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Overwhelmed By Clutter? This Is The Best Thing To Do First

When your entire house is cluttered, focusing on one room may not be the best approach. Start with this easy and impactful project instead!

If your home has been feeling cluttered lately, there are a lot of different approaches you can take to get more organized. But depending on the severity of your clutter and how widespread the issue is, you may not even know where to start!

If the idea of decluttering and organizing your home feels more than a little overwhelming, I have some good news for you! Today I’ll be sharing a simple, doable decluttering project you can use as a starting point to kickstart your efforts.

Instead of putting all your effort into one space and ignoring the rest of the house, you may benefit more from doing a little bit in each room. That’s the idea behind this easy exercise, which involves getting rid of 3 specific things from each room in your house!

Related: 11 Things You Need To Get Rid Of In Your Kitchen

3 Things To Get Rid Of From Each Room In Your House

▶︎ Bathroom

#1 – Hair & Makeup Products

Pull out all of the hair and makeup products in each bathroom, and sort through them. Set aside anything that’s expired or that you haven’t used in the past few months.

Not only is practice a good idea in terms of hygiene, but it can also free up valuable storage space (which can be hard to come by in the bathroom!)

Related: 7 Things You Need To Get Rid Of In Your Garage

#2 – Travel Toiletries

Many people collect travel-size toiletries from past hotel stays, but if you’re not actually using them, they’re probably just taking up space. If you have a decent number of unused toiletries, call around to local homeless shelters to find out if they accept donations of toiletry items.

#3 – Old Medicines

Lastly, go through your medicine cabinet and get rid of any out-of-date prescriptions and old medicines. And don’t forget that with prescriptions in particular, it’s important to dispose of them safely!

Do some research online to find out if there are any medication drop boxes in your area. You can often find them at police precincts, pharmacies, and hospitals.

▶︎ Kitchen

#1 – Rarely Used Appliances

Each of us probably has at least one appliance or gadget in the kitchen that we haven’t used in recent memory. Do you really need that dusty George Foreman grill or your old popcorn popper?

Get rid of any rarely used appliances to streamline your collection and free up storage space. Making a few bucks by selling them on Facebook Marketplace should ease your sorrow about parting with them! 🙂

#2 – Mismatched Food Containers

If you’re anything like me, your collection of food storage containers features a wide variety of different sizes, shapes, and brands. Keeping them organized is another matter entirely, but as far as decluttering goes, pairing lids with containers is a useful place to start!

Go through all of your containers and make sure that each container has a lid that fits. If there are a few lidless containers or lonely lids leftover, get rid of them.

#3 – Fridge Clutter

Maybe twice a year or so, I take a few minutes to thin out the papers and magnets that collect on the front and sides of our fridge. Tossing out last year’s wedding invitations, weeks-old shopping lists, and weak magnets can really give your fridge a facelift, and can even freshen up the feel of the whole kitchen!

▶︎ Living Room

#1 – Remote Controls

Does it drive you crazy that each piece of your entertainment system has a different remote? An inexpensive universal remote can simplify your setup and preserve your sanity!

This one can control up to 4 separate audio and video components (which means 3 fewer remotes for you to keep track of!)

#2 – Worn Throws & Pillows

If you have throw pillows or throw blankets in your living room, they not likely to last as long as the less-used decorative ones in other rooms. Examine your current array of living room blankets and pillows to check for signs of wear, and consider replacing ones with stains or holes.

(Even as someone who has never needed an excuse to buy cute new throw pillows, I still think it’s nice to have one!) 😉

#3 – VHS Tapes

If you have a stack of old VHS tapes or other outdated media in your living room, it may be time to part with them. VHS tapes take up a lot of space, and taking that space back will go a long way toward making the room feel less cluttered.

Digitize those old home movies, and upgrade your movie collection to DVD or Blu-Ray (or better yet, sign up for streaming services that have your favorites!)

▶︎ Closets

#1 – Unused Tote Bags

It’s hard to say no to a free reusable tote bag, but how many of those do you actually need? If you have a stash of untouched totes taking up space in your closet, keep as many as you’ll actually use and then donate the rest!

#2 – Old Costumes

Nothing eats up valuable closet space like bulky old costumes, especially when you never actually wear them. Instead of keeping them on the off-chance you’ll pull them out on Halloween, find someone to give them away to. (I’m sure any kid with a dress-up box would love to have them!)

#3 – Bad Hangers

The single best upgrade you can make to your closet is to get rid of low-quality hangers. (You know, the hangers that snag your clothes, refuse to stay on the rod, or snap in half under the slightest amount of pressure?)

Since replacing all of the hangers in your closet at once could get expensive, swap them out in small batches for sturdier wood or velvet hangers.

▶︎ Home Office

#1 – Mystery Cables

I’d be willing to bet that many of us have a stash of old cables, wires, and charging cords somewhere. If you have one in your house, go through it and set aside anything you haven’t used recently or don’t recognize.

Be sure to involve the other members of your household in this process, because you don’t want to accidentally throw away a cable that someone else has been missing. And if charging cables are a common source of clutter in your house, consider getting a charging station to streamline your setup!

#2 – Old Files

It’s never a bad thing to keep thorough financial records, but you may have more of them in your office than you actually need! According to the IRS, the maximum amount of time you would need to keep old income tax records is 7 years after the filing date. (And that’s for special circumstances—many people only need to keep the past 3 years of their income tax records.)

Sort through your old files and set aside anything you don’t need anymore. And be sure to shred any documents with sensitive information before recycling them!

#3 – Outdated Reference Books

Finally, get rid of any outdated reference books that may be taking up space in your office, or elsewhere around the house. Here are a few examples of the types of books I’m talking about:

  • Books about outdated technologies or software
  • Textbooks from your college years
  • Old encyclopedias
  • Bulky reference guides you haven’t opened in years

Getting rid of those outdated reference books will cut down on clutter in your office, and free up space for new books too!

What’s one thing you could get rid of today that would help you cut down on clutter?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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