Got a minute? Rid house of 25 things
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