Do you have too much ‘stuff’ cluttering up your home? Things that you never use, things that you forgot you even had, unwanted gifts.
It’s the time of year when many people are thinking about getting rid of things they no longer need and starting the new year with a fresh minimalistic life.
Having a minimalist lifestyle is all about getting rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. So, if you’re looking to simplify your life, start by getting rid of these items.
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When you start decluttering your home and removing these things from your life, you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter most. And once you’ve simplified your life, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to live a happy, stress-free life.
Let’s get started on our minimalist list of things to get rid of
Table of Contents
- In the kitchen
- In the living room
- In the bathroom
- In the bedroom
- In the office
- In the playroom
- In the linen closet
- Miscellaneous items
- For your mental health
- Minimalist List of Things To Get Rid Of: How to get rid of these items
- Final thoughts
In the kitchen
Be honest, how many of these plastic containers do you have that have no lids, are stained or even have cracks? You might go through a lot of these things over time, but the chances are that you don’t need to keep them all.
There will always be a set few that you use time and time again and the rest just fall on your head when you open the cupboard door, never to be used! Get rid of them.
I think we’re all guilty of stocking up on food, pushing the old food to the back of the cupboard and then stocking up on new food again. The problem with this is that we often forget about what’s at the back and it goes to waste.
Get rid of all expired food and try to set up a system where you can rotate the food in your cupboards regularly.
How many of the items in your kitchen drawer have you not used for over a year? If you’re only using the same select few regularly, why are you keeping all these extras? Think about what you use on a daily basis and get rid of any that don’t fall into this category.
Any kitchen appliances that are sitting on the counter but are broken, get rid of them! You’ve obviously managed not using it up until now and it’s just taking up space and cluttering your counter.
If you have any appliances in your kitchen that you don’t use, get rid of them! If you have a toaster and a toaster oven, for example, there’s no need to keep both. Pick the one that you use more often and get rid of the other.
Look back on the past 6 months and if you haven’t used the appliance, it’s time to let it go to someone else.
Extra plates, mugs, etc
How many people live in your house? And how many mugs do you have per person? Realistically, each person only needs one mug, right?
Of course we will want to have some extra for when we have visitors, but there’s no need to have 20 plates or mugs taking up space in the kitchen.
What if we want to host more people at some point? Just ask a friend can you borrow some items to cater for everyone. The best thing about doing this is that you can give them back after the party and you don’t have to hang onto things ‘just in case’.
Burnt pots & pans
If you have any pots or pans that are burnt and can’t be used, get rid of them! They’re just taking up space and you’ll never use them again.
Glass jars are great for storing food but we don’t need to keep every single glass jar. Send them off to the recycling bank and be done with them!
I went through a phase some years ago of wanting every kitchen gadget there was. But I ended up not using them. For example, I had an egg slicer, but it was easier to just use a knife to slice an egg, It was also easier to wash a knife than it was to wash an egg slicer.
You don’t need to keep gadgets such as bagel slicers, watermelon rollers and egg slicers when one single gadget will do the job for all three – a knife!
Old tattered tea towels can go. You really only need a few tea towels – one being used, one in the wash and one spare. Get rid of all the rest.
Do you really need all the appliance manuals that came with your appliances? Have you ever read through them? If they’re stuffed in a kitchen cupboard somewhere, get rid of them.
Chances are if one of your appliances breaks, you will either bring it to the shop for repair or you’ll look it up online, so these physical manuals aren’t used.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the couple of cookbooks I have, but we don’t need a hundred books that are never used, especially with all the amazing recipes you can find online these days.
If you have a cookbook collection, go through all of them and get rid of any ones you don’t actually use.
In the living room
Old magazines and newspapers
Do you still buy magazines and newspapers but don’t get rid of them after they’re read? They can really add up! Because of the nature of these, they’re not things we go back to read time and time again (unlike a book) because the information will be out of date.
Send old magazines and newspapers to be recycled as soon as you’re done reading them.
If you have furniture that’s taking up space in your living room and is not being used, get rid of it! When was the last time you even looked at this item?
Furniture is especially large so can make your space look even more cluttered if not in use. Anything you aren’t using should be donated or recycled.
Does your living room have so many knick-knacks that you can’t see the shelves? Do these items collect dust, get in the way and only look nice when cleaned every once in a while?
Get rid of them! They’re just taking up space.
Music and movies are all digital now so you really don’t need to keep physical copies of them. If you really want to keep them, simply upload them to your computer and you will have them to hand whenever you want them.
Candles are lovely, no doubt about it. But what to do when the candle runs out? If you’re crafty, you can always fill it up and make a new candle, but if this isn’t for you, don’t let them pile up, get rid of them.
In the bathroom
Makeup, including mascaras, lipsticks and foundations expire after some time. When you buy your next makeup item, make sure you’re not holding onto the expired ones. Also, to avoid having leftover makeup that expires, be mindful to use up already open makeup before moving onto a new bottle.
The same goes for unused makeup. Sometimes we buy or are gifted makeup that we never end up using. These can be regifted or donated to someone who will use them instead.
Dried out nail polish
Nail polish tends to dry out over time, especially when not used often. If this happens, clear it out! Rather than having ten bottles of nail polish on the go at any given time, have two bottles on the go. That way, you’re less likely to have multiple bottles drying out, but you still have variety to choose from.
Medication, just like food, has a shelf life. Get in the habit of checking the dates on your medication and getting rid of anything that has expired. Sometimes expired medication can make you feel ill, but more often than not it just doesn’t work once expired.
Dispose of these carefully – you can even bring back to the pharmacy to dispose of if you’re unsure.
Razor blades get rusty when left wet and unused. And disposable razor blades in particular are harmful to the environment when not disposed of properly. Ditch these rusty razor blades and move onto reusable razors.
Realistically, you probably only wear one perfume over and over again. But you may have accumulated more over the years. If you happen to have doubles of perfumes, or perfumes that you just don’t like as much, get rid of them
Stretched hair ties
Hair ties can lose their elasticity when they’re worn constantly. Look through your collection and throw away any that are overstretched and can’t be used.
In the bedroom
Some clothing can be salvaged once torn but it’s likely that you’re passing by that item each time to wear something else. Before throwing out tattered clothing, try to mend it first using sewing kits or alternative methods. Otherwise, donate it!
Clothing not worn in a year
A year is my cut-off for keeping clothing. I say a year because you’ll have gone through each season by the time a year comes around. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again, so get rid of it.
As much as I love heels, most of them are pretty uncomfortable. Do you have any shoes that make your feet hurt to walk in? If so, get rid of them! They aren’t worth the pain.
Do you have countless lonely socks with no matches? If you’re happy to wear mismatched socks every day, that’s fine. But if not, get rid of the single socks.
Unused handbags & purses
One or two purses is enough if you use them regularly. If your collection of handbags and purses is taking up too much room, simplify by getting rid of the ones that are just there to look pretty.
Jewellery is meant to be worn, not just for decoration. Even those pieces you’re keeping ‘for a special occasion’. There’s no point in keeping it if it never gets to be worn. Get rid of any pieces that have been sitting around in your jewellery box for more than a year collecting dust.
Do you really need 20+ spare clothes hangers in your closet? If not, get rid of them. The more hangers you have, the more likely you are to fill them up with clothes you don’t need.
I actually have a set amount of clothes hangers. When I buy something new, I don’t have room for it in my closet so I have to donate something to make space.
Tattered bras and underwear
Again, this clothing can be sewn back together. But if it’s beyond repair, get rid of them as you’re unlikely to ever wear them.
In the office
It’s likely you’ve subscribed to newsletters or mailing lists that you no longer want or need. Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from anything that isn’t relevant to you anymore.
If you have handwritten notes lying around your office, store them digitally and shred the paper. It will result in a less cluttered and therefore less stressful space.
Important documents should be stored securely but you don’t need to hold onto any old bills and bank statements. Discard these safely or send to a shredder to help clear out your office space.
If you’re anything like I used to be, you have at least 5 full notebooks lying around your office. You don’t need to keep the physical notebooks, gathering dust. Instead, if the notes are important, scan the pages and save to a folder on your computer. Then you can get rid of the notebook.
In the playroom
Toys your kids have outgrown
Over time, your kids will outgrow their toys. It’s unlikely they’ll want to play with their old dolls or cars that no longer interest them. Get rid of the items by donating to other kids. This will not only clear space in the playroom, but will teach your kids a valuable lesson.
Broken toys are generally not much use. If they can’t be fixed, get rid of them to clear up the clutter.
If your kids have toys they never play with, there’s no point in holding onto them. It could be that your kid got a gift for Christmas last year that they didn’t enjoy. Encourage them to donate this gift to a child who is less fortunate this Christmas.
Games with missing pieces
If a board game is missing an important element, it means that the game can no longer be played. Get rid of it!
In the linen closet
Torn or unused bed sheets
Do you have any bed sheets that you never use? Get rid of them! You don’t need them taking up space in your linen closet. Chances are, you haven’t used them in a long time and they’re just sat at the back of the linen closet with no purpose.
Torn or unused towels
Same goes for torn or unused towels. You’re likely using newer and nicer bath towels and if they’re torn or tatty you won’t be giving them to guests when they visit, so get rid of them.
Old guest bedding
These are still useful, but you might want to get rid of them if they’ve been sitting at the back of your linen closet for too long, gathering dust. They won’t be very safe to use for guests if they’re full of dust.
Things that don’t belong
Sometimes the linen closet can become a storage ground for items that shouldn’t be stored there. Make sure only bed linen and towels are stored in your linen closet and get rid of everything else.
If you’ve signed up to numerous subscriptions, such as magazines that you don’t read or surprise boxes that you don’t even know what’s in them, it’s time to unsubscribe and declutter these items from your home.
Do you have any duplicate items in your house? If you have two of the same thing, get rid of one. This could be anything from clothes (you don’t need 2 of the exact same t-shirt) to kitchen utensils (2 saucepans that do the same job).
The famous junk drawer that we all have but don’t know what’s in them… If you have a junk drawer, take everything out and go through it one item at a time. If it’s something you don’t need or use, get rid of it!
If you have any cleaning products that you never use, get rid of them! Pass them on to friends and family so they’re not wasting space in your cupboard.
Unused exercise equipment
Do you have a treadmill that’s being used as a clothes horse rather than a treadmill? Get rid of it! You’re most likely not going to use that treadmill if it’s just standing in the corner of your bedroom with things hanging off it.
I love stationery as much as the next person. But do we need 10 of the same notepads in our house? No! Get rid of half and give the rest away to friends or family or donate them.
If you have an old phone that you never use, get rid of it! Technology changes so quickly and there’s no point in holding onto a phone that you’re never going to use again. There are some companies out there who do up old phones for those less fortunate, so this is a great way to get rid of them.
Chances are if you’ve bought a new mobile phone, you’ll have gotten a new charging cable, and these old ones add up when you don’t get rid of them. If you have any charging cables that you don’t need, get rid of them! You’re most likely never going to use them and they’re just taking up space.
Do you have too many Christmas decorations that you don’t even get to use each year? If so, get rid of some of them or donate to someone who needs Christmas decorations. While I love a Christmas tree and decorations as much as the next person, the more decorations you fill your house with, the more cluttered it will look and it will be more difficult to keep your home clean.
Old Halloween costumes
Do you have old Halloween costumes that you never use again because you like to have a new one each year? If so, get rid of them! They don’t have much use if they’re hidden in your wardrobe all year round.
If you have any gifts that either don’t fit your style or are just unwanted, get rid of them! You don’t need to feel like you have to hold onto a gift just to please someone else. Once you receive a gift, it’s yours to do what you like with. Whether that’s keeping it or donating it if it’s not to your style.
Read also: 9 Simple Rules For Regifting Christmas Gifts
Do you have old batteries that need to be disposed of? Old batteries can be dangerous so it’s important to get rid of them in a safe manner. When batteries are left in old toys or drawers, they can start to leak, which is very dangerous.
There’s no point in stuffing receipts into a draw as you never know when they might be useful. If you have any receipts that you need to keep, scan them to a folder on your computer and dispose of the physical receipt.
Photos can really pile up over the years and we end up with boxes and boxes stored in the attic or closet. We also end up with digital photos cluttering up our phones and computers.
For your mental health
It’s not only physical items we can aim to get rid of. If you have a negative mindset, it’s time to let go of that too. A negative mindset affects your happiness and mental health. If you have a negative outlook on life, it’s time to get rid of that negativity so you can start feeling happier.
If you have any relationships in your life that cause negativity or toxicity, it’s time to let go. If you’re unhappy with a relationship, it doesn’t mean that the person needs to change as much as the relationship does. If someone is making you unhappy, then there’s no point in staying in this unhealthy situation. Whether that be a friend, a family member or even a partner. Let go of the toxic people in your life.
Social media apps
If you find that you’re spending too much time on social media apps and it’s having a negative effect on your mental health, it might be time to delete them. Social media apps can be addictive and scrolling through everyone’s ‘perfect’ lives can make you feel bad about yourself. If you’re not happy with how much time you’re spending on social media, it’s time to let go and find activities that will help you feel more fulfilled.
Minimalist List of Things To Get Rid Of: How to get rid of these items
A well-known characteristic of a minimalist person is that they don’t like waste. Getting rid of things doesn’t mean you need to throw everything into a landfill. There are many ways you can clear your home, such as:
- Donate to a local thrift store
- Place in a recycling bin
- Sell items online
- Give away to friends or family members
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We all accumulate things over time – clothes that no longer fit or items we never use.
The idea is not only decluttering your physical environment and belongings but also getting rid of mental clutter by simplifying thought patterns and limiting distractions in the home and office space.
This type of minimalism could lead to increased work productivity as well as improved quality of living due to less stress from having too much stuff on one’s mind.
Read also: 21 Simple Living Tips To Reduce Stress
If you’re looking to make your life a little bit simpler, but don’t know where to begin, start with the above minimalist list of things to get rid of.
Is there anything else you think should be on this list? Have you decluttered any of these items recently? Let me know in the comments below!