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Minimalism

101 Things to Declutter in Your Home Right Now!

It can be hard to know where to start when decluttering. There are so many rooms and areas you could begin with and it can seem overwhelming when starting out. When we are so focused on bringing new things into our home we can forget the importance of removing the items that are no longer useful to us and could be taking up valuable space in our home.

Do you open your kitchen utensil drawer only to become flustered trying to find the one thing you actually need? Have you accumulated twenty mugs in the cups cupboard and seem to forever have endless ones to wash? Is your linen closet overflowing so closing it is a struggle and you often end up shoving the clean stuff in closing the door and just think to yourself I will deal with this later? Downsizing our excess stuff can allow us to reduce stress in our lives and make some of our chores less bothersome. We are limited to the space we have in our homes so if your cupboards and shelves are overflowing with stuff if might be time to start clearing some of it out.

Here is a list of 101 things to declutter in your home right now that will give you a place to start your decluttering journey by area and hopefully a new leaf to a less cluttered, more simplified life.

Kitchen
1. Duplicate utensils.
2. Excess kitchen knives
3. Excess cleaning supplies. Use up what you have before buying any new ones.
4. Cutlery. Limit it to a reasonable number for your regular needs.
5. Plates. How many plates do you need? Limit to 2 per person per type as a guide.
6. Cups and mugs. Empty out that cupboard filled with overflowing cups piled on top of each other and only keep your favourites.
7. Bake-ware. Ask yourself how often do you bake and if you really need everything you have.
8. Single purpose appliances such as doughnut makers, popcorn makers etc. Keep only the items you use regularly.
9. Restaurant menus. These can all be located online put them into the recycling.
10. Excess vases.
11. Pots and Pans.
12. Tupperware with missing lids.
13. Expired medicine.
14. Unwanted cookbooks.

Fridge/Freezer 
15. Expired condiments in your fridge.
16. Uneaten leftovers.
17. Unwanted drinks.
18. Frozen meats with freezer burn.
19. Food that you don’t plan on eating due to change of diet etc.

Pantry
20. Expired food in your pantry.
21. Unwanted alcohol.
22. Expired spices or any you don’t use.
23. Any food you don’t plan on eating.

Bathroom
24. Shampoos and conditioners. Avoid buying seperate ones for each person unless necessary. Try and stick to the same brand so you don’t end up with multiple bottles going unused cluttering up your cupboard.
25. Old or unused Makeup. What makeup do you currently use, is there something you haven’t touched in the past year? Do you have ten different eye shadow pallets when a few would be enough? Make up has a limited shelf life and should be used up in 1-2 years for most products. See this link for details on expiration dates of makeup.
26. Beauty products. Limit beauty products to what you need and avoid buying more until you’ve used up what you have.
27. Lotions and leave in conditioners. If you don’t plan to use it give it to someone who will or bin it.
28. Decor. Remove excess decor from the bathroom and counter tops. The less you have the less you have to move when cleaning. Have a few nice decorative pieces and clear the rest.
29. Hair accessories keep only what your use regularly.
30. Old razors.

Manchester 
31. Towels, face washers and hand towels – Keep two towels per person for your home. Hang it up after use and wash the ones in the hamper regularly. Think of the time you’ll save on laundry when you only have 8 towels instead of 16?! These can be donated to animal shelters.
32. Quilt covers. How many quilt covers do you have? Assess what ones you still love and donate the rest. Ideally you need one to use and one spare for when the other one is in the wash.
33. Blankets. Limit blankets to two sets per bed.
34. Pillows. Keep the number of pillows required for your bed and bin the rest.
35. Bath mats. I’m certainly one that finds it hard to resist the allure of a new soft bath mat. Stick to 2-3 on rotation and donate the others to an animal shelter.
36. Spare curtains that are no longer in fashion or have been sitting in the linen closet for years.

Bedroom
37. Perfumes or fragrances you don’t like. Old unwanted perfumes or colognes can be binned or donated to friends or family. I’ve sold a few on eBay as well so that’s always an option to make some extra cash.
38. Bedroom decor you no longer love.
39. The stuff under your bed. It is a lot easier to clean your bedroom when there is nothing under the bed.
40. The bedroom TV. Do you really need that eyesore in your bedroom sanctuary?
41. Books on your night stand that you aren’t currently reading. Keep one or two on your bedside table and put the rest back on the bookshelf.
42. Anything that doesn’t belong in your bedroom (for us more often than not it’s guitars :p).

Wardrobe
43. Shoes that you don’t enjoy wearing.
44. Worn belts.
45. Ties that you no longer like.
46. Handbags that are no longer your style or worn.
47. Jewellery/Accessories that you no longer like or wear.
48. Clothing that you haven’t worn in the past 6-12 months. Use the backwards hanger method to establish what you do and don’t wear.
49. Socks that are missing a pair or have holes in them.
50. Underwear that is uncomfortable or has seen better days.
51. Old pyjamas that have had their time.

Laundry
52. Reduce your wardrobe. This will mean you reduce your washing by default and limit the laundry piles to manageable amounts.
53. Excess laundry baskets or hampers (once your laundry is reduced).
54. That random stuff that you find in pockets. Have a catch all container or box to collate items found in pockets. Empty this regularly.
55. Cleaning supplies you no longer need.
56. Laundry products you tried and didn’t use again.

Kids play rooms/bedrooms
57. Books. Donate unwanted books to schools, childcare centers or the library.
58. Unwanted Toys. Sell toys in good condition on eBay or donate to local charities.
59. Stuffed Animals.
60. Games or puzzles with missing pieces.
61. Kids art. To make room for new artworks to be displayed scan the image or take a photo of it and create into scrapbooks or store them digitally.
62. Old unwanted electronic games.
63. Dried out texters and pens.

Garage/Shed 
64. Old paint cans or other chemicals you no longer need.
65. Car oil or parts for cars you no longer have.
66. Cardboard boxes that have past their warranty period.
67. Any broken gardening tools that you haven’t got around to fixing.
68. Old tiles if you are renovating and no longer need them.
69. Scrap building supplies you won’t need.

Living Areas 
70. Excess decor cluttering up your living spaces.
71. Excess furniture that is being unused.
72. Extra lounges when they are mostly empty.
73. Artwork or photos you no longer love.
74. Excess or drab cushions.
75. Rugs that don’t go with your colour scheme.
76. Excessive photo frames. Keep a few on display but don’t go overboard.

Entertainment/Media 
77. CD’s you no longer listen to.
78. DVD’s you won’t watch again.
79. VHS’s.
80. Excess TVs.
81. Unused Gaming Consoles.
82. Games you haven’t played since finishing.
83. Old mobile phones and phone chargers. These can be dropped off at local library or Mobile Muster collection points. See this link for your local recycling options.
84. Old cameras.
85. Your DVD or VCR if you don’t use them.
86. Old laptops you no longer use.

Sentimental Items 
87. Old cards. Scan them and save them digitally.
88. Bad quality or blurry photos or people that you no longer want in your life.
89. Other photos taking up space in large bulky photo albums. Consider making your prints into a photo book or displaying them in a digital photo frame and backing them up digitally.
90. Sentimental items that you have no connection to. Take a photo of the item if that makes it easier to let go.
91. Jewellery you don’t love. Find someone in your family who will love it or get is melted down into something special.

Home Office/Paper
92. Books you no longer read or reference.
93. Magazines. Cut out what you need and put them in a folder and recycle the rest.
94. Old bank or credit card statements. These can all be accessed online.
95. Utility bills. Get these emailed to you and reduce some of the paper coming into your home each month.
96. Old receipts. Scan them as they come in on your phone and recycle them or keep them in one file.
97. Excess notebooks/pads. Keep a few or put them in areas where they will be useful like your handbag or car.
98. Stationery from your uni days that you no longer need.
99. Your printer (if you don’t use it).
100. Excess pens. Test what works and bin the rest or any you don’t like using.
101. Manuals for electrical goods.

What things have your decluttered in your home? Please leave a comment below!

Minimalism

10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life

After discovering the minimalist lifestyle a couple of years ago I was keen to learn everything I could about this concept. After reading everything I could possibly find on the subject I started making small gradual changes and found very quickly that this was having a positive effect on many areas of my life. By reflecting on what my experiences were on this minimalism path I hoped it might help and inspire others to discover the benefits of living a more intentional life. There are no set rules for minimalism, it is different for everyone and is useful a tool to create a life that brings you happiness. Here are 10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life that I have found over my journey.

  1. Less stress.

A minimalist inspired lifestyle has helped me to feel the least stressed I have felt in a long time. It empowers you to be more comfortable saying no to things that take you away from your goals and yes to things that bring you closer. It will allow you to reassess the relationships in your life, which could entail leaving a bad relationship or setting new boundaries with a friend or family member to ensure those close relationships aren’t detrimental to your well being. It might give you the courage to leave a job that is negatively impacting your health or consuming all your time. By identifying the aspects in life that are most important to you, you can reduce the time and money that might have gone into less important pursuits previously.

  1. More free time.

On your minimalism journey you will start to identify which aspects of life bring you joy and which don’t. Once you start saying no to things that don’t bring you joy, you can start freeing up more time to say yes to thing that do. Whether that be limiting social events with people that you don’t genuinely enjoy spending time with in order to find more time to spend with those who you do love to see, or finding ways to better balance your time between friends, colleagues and family so you aren’t neglecting relationships that are important to you. It’s also important to allow time to reset our batteries so this include blocking out time in our schedule for relaxation or to allocate time to hobbies that may have seemed impossible to fit in.

  1. You will be able to remove the excess in your life to focus on what is more important.

Having less clutter and adopting a minimalist approach allows for more time and money to spend on things that are valuable to you. Removing the excess means you might reduce the need for a large home to store unnecessary possessions. This could give you the opportunity to downsize your home saving you money on your rent or mortgage, potentially require less hours working to pay for that larger home and save you time each week in cleaning and maintenance that can be freed up for more enjoyable activities. Removing the excess in your life can open up new opportunities and allow you to take on new goals that you might not have been able to take up in the past.

  1. Showing you the joy of experiences over material possessions.

Minimalism has helped me to realise the joy of experiences over material possessions. Buying material possessions may brings a temporary increase in happiness, but that disappears over time once we adapt to having that item and wears off much quicker than experiences. When you prioritise experiences over material possessions it provides you with joy that no physical purchase can really come close to particularly if the experience is shared with someone. These are memories that we can talk about for years to come with loved ones, and share our joy with future generations and although they may not provide us with a physical thing to show in our homes, the memories are with us for life. Tomorrow is not given, don’t hold off on experiences in the pursuit of stuff.

  1. Letting go of what others expect of us.

 There is so much pressure placed on everyone to have the most impressive sounding job, newest car, biggest home and the focus has shifted away from what makes us happy to what we can do to impress others. Minimalism helps us to shift the focus from being defined by others expectations and is a tool to help us put our needs first. If it is important to you to be debt free and drive a reliable, affordable car instead of a new more impressive vehicle do that.  Maybe it is more important to you to have more free time to follow other passions than having a high-stress managerial position with long hours.  Spend less time worrying about what other people expect of you and focus on doing what makes you happy. The more of us who chose to follow a path of happiness, the more we can help to set a new example to those who do feel the pressure to live up to society’s expectations to break out of that mold and follow their own passions.

  1. More focus on health.

Minimalism helps you to prioritise the essential things in life, one of the most important being health. It can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day life bills, chores and work and long-term your health is going to suffer if your well being takes a backseat to those other priorities. Minimalism can help redirect your focus away from what you might be spending your time on such as 20 minutes of Facebook scrolling and make you more aware of your habits so you can make conscious changes to more useful activities such as exercise. These changes will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, a weight you might not have even realised was there.  Reducing debt and decluttering your home environment and schedule, can greatly increase our happiness.

  1. You find more direction in life.

When you clear the excess, the bills and debt, the clutter, and get down to what you truly love, you start applying this philosophy to other aspects of your life – not just the stuff. Does this house bring me joy or does it just take up my spare time cleaning it? Am I passionate about this course I am doing? Could I have my dream job if I could take a pay cut? Minimalism seeps into all areas of life and can open you up to a whole new direction in life. It helps us to regularly reassess where we are in life and over time trains us to apply our thinking of small decisions such as do I need this kitchen gadget to the bigger decisions that have a larger impact on our life.

  1. Less decision making.

Minimalism helps us find ways to reduce every day decision making which takes away from more valuable uses of our creativity. Decisions such as what to wear to work today take up more thought processing than necessary. Having a massive wardrobe can lead to unnecessary stress and overwhelm us before we’ve even stepped out of the house. A capsule wardrobe like in Courtney Carver’s Project 333 http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/ can be a curated selection of your favourite clothing, shoes and accessories that can be mixed and matched and save decision overload. Same goes for preparing dinner, trying to have endless recipe options can get overwhelming. Life can be simplified so much more by limiting everyday decisions so we can focus on more important things.   

  1. Spend less time cleaning.

Nothing has sped up the cleaning process in my home like Minimalism has. Less is definitely more here. Removing stuff from your home allows you to spend less time cleaning it. Fewer things on the floor means a quicker vacuuming and mopping process. Limited stuff on the counter tops allows more room for food preparation and is much easier to wipe those benches down. Less decor saves you on dusting extra stuff – I now see pretty things in stores and ask myself would I be willing to dust that? The less stuff in your car, the less time you will spend tidying it up when someone needs a lift. A massive benefit to my home was having a smaller wardrobe, which has made it so much easier to get on top of our laundry instead of attempting to try and tackle baskets of unwashed clothing we now have manageable loads.

  1. Allows you to be grateful for what you have.

After realising how much I don’t need to be happy I’ve developed a greater appreciation for what I do have. I don’t feel the need to have the best of everything and am so grateful that I have the knowledge at this age of how important experiences and relationships are over things. Minimalism has helped me to acknowledge the small joys in everyday, whether that be time spent with a close friend or a lovely home cooked meal. The emphasis is not on what you buy or accomplish to impress others but on what truly makes you happy.

I am excited to see where minimalism and intentional living takes me in the future and hope to see even more benefits over time. If you have adopted a minimalist inspired lifestyle comment below with what benefits have you found and how minimalism has helped you.