The new year is always a time people think about fresh starts, and what better way to start fresh than to get rid of what you don't need?!? Last year I did a video just like this for 2023, but these are 24 completely NEW things to declutter! Check out the video here or keep reading to see what's on my list of things that need to GO this year!
1. Items Waiting for Repair
Do you have clothing that needs altered, missing buttons, toys that need repaired? How long have they been sitting around? Give yourself a firm (preferably short!) deadline. If they haven't been repaired by the deadline, then they probably will never be. Get rid of them, and mentally cross them off that to-do list hanging over your head!
2. Expired Makeup Products and Beauty Samples
Did you know beauty products have expiration dates? I keep my stuff way too long. But we really should toss older makeup products for safety reasons. You don't want your products growing bacteria and mold! This can especially be a problem if you wear makeup only occasionally. If the amount lasts a lot longer than it's intended to, then it's easy to forget to replace it!
First, it's always a good idea to write the date opened in a sharpie on the bottom of the product. This can be a real eye opener in the future, LOL! As a rule, liquid and cream products have a much shorter shelf life than powders. Here are some general expiration rules for different types of makeup:
- Mascara– 3 months
- Lipstick– 2 years
- Foundation– 1 year
- Eyeshadow– 1 year
- Concealer– 1 year
Also in the beauty category– toss the samples you aren't going to use! If you order online, you almost always receive samples in the package, or if you buy gift sets, you may use some but not all the products. I never use perfume, so I immediately pass those on or toss them, but if any samples have been hanging around, just let them go. If you didn't want to try them right away, they probably aren't a good fit for you.
3. Items You're Hoping to Sell
Are you planning a yard sale? This can be put off for months or years as the “merchandise” piles up, LOL! Set yourself a firm deadline to sell things, and if you haven't sold them by the deadline, donate it. Don't even look in the box. I promise you will feel so much more free once they're out of your life!
4. Extra Kitchen Storage Containers
Do you have a bunch of different types? Missing lids? Time to streamline. It's best to have just a few different sizes, preferably all the same type/brand. It's much better to buy more of the same type than to have a ton of different styles that don't stack quite right with each other.
I switched to glass/pyrex a few years ago, and I'm never going back. They microwave and wash better, and they don't etch with acidic foods like plastic does. I can replace the lids if/when they break. It's been a game changer for me, and I don't even have to mess with decisions on plastic containers anymore!
5. Email Subscriptions You Don't Love
Whenever you buy something, you get automatically subscribed to the email lists. If I bought fishing gear as a gift one time, do I really need to see what's on sale there for the rest of my life? NO. Take a few minutes every day and unsubscribe from what you don't want to see in your inbox. After a while, you'll greatly reduce the advertising that makes it into your inbox!
6. Sticky Notes
This applies to both sticky note pads (do you really need 85 cute pads?!?) and actual notes you've written yourself. I will use sticky notes, but I try really hard not to let them accumulate. If I sit down at my desk with a ton of notes, I feel overwhelmed. It's like they're all screaming at me for attention! I DEFINITELY never put them on my computer. Nothing bothers me more than having a cluttered screen when I'm working.
If you have important info on the notes, grab a notebook and stick them all in there– easy to see but not in your face!
7. Puzzles You Don't Need
This one is tough for me because we love puzzles! But we outgrow some as the kids get older. Or maybe we didn't love how the pieces were cut or fit together. Or we're just not in love with the picture. Whatever it is, let it go. I like to have a steady stream of puzzles coming in and going out to keep it interesting. We can't put together 82 puzzles in a month or even a year, so why would we need that many?!?
8. Books Your Family Doesn't Read
This is tough, too! I'm more okay to let go of adult books than kids' books. I can read mine on a kindle or through a library service, but the kids' books have some sentimentality associated with them. Still, they outgrow them. And it's important to keep them new and fresh so they stay interested.
If they've outgrown their books, keep a few very special ones saved, but let go of the rest so other kids can enjoy them. You don't want them so overwhelmed with their selection that it makes it harder to read anything.
9. Old Tech
Get rid of old phones, tablets, computers…did you know sometimes you can trade them in?!? I did this at the Apple store the other day, and we got $800!!! Of course, some things were worth nothing, but they will still recycle them for you. Look up where you can take your products– usually places like Best Buy will take old electronics. They shouldn't just be thrown in the trash, but they definitely don't need to stay in your house!
Almost any recipe you'd want is online. If I'm looking for a new chicken recipe because we're tired of the same old dinner, then I'm 99% of the time going to go on Pinterest or Google instead of looking in a cookbook. Keep your favorites or the ones you actually use, and let the rest go!
11. Dried Clay or Play-Doh
This is cheap and easy to replace, and it dries out surprisingly quickly!
12. Candles You Don't Use
Do you just not like the scent of something? Then you won't burn it! I've let them sit out on my counter for a year before I finally admitted I would never burn it. Just pass it on.
13. Notes in Your Notes App
You might think you need that information, but if your app gets too cluttered, you'll never find it when you do need it! Instead, make it easy to find. If I write down dates in my notes app, I take the time to transfer it to my calendar where I'll actually be able to find it.
If cleaning up your notes is overwhelming, then just find 5 notes to delete per day until it's manageable again.
14. Storage Bins and Containers
This is so me– I have way too many bins and containers. I actually did a whole video on how to declutter bins. Get rid of them if they're:
- You just don't like them
- There's only one
Try to buy all the same types of bins in the future so you can move them easily from room to room, and if they break, toss them immediately.
15. Dead Batteries
I literally have an overflowing bin of dead batteries, LOL! You're not supposed to just toss them in the trash, but I never know where to take them. I'm googling it now, and I'm putting a deadline in my calendar. Google for your area and do the same! Then set a reminder in your phone for a year from now to do it again!
16. Old Gift Cards
I try to transfer gift cards to apps, but for whatever reason, I think I still need to keep the physical card until I use the credit…then I never go back and toss them. So I never know if there's any credit on them or how much.
Gather up your gift cards, look up their values, and then write it on the card and toss the empty ones.
This is tough, I know. But if you KNOW you aren't going to use a gift, either try to return it or pass it on. The person giving you the gift doesn't want to cause you guilt or stress. You can still appreciate the thought behind the gift, even if you pass the gift on. It's better to do it right away than to keep it around for a year just to donate it then.
You really don't need most receipts. I used to keep them ALL in a file folder. Why would I ever need a gas receipt? Am I planning to return the gas, LOL?!? Your credit card/bank account usually has a record anyway.
I do save some:
- If I might need to return something
- For tax purposes
- Around Christmas time for anyone who might need to return a gift I purchased for them
Let all the other receipts go.
19. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags
Don't all of us reuse these? It's okay to keep some. But have a container (even if it's another gift bag LOL). Once that container is full, either don't keep any more bags, or trade out the new bag for one you like less. But it all has to fit in the container– that's your limit!
20. Paper or Plastic Grocery Bags
These are super handy, so it's a good idea to keep some. But again, limit it to a container. Once it's full, toss any new ones that come in.
21. Single Earrings
I'm not sure I've EVER found the mate to an earring I've kept. This is especially true for earrings that aren't valuable or aren't your favorite. If it's gold or silver, you can re-sell it for weight, but if it's just costume jewelry, toss it.
Bonus– the same is usually true for socks, LOL! I always toss mate-less socks if I'm not that crazy about them.
It's so easy to let these pile up. Schedule it in your calendar. Then load up and drop it off. Then make it a recurring event in your calendar every 3-6 months so they don't pile up so high again!
23. Store Returns
This is literally the only repeat I have from last year. It's SO important. Returns quickly accumulate around the holidays, and it's actual money just sitting there. Put them in your car and schedule it on your calendar.
24. Instruction Manuals
We also get a lot of these over the holidays if we're gifted new gadgets. They are ALL online! You don't have to keep a single one!
Hopefully this list gives you some ideas of things to let go this year! Most are relatively painless, too, LOL! Let me know in the comments if there are other things you're letting go in 2024!
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives