  13. Fiona Canton says:

    Just love your blog! I never realized how many things I was storing that I really don’t need until I read this. Thanks Sheila!

  14. Nancy Rowley says:

    Hi Sheila,

    I recently purchased a beautiful rug from Homegoods to layer over my existing living room area rug. It keeps rippling and will not lie flat. I noticed in the image of your living room yours seems to be doing the same thing. Any suggestions on how to fix this? I’ve yanked and pulled and even used a large closet dowel to try to smooth it out but it crawls back into this lumpy mess.

    1. Oh dear I really don’t have much of a solution! The rug I have is quite thin and that’s why it does that (it’s in a different spot now). However, when I’ve used thicker rugs I haven’t had that problem. One technique I’ve used that has helped slightly is to weight it down with books for a good couple of weeks – might be worth a try!

  15. I read your post today and the first item you listed is an apple peeler/corer. I have an apple peeler/corer that I have not used in 12 years. I will follow through with your list! Thank you for the inspiration and motivation!

    1. Yay! glad you found it inspiring Jeanne! (And I think 12 years is a pretty good idea of whether you need it or not, haha!)

      Happy New Year!

      Sheila
      xo

  16. Linda Kasten says:

    Shiela, I appreciate all your helpful posts. Since we just recently moved after being in a house for 30 years to another state, I feel we eliminated tons of extra items we no longer needed or wanted. It’s amazing what you collect over a long period of time. Even though I had weeded out things on occasion, we still had an abundance of things. Just thinking about all the money we spent on that stuff is alarming as well. A pre-move garage sale added almost 2K to our moving kitty. I also donated 150 hardback novels to the local library. I am doing my best to keep the clutter from returning. I am loving all your organization blog posts.

    1. Yes I so agree! I really try to only buy what I LOVE or need now so that I hopefully avoid having so much to purge in the future. And good for you for having such a profitable garage sale! I love having them buy my husband is a hard no on those so donating it is for me, lol! Thanks Linda and Happy New Year!

      Sheila

  17. Donna M Colotti says:

    I must tell you I love your brass bedroom lamps. Do you share where they were purchased?

    1. Hi and thanks Donna! They’re gold (I painted them with Rub n Buff) and they were from TJ Maxx years ago! Sorry – I know that doesn’t help much!