Despite diligent spring cleaning and seemingly constant decluttering, its only a matter of time before hangers are fighting for real estate in our tightly packed closets, beauty products are invading our medicine cabinets, and kitchenware is taking over entire cabinets. Thats without mentioning the junk mail, takeout menus, stray pens, and paper clips that creep into junk drawers until they can no longer close.
Beyond pure impracticality, mess can actually have a negative effect on our brain. When [clutter] becomes excessive, it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person in dysfunctional home environments that contribute to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation,explains Catherine Roster in an article inPsychology Today.
Its been almost two years since the Marie Kondo craze beganwhich begs the questions: How neatly folded is your underwear these days? Do your three cheese graters each spark joy? Whatever happened to your one in, one out policy? If you, too, have let clutter run wild this year, here are 45 items you can toss, repurpose, or donate. Not only will hosting holiday parties be much easier when you arent stuffing stray newspapers and remotes in already overflowing closets at the eleventh hour, but youll also start the new year with a clean slate.
In the Bathroom
The amount of products that can pile up in a medicine cabinet over the course of a single year can be scary. There arent enough shelves in the world to hold all the creams, butters, sprays, and oils that keep our skin clear, our hair shiny, and our wrinkles at bay. Take a moment to go through all of these and donate any product thats unopened or gently used to a charity likeBeauty Share Project. While youre at it, take a full assessment of your bathroom accessories and linens, and toss or upgrade anything that has seen better days.
Expired toiletries, cosmetics, prescription medications
Old nail polishes, lipsticks, and blushes in colors youll never use
Old exfoliating gloves and loofahs
Ratty, stained, or ripped towels
Moldy shower-curtain liners
Worn-out, unraveling bath mats
In the Bedroom
There is bedding and miscellaneous nightstand clutter, and then there is everything wardrobe related. First, catalog your bedding and say goodbye to anything thats ripped, stained, discolored, or simply worn. Then determine the culprit areas in your room that attract clutterunder the bed, the bedside table, the dresserand toss or donate anything from old books you wont read again to a broken bracelet.
Finally, tackle your closet. Make three piles: toss, donate, or keep. Then reorganize everything youve decided to keep. Youll be amazed at how much space you can gain when you do this every six months.
Old or stained bedding
Old or stained duvets and pillow inserts
Under-bed clutter you forgot about
Clothing that no longer fits (or you just dont like)
Worn pajamas and lingerie
In the Dining Room
Unless youre a seasoned entertainer, the dining room is probably the room in the house that stays the tidiest. That said, its never a bad idea to do a quick walk-through. Is the space a breeding ground for kids homework? Put anything thats out of place either back in its proper home or in the recycling bin, and take an inventory of your serveware while youre at it.
Next, open up your buffet or hutch. Is it filled with stray birthday candles, mismatched napkins, and yellowing place cards? Are you holding onto tablecloths that dont fit your table? By tossing, donating, and relocating, you might use the room more often.
Mail, old homework, and other papers taking over the table
Stained or mismatched linen napkins and ill-fitting tablecloths
Mismatched place cards, candles, paper napkins
Mismatched serveware (or duplicates)
Buffet drawer junk
In the Entryway
As the gateway to your home, the foyer gets messy fast. Start small by going through the contents of your console table, then check the bins that house the jumble of footwear, sports equipment, and winter accessories underneath. Dont forget to tackle the coats, shoes, hats, scarves, and bags in the entryway closet, too. Once youve decluttered, create an organization system. Corral items in baskets by type: bags, beach essentials, sports gear, etc.
Old mail, receipts, warranties, newspapers, user manuals
Worn-out outerwear, footwear, bags
Seldom-used sporting goods
Unused keys and electronics
Junk drawer clutter
In the Kitchen
The trick to a successful kitchenware purge is to be really honest with yourself about whats useful and whats simply taking up space. Do the same thing with your pantrythrow out anything you know youll never eat or is past its due date. Remember: Youll enjoy the benefits of extra storage space much more than you will those napkin holders you havent taken out of the box once.
Broken or mismatched cookware, dinnerware, drinkware, flatware
Bulky appliances that no longer serve a purpose
Unused kitchen gadgets and utensils
Scratched or burnt pots and pans
Old, falling-apart kitchen towels and sponges
Novelty mugs and cups
Old cookbooks you no longer use
In the Living Room
December is the perfect time to take a fresh look at everything in your living room before ringing in a new year. Sift through every surface, from the coffee table to the magazine rack to the bookcasethis is a good time to donate board games nobody plays, decorative accessories you no longer love, and books youll never read again.
Tchotchkes that have no sentimental meaning
Art you never got around to hanging
Useless remotes and electronics
Worn-out pillows and throws
Unused board games
See more ways to get organized:
Not to Be Dramatic, But This $30 Target Organizer Saved My Life
We Asked Beyoncs Closet Stylist How to Make Our Clothes Double as Decor
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