Got a minute? Rid house of 25 things

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - GABRIELLE SAVOIE

We may think we’re con­stantly run­ning on empty with no time to ex­er­cise, cook or see our friends — but that’s not en­tirely true. Even the busiest of peo­ple have th­ese rare mo­ments at home — scrolling through In­sta­gram, look­ing for some­thing to watch on Net­flix or flip­ping through an old mag­a­zine or news­pa­per. Th­ese mo­ments might be short and fleet­ing, but that’s no rea­son not to make the most of them.

Even if you only have five to 10 min­utes to spare there are a few things you can toss to make your life a lot more or­ga­nized and ef­fi­cient. We tapped or­ga­ni­za­tional ex­pert and au­thor Bar­bara Re­ich to guide us through the ar­eas of our home that could use a lit­tle de­clut­ter­ing.


In the liv­ing room, old tchotchkes and me­men­tos may be clut­ter­ing your shelves. Your cup­boards may be over­flow­ing with un­used board games (or even worse, cas­sette tapes). Put on a show on Net­flix, and give your space room to breathe.

Toss this now: Framed pho­tos that aren’t in fo­cus or rel­e­vant

Va­ca­tion me­men­tos that no longer fit the space

Ac­ces­sories that have no mean­ing or that are cre­at­ing clut­ter Board games that no one plays

Any­thing chipped or bro­ken


The real cul­prits of our un­or­ga­nized kitchen? Higher shelves: the ones you use so sel­dom, you won­der why they even ex­ist. Put on a pod­cast and work your way from the top down, throw­ing out any­thing that’s no longer rel­e­vant. Toss this now:

Any food stor­age con­tainer miss­ing a top

Any large ap­pli­ance that’s never used or doesn’t work

Any food past its ex­pi­ra­tion date

Mis­matched mugs that you’ve ac­cu­mu­lated over the years

Te­flon pans that are scratched


Our clos­ets are pe­ri­od­i­cally in need of a good cleanup — but there are other ar­eas of the bed­room that could use some de­clut­ter­ing too: ex­cess bed­ding in the linen closet or mis­matched items in the jew­elry box, for ex­am­ple. Throw on some tunes be­fore this cleanout.

Toss this now: Ex­cess pil­lows on the bed Cloth­ing and shoes that don’t fit or are be­yond re­pair

Any­thing re­ceived as a gift that isn’t used

Bed­ding that doesn’t fit the bed

Bed­ding that’s old, worn and stained


Medicine cab­i­nets and van­i­ties are real mag­nets for beauty prod­ucts and med­i­ca­tions that go un­used. While it’s con­tra­dic­tory to throw out a per­fectly good prod­uct — you know deep down whether it’ll ever come use­ful or not. Just be real with your­self.

Toss this now:

■Med­i­ca­tions past their ex­pi­ra­tion date

Toi­letries and cos­met­ics that are past their ex­pi­ra­tion date

Lip­stick in col­ors you’ll never use

Ex­tra travel or pro­mo­tion cos­metic bags

Any prod­ucts that you never use


The space where we en­ter and leave our home tends to ac­cu­mu­late a lot of clut­ter: mail, pa­per­work, mag­a­zines — not to men­tion the en­try­way closet, which is of­ten filled with out of sea­son and out of fash­ion items. Give this space a good clean-up next time you head out the door.

Toss this now:

Old re­ceipts that aren’t needed

News­pa­pers and mag­a­zines that have ac­cu­mu­lated

Keys that are no longer rel­e­vant

Coats or jack­ets that no longer fit, are out of style, or are be­yond re­pair

Gloves with­out mates

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