35 things to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering

INSIDE : Ready for the New Year or looking to just clean house? Check out these 35 things to throw out when decluttering your home and see how awesome you will feel about it afterward! Plus your home will thank you.

35 Things to Toss

This post has been updated since it’s original April 2016 publish date.

Having extra space is a glorious luxury that many of us do not have. (Someone please tell me why New Mexico homes don’t have basements OR attics, argh.)  One of my favorite things is to go through closets, drawers, games areas, etc… and purge (I know, I live an exciting life)!  Then I create piles that I donate to various local organizations.

Today, I’m going to share 35 things to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering (and you probably won’t even miss). I have a feeling whether you have the extra space or not, we all could do with a little less!

And because so many of us, organizing types love a good checklist… I’ve also made this into a printable checklist that you can download at the bottom of this post.

Okay, are you ready?  Grab some empty boxes and let’s get at it!

BATHROOM ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

1. Makeup that is long past it’s ‘best use by’ date.

2. Toiletries that you will never use (creams, lotions, hair color kits).

3. Hair products that you used when your style was different (gels, creams, waxes, mousses).

4. Old nail polish in a color you don’t wear any more or the paint has started separating.

5. Old washcloths and bath towels that have seen better days.

LINEN CLOSET ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

6. Old pillow cases or sheets that you never use.

7. Out of date medicines, creams/lotions or ointments.

8. Bathmats that are old and worn.

9. Cloth shower curtains that you have not used for 5 years or more.

BEDROOM ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

10. Clothes that don’t fit.  Would you buy that item right now in a store?  No, then it’s time to toss.

11. Earrings that don’t have their matching partner.  It’s so hard to say goodbye.

12. Any under garments that have simply seen better days.

13. Shoes that hurt when you wear them.

14. Bed side knicknacks that just aren’t used. This could include candles, old lotions, books you keep meaning to read but don’t.

LIVING ROOM ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

15. Old magazines or newspapers that you are saving for a “rainy day”.

16. Games or puzzles where some of the pieces are missing.

17. Throw pillows that have lost their shape.

18. Used candles that the wick has worn down and it can’t be lit again.

19. Miscellaneous knick knacks that you once loved, but now are just taking up shelf space, fireplace mantel space or coffee table space.

OFFICE + STUDY ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

20. Pens that have run out of ink and don’t work any longer.

21. Small quantities of wrapping paper or gift ribbon that won’t wrap or hold anything.

22. Old notepads, notebooks or calendars that you’ve already used but are just holding onto.

23. Paperwork or bills that you could scan or store digitally instead of keeping the paper copies.

35 Things to Toss

KITCHEN ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

24. Kitchen gadgets you never have used (bread machine, the bullet chopper, salad spinner, egg cooker, etc).

25. Any mugs over the total number of people you would ever have drinking in your home at once. Maybe hold onto 4 additional and the rest toss.

26. Recipe books you never reference or use.

27. Tupperware or plastic storage containers with missing lids.

28. Plastic silverware, plates or cups from when your older children were once young.

29. “Cute paper napkins”, we all love to buy them and we use them for one party and then we have a stash of 18 additional “cute paper napkins”. Toss them or use them up.

MISC ITEMS to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering:

30. Spare buttons from clothes that you are keeping ”just in case”.

31. Things in your home that you look at and really don’t really like, artwork, small knick knacks, vases, pots, candles, etc.

32. Chargers and cords for phones/cameras/electronics that you no longer own.

33. Greetings cards from past events (only keep those that are truly sentimental).

34. Old receipts that you have sitting around with no purpose.

35. Old glass vases, mason jars, jelly jars, glass containers that aren’t serving a job but you hold onto because you might use them for flowers some day. Keep the best 3 or 4 and toss the rest.

And while we are talking about throwing things out to feel better, you might also want to do the same thing with your life!  If you are ready to start afresh and take back your life, you might be interested in my ebook, Just Start.  Because nothing changes until you begin!

Ready to dive a little deeper into this exciting topic?  I’m SO THRILLED to share my Just Start ebook with you!  

Just Start In-POST-graphic

The link to purchase is below!! 

Are you ready for a good checklist version of this decluttering?  

Things to Toss clipboard

IT’S DOWNLOAD TIME:
Sign up for the DYD Insider newsletter to receive access to my ENTIRE DYD Printable Library along with this ‘Toss and Feel Awesome Checklist’ printable!!!

Already a DYD Newsletter Insider? Click on over here to access the printables library using the password found at the bottom of any email I’ve ever sent you.

PHEW!  Did you make it through the list?  Even if you could purge or toss just two items from each category, I would say it would be a huge win for your home and probably your sanity.  Keep only objects that bring you happiness.  Life is too short to surround yourself with clutter.

Looking for more on this topic?  You might find these interesting!
Just Start
Looking to Start some Goals
9 Ways to Organize your Life and Home
Gorgeous Hand Lettered To-do List

25 things to throw away and feel Awesome about
How to Stick with a Goal
What are the best New Year’s Resolutions?

24 thoughts on “35 things to throw out and feel awesome about when decluttering

  1. I agree with throwing out things you no longer use.
    What I like even more is up cycling and donating.
    2. Toiletries – throw out (unless it’s not been opened eg hair colour kit) I gave one away on Kijiji)
    3. Hair products – throw out (unless it’s full or even mostly full, then give away on Kijiji)
    5. Sheets and pillow cases – use pillow cases to clean ceiling fan (then throw out or wash to use again) Also old bed sheets make great drop cloths for painting
    6. Prescriptions should not be thrown out, they should be returned to the pharmacy
    7. Clothes – donate
    10. Shoes that hurt – donate
    14. Used candles- if scented break into pieces and use on a wax melt
    17. Kitchen gadgets – sell/donate
    18. Mugs – donate
    19. Recipe books – donate
    20. Tupperware no lids – great to use while painting. Throw out afterwards, no messy clean up just throw it out
    21. Spare buttons – I have a small jar of buttons and it’s come in very handy.
    22. Things you look at and don’t like – not everyone can afford this one.

  2. I am a button saver too, but sorry can’t let them go, I inherited my mothers and she had some from her mother and her grandmother. I do have a look at them and bring back the past. I am going to start with the cell phone bits and pieces, I have still the first cell phoned I owned plus the charger cords. Recipe books…no please, I am sure they can’t be torn from my arms. This really is going to be hard work. I can in fact find a reason to keep everything, no wonder I need a list.

    1. Ha, Liz you made me laugh! I would say for sure if there are things of sentimental value DEFINITELY hold onto them! I have some of my Grandmother’s pots and pans and I could never get rid of them. I can completely understand your feeling that way about the buttons, but yes old cell phone chargers are another story! Good luck. 😉

    2. I’m with you Liz! I have two containers starting for 2 of my Grandmothers and then my Mom! I remember sitting on the floor and going through them. And I can almost remember every outfit of theirs that the buttons were on. I hope to leave them to my daughter so that she can share with her daughter. And I have collected recipe gooks also, and some were handed down. I finally told my Daughter and Daughter In Law they can have all of them….except the ones from our Church that I still use. And other things? I need a long checklist so I can add to it! lol. Good luck!

  3. LOL!!! your list made me laugh because I, too am guilty of keeping things even though I did a big purge when we moved from the house I lived in for some 40 years!!! just 6 years ago. I did do a clean-up before the holidays and some of my serving dishes ie so-called glass heart shaped wins from my Avon days are now used to put my glitter on; my old candlesticks my mother-in-law gave me now hold up two silver trays (gift from Avon) in a lazy susie fashion way and where I house lost /broken jewels and other jewellery things. tupperware lids, well they are great to mix paint especially when the grandkids come over; old linens well one is kept to clean my grand-dogs paws (why does it always rain when she comes to spend a few days??) Of course other things and if you’re not into crafting (I definitely wasn’t) it is a good idea to get rid of them but the things I am recycling bring me a smile when I see them. I even planted a plant in my coffee pot that the burner was finished ….I use the fishbowl that I got for 50 cents but then refuse to pay $22 for a fish!!! the plants are thriving! Anyhow I have passed on my fever to my daughter – she was busy yesterday purging the basement of old toys, clothes etc. so cleaning can be contagious!!! LOL!!

    1. Oh my! You’re so creative with your old items, I love it!! Well, it sounds like a little cleaning and a little creative repurposing and you are good to go! 😉

  4. Great list of things to get rid of. Never thought about make-up and I do have some old stuff. Thank you for the reminder about keeping things that I really should get rid of.

    1. It’s amazing how much old makeup I own when I stop and think about it! 😉 Hope it was a helpful list, Deirdre.

  5. As a pro organizer, I find that having an exercise like this that gives someone a quick win upfront in the declutter process can really help to get over that initial hurdle of feeling overwhelmed. The printable is such great added bonus. Thanks for sharing on Project Inspired Link Party!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Natalie! I am not a pro-organizer but do like decluttering my home. Great insight to create an upfront win, I love that.

  6. well…i did throw out a used taper candle last week. cookbooks? really? cookbooks? sigh.
    I obviously need your list – just printed! next to you at randomly simple – (nothing simple about purging for me- thanks for the inspiration)

    1. Oh Sue, thanks for your comments! Cookbooks are a hard one for me, too. I’m always like…. what if I need to know how to make this North Caroline bbq pork recipe some day!! =)

    1. I feel like I could do three more posts like this… the list of items to toss and purge never ends!

  7. You are speaking my language here! Less is more. Or so that’s the mantra I’ve been trying to shift my life into these days. This list is a terrific kick-start to assessing what I really need and need to get rid of in my apartment. And then it got me to thinking, because it is so difficult for me to purge, I wondered if there might be DYD inspired after-life’s for some of these items? Like old pillow cases? or used candle wax? Or games with missing pieces? Not that this is a reason to keep hanging onto things we just don’t need, but with your creativity, and with my own desire to buy less and really make use of what I have, I thought there may be some fun options we could consider!

    1. Ha, yes! I always walk a fine line between hoarding things “to do something amazing with later” and just realizing when an old pillow case, is just an old pillow case. My basement is full to the brim with items, I’m keeping for a rainy crafting day. So, I literally do an almost weekly run to local donation places here in town. Somehow, there is always more to donate… Thanks for the comment, Meg!! xo

  8. I cleared out most of these when we moved last year so it’s probably time to go through things again I’m thinking make up etc especially, but buttons – no no no no no! You can’t throw out buttons – never! (said in my most indignant tone!) I have a tin full and use them all the time for all sorts of crafts. When my kids were little they were great for sorting games too. They would tip them out on a tray and sort into colours or by size etc, picking out their favourite novelty shaped ones.

  9. OMG. Can’t believe I agreed with almost everyone of your suggestions. And I chuckled when read them. So true. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Excellent list!! (I laughed about the buttons – that’s me, the Button Saver!). Your list has me pumped up for a good Spring cleanin’! I was thinking about upcycling a few items on your list though. Old pillow cases could easily make cute, handy drawstring bags to hold toys or to use on overnights at Grandmas, and I’ll bet you could come up with some great ways to incorporate single earrings, ribbon and wrapping paper -even those buttons – in cute kids craft projects. But ONLY if they aren’t just going to further clutter up and delay your Spring cleaning efforts. I’d better get moving before I lose my enthusiasm over clearing out the unneeded stuff! Thanks, Amy!

      1. I’m a button saver, too… =) I do think there is a fine line between keeping things to upcyle and just keeping things to keep things. Believe ME, my craft area is FULL to the brim with this and that. But I limit it to items I know I will use and not just misc junk to “maybe” use some day. Sounds like you are definitely on the right path, Jackie! =)

    2. Why is it so easy to hoard? Ha! We all do it, but it’s a great time of the year to clean house a little bit! =)

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