You’re probably sitting in the middle of a room, feeling overwhelmed about all the clutter in your home. I’ve been there!
When I first started my Frugal journey, no part of me would of
Keep in mind that this process needs to be slow and steady. W
If this could help you, it took me 2 full weeks (14 days) to fully declutter our 800 sqft home and our 10 x 20 shed, from dusk till dawn and we don’t have kids!
This was 6 months ago, and I still have things for sale in one corner of my home. I’ve paid off an extra 2000$ of debt (motor cycle annual maintenance fees) with the stuff I sold.
Getting Ready to Tackle C
First things first, get in comfy clothing, (Women! Go put your favorite old comfy sports bra!!)
To get ready to attack the clutter you’ll need to establish these 5 piles:
Item in this pile will need to be dropped off at local charity locations. If you decide to have a full property declutter, I suggest contacting charities ahead of time to find out what they do take and where you can drop off, and if your lucky enough they might just come pick it up at your home directly.
I’ve had that experience when volunteering to empty the home of a diseased person (the only living family member’s health didn’t allow them to take care of it). The Charity supplied the truck and the arm strength, they even offered to go drop off all the recycling and trash at the city’s eco-center.
Items in good shape can be sold off of you’re facebook market, L
I’m not saying to sell you stuff for 5$ but request lower than market price and you’ll see items flying out and your pockets being filled. I also found it quite helpful when offering to sell things in bundles (3 pairs of heels for 25$).
If you’re on a debt repayment journey I would strongly suggest taking the profit of your sales and putting it toward your debt!
If you don’t have an e
Plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, metal or glass goes in the recycling bin NOT THE GARBAGE!!!
Keep reading to find out how to repurpose them to save money, without keeping the clutter
Any organic (if you don’t own a compost), soaked paper/cardboard, object with rot/moisture signs, anything containing the liquid that can’t be disposed of in the sink or
- Set a time limit and choose one area, it doesn’t matter if its one drawer, one wall, or one room, simply pick where you want to start and set a time limit accordingly, and GET STARTED ALREADY!!! There is no true guideline on
sizeof space vs time. It all depends how emotionally attached you are to your thing and how much clutter you have. Obviouslyif you have a fully cluttered 3500sqft house, itsgoing to take you more time than me decluttering my 800sqft rental.
- If anything has been unused for the last years it needs to go
- When will you need it next? Never! It’s Gotta go!
- Does the item still do its job? NO!, Can it be repaired? Yes! Will you use it once Repaired? No!!! then it’s Gotta to go!
- If you are doing this as a family or couple. To be fair, designate a reasonably sized box for each family member, and allow them to veto anything that fits into that box. Once its full, the veto power disappears. Now I know some things don’t fit into a box (your daughter’s piano) please have some common sense when decluttering another’s family members stuff.
- Emotions, let them out especially thing you want to get rid of with a high sentimental value. I understand it can be hard, so I strongly suggest making an extra pile for emotional stuff. When your ready to give it away then only do so then. Now don’t go putting everything into that pile!
Here is a list of items you may want to get rid of and also how you can get rid of them without causing too much damage to our planet
Grab a good drink because this is a long read, may I suggest you bookmark it as this is a slow process.
Old Unused Towels
Repurpose: cut them up and use them as rags. It will help reduce your paper towel spending, I cut our paper towel purchase by half with this technic. You simply have to wash them after every use.
Recycle: empty containers of their content accordingly and recycle the container
Donate: if any toiletry is still good and barely used, I strongly suggest donating them either as a gift to someone who will use it or give it to a local charity.
Expired Skin Care and Make-up
Trash: Would you want to have an infection due to bacteria build up? Did you know that most beauty products have an expiration date on their packaging? Look at the picture above.
Recycle: if possible please empty the container accordingly and recycle the containers
Stretched-out Hair Ties
Repurpose: when the elastic is still in decent shape, but too stretched-out to tie my hair, I suggest using them as you would with rubber bands. therefor you won’t be spending for rubber elastics.
Plastic Tooth Brush
Repurpose: use them as cleaning brushes once their tooth brushing life is over. Frugal andEco-friendly replacement idea: Bamboo toothbrush.
Recycle: once you have tried to extend the life of your plastic toothbrush as much as possible, you can now retire it to the recycling bin.
Unused Hair Accessories
Sell: if they are still in style, you can try selling a kit for a silly low baller price (that’s how you’ll make money).
Donate: your accessories are still in good shape, but aren’t in style, set them aside to drop them off at a charity.
Almost Empty Bottles
Recycle: finish those bottles and then send them to the recycling bin,
Old Razor Blades/One Time use Razor
**Tired of buying expensive razor blades? For the same price as a pack of 8 razor blades, you can get an electric one. For more long-term results an electric epilator is also a great way to save money and help the environment. You won’t have to stock up on razors anymore which saves you space!
Water/Moisture Damaged item
Trash: you know what I’m talking about, that black hole under your old leaky sink. Unfortunately, due to health safety, if signs of moisture
Expired over the Counter Medication/U
nused Prescribed Medication
Trash: talk to your local pharmacist to find out how you need to dispose of these meds. For people in Canada, I know for sure that we can bring our expired meds back to our pharmacist on our next visit.
Empty Pill Bottle
Recycle: find out if your local pharmacies take them back (Canadian Pharmacies do).
Repurpose: depending on the size of the jar they are the perfect size for small crafting item storage, you can make homemade products in small quantities. You can also keep them in your purse for whenever you want to sample something. Example: your BFF just bought a new expensive face cream and offers you to sample try it. You have a mini sealed jar on hand! They are also great to bring spices in camping.
Your Collection of 2/3 Empty Bubble Bath Bottles
Repurpose: if you need the bottles you can empty the bottle and reuse the bottle any way you want.
Donate: give away your bottles to someone who will use the bubble bath, if not you can always find a local charity to drop it off at. Bubble baths are sometimes luxuries people can’t afford.
Unused/Non-Working Hair Tools
Sell: any hair irons you don’t use, wash them and put them up for sale on the Facebook market or any local sales site.
Repurpose: that old hair dryer that you don’t use but you hubby keep stealing your new hair dryer whenever he is repairing your home. Giving him your old dryer, he can put glue all over it and you won’t be mad. you can also use it for crafts and DIYs instead of purchasing a need heat gun.
Expired or Dried out First-Aid Equipment
Trash: dried out band-aid that will never stick again. Expired
Sell: if the bottle is fairly new and you simply don’t like the sent, put it up for a dirt cheap price on facebook market and someone will definitely grab it.
Trash: if you’ve had the perfume for a year (ex: your baby perfume at your birth shower, I’m guilty of emptying the bottle and keeping it, haha!)
Unused Make-up Tools (brush, sponge)
Trash: all tools that can’t be disinfected (beauty blender foam sponge).
Sell: disinfect the unused tools and put them up for sale!
Trash: the almost done deodorant collection you own! Ya! trash that, because between you and me, you won’t finish them. (if not make it your goal to go through them before opening a new one!)
Travel Size Product
Trash: hey hotel bottle collector! Get rid of any expired bottle.
Donate: pass on to someone you know or give them to a charity if they aren’t expired.
Repurpose: add it to your cleaning tools collection (use up an old sponge before using a new one)
Trash: its been proven that they carry loads of bacteria, therefor stop using them to wash your self.
Donate: all those never used pocket mirror that you purchase for work or any other purpose, but never use, someone else can hoard them for you. Keep one in your purse and one at work if you really need to but, get rid of all other ones (careful not to break them that’s 7 years of bad luck!)
Recycle/Donate: depending on how full they still are, you don’t really need 20 different fragrances for your bathroom to smell good after number two.
Donate: any old bath mats that you
Trash: if you matt is damaged physically or moldy trash it, don’t take a risk to make someone else sick.
Donate: We don’t need 20 different toilettrie bags, one for every family member is enough. Don’t you always fee you brough too much on vacation. This is a great way to solve the problem. Choose wisely because from now on you need to fit everything in one bag when you travel.
**The lighter you travel the less it will cost you when you check in your bag to the airport
This is the time where you open up every cabinet door, and empty everything to access areas/things that you haven’t touched in years. You can also take a little more time and incorporate a kitchen deep clean. I strongly doubt that after you declutter you’ll want to take everything out again, so clean right away!
Any Double/Unused Utensil or Accessory
Sell: if you can create a full set then you can advertise it online
Donate/sell: do you really need 16 sets of serving dish… When’s the last time you used 16 plates and 16 bowls… though so! Depending on the state and style you can try selling them but the best move would be to donate them to a family in need.
Expired Cans/Sauce/Condiments/Dried Goods
Trash: I don’t think I have to draw a picture on how this goes.
Repurpose: you can always keep glass or plastic jar by washing out the expired product. Simply watch out for the horrible smells.
Good Food that will be Unused
Donate: we all have that pill of food either at the back of the pantry or fridge (that one-time recipe ingredient) that is not expired but that we definitely won’t use before its expiration. Contact local charities to find out how you can donate food to a family in need.
Mugs and Glasses
Sell/Donate: do we really need 20 mugs, 20 types of alcohol glasses, 20 travel mugs(but only use 1) or maybe you’re a double stacker. Question yourself on what you really use and try selling the unwanted stuff for rock bottom prices and if it doesn’t sell, donate it to your local bazaar or charity.
Inside your Fridge
Trash: anything that is more than 2 years old or expired! It’s that simple. its time you throw out the bottles you keep forgetting to throw out and avoiding.
Serving Platers and Bowls
Donate/Sell: aren’t you always using the same one? Unless you have the intention of switching up your game I would try to sell them and if they don’t sell, donate them!
Trash: check the expiration date of any treats or meal, if they don’t have one, play on the save side and trash it if you know you’ve had it for over a year. We wouldn’t want our fluffy friends to fall sick and rack up a vet bill or worse…
Repurpose: keep only the ones you will use. Once the bottles are empty wash them and then make your own cleaning product without having to purchase a spray bottle.
Trash: contact your local trash center to find out how to get rid of hazardous cleaning products if you chose not to use them.
Trash/compost: any dried spices that are more than a year old need to be taken care of.
Recycle: any past due, double or unwanted restaurant menu. Only keep the most recent ones of the restaurant you really order from. If you know their menu sucks why keep it?!
Sell: sell any cookbooks that are recent under market value they will be sold quickly.
Recycle: heavily damaged cookbook you won’t be using
Plastic Container/Glass Jars/Take-out Container
Donate/Recycle: Go though the pile and determine which one you really use. Set aside the ones with missing lids or containers.
Sell: containers that are in good shape but aren’t using can be sold on any sale site you desire (Hello unused Tupperware!). Now if you have a big bowl you love using to prepare stuff but the lid is missing, it doesn’t mean it’s any good, use your common sense.
** Here is a trap I avoided: if you don’t yet have kids and are planning to have some in the near future (like me in the next 5 years), I don’t recommend getting rid of all your accumulated tiny containers/jars they will come in handy when the baby comes. If they bug you too much, neatly store them away in a box. You’ll be happy not to have that expense when the baby comes along. I have a box in my pantry full of baby thing (plastic children utensil/plates/bowl set, small jars, electrical plug covers etc) because I’m slowly building towards that goal.
**Please advise you S.O.
Bedside Table Drawer
Go Through it: I don’t have one so I’ll refer to common sense. This should not be your junk drawers if our having trouble sleeping it might not help. What to find in a bedside drawer: emergency meds you may need during the night, glasses, condoms etc.. It shouldn’t be stuffed.
Any Broken/Dried/Expired Adult Toys/Accessories:
Trash it !!!!!! Your gross if your doing anything else with that stuff
Sell: keep the ones you use and the amount needed to dress every bed in the house. Sell unused new sets,
Re-purpose: any damaged set can be converted to rags.
Trash: any damaged or contaminated pillows. Donate: once washed if they are decent some charities (not all) will take used pillows.
Clothing with H
I tend to find these in my S.O.’s things such as his boxers and socks. Can anyone relate? let me know in the comments section.
Trash: unless they can hold up in the washing machine, as for me I usually find my stocking being guilty of
Re-purpose: any unwanted material can be cut up into rags
Old Unworn Event T-shirts
Donate: if any shirt is still in good shape you can always bring it to charity. I’m sure someone will be happy to wear it.
Re-purpose: as I’ve mention
Clothing that D
Yes, I’m talking about those high school size 00 jeans you hope to get back in one day!
Sell: any clothing in a good state, or a staple piece, or timeless piece can be sold in a bundle or separate.
Donate: clothing with minor defects or not in a reasonable state.
Sell: any shoes that don’t fit or you don’t wear that are still in decent shape (*worn a couple time not your run down N
Clothing with Price T
SELL!!! You’ve clearly let your money sleep in your closet so try gaining a portion of it back
Clothing you don’t Wear:
Donate or sell: depending on their state.
Go through your collection of scarves, belts, jewelry, sell what is sellable, donate what isn’t and recycle what you deem not good.
Keep the amount you need, recycle the broken ones you won’t repair, donate what you don’t need.
Buttons, Treads, Shoelaces
unless you re-purpose everything for crafting, I would recycle these.
This might take a while to wrap your head around (I’m still just thinking about mine). When your ready if the style of your dress is still in style, try selling it in spring, that’s when girls do their prom dress shopping. If not there are many charities that help girls who are less fortunate and provide them with a gown for their prom.
Calling out to all purse hoarders this one is for you…. Sell any brand name bags you don’t use.
donate: every other purse you don’t use.
tained Unworn Period Panties
Just TRASH THEM ALREADY!!!! No
Donate all of them you no longer wear/want. If you manage to sell them than good but other than being donated mine have ended up re-purposed as rags. Haha!
Donate bras that you don’t wear or don’t fit or uncomfortable. This includes any adult lingerie too.
Outdated Unused Electronics
Sell them if they are still worth 10$ or more,.If you can’t sell them then dispose of them properly by dropping them off at your local electronics center.
Though out your decluttering journey you will accumulate pens from all over the place and now its time to get a scrap of paper and test to see which ones are work and which ones are not.
Trash(recycle if possible) them if they don’t work.
Then pick a few of the working one you really need and donate the rest to charity when school time comes around.
Keep what’s you really need in there and shred the rest then recycle. If you have a fire pit in your backyard you can always burn them! Grab a bottle of wine and celebrate all the stuff you went
Income Tax R
Check what are your laws on the obligation for your government papers, but here in Canada its 7 years of personal tax report we have to keep. Therefore you’re only supposed to have 7 per working adult, which means you trashing one every year once you put away your new one. You need to shred or burn these.
Any contract (cable, cellphone, loan) that is not current, should be shredded and recycled.
Old Greeting/Birthday Cards
They are nice for the 3 weeks we expose them but do you really need to keep boxes worth of best wishes cards?
Collection of Bags and Luggage
Sell any bag or luggage still worth money, Donate anything you don’t sell. Recycle all others that you won’t repair or are too damaged.
Try selling them on Amazon if they are in Brand new state, if not donate to a local school or library.
CD, Cassettes, PC Games
Recycle all the damaged one. Donate to your local library any unwanted ones.
Outdated PC Programs
Recycle them unless you still use your Windows
If you hate the space they’re taking than scan them and save them to your computer or external drive. Make a copy to store at your parent’s house just in case. Then recycle all that paper or have a fun collage with the kids before trashing it. Put them in an album and gift it to your parent, you just got rid of your clutter and made your parents happy with family pictures, it’s a win-win.
Dispose of damaged wire (phone chargers, head phones) accordingly. Find the owner of these multiple wires (radio, camera, printers,
USB Power Blocks
** Frugal tip/Zero-waste: try purchasing rechargeable AA and AAA if you use them
Tag them along to your Staples run because they also accept empty ink cartriges and toners. For people who don’t live in Canada, find out how to dispose of them properly so that they have the lowest ecological footprint.
Old School Work
Keep the stuff you are proud enough to put in your portfolio or you need to reference and get rid of the rest trough donation and recycling depending on what material was used.
Re-purpose: recycle the unwanted used paper and now use as a brand new one.
Donate: remove all the personal info and bring to a charity or school they will find
Recycle the paper to say the least!
Repurpose: roll them up and insert them in your boots when storing them in-order for the boots to keep their shape. You can also do a crafting activity with your kids, keep them for school projects.
Donate: give them to your local library or schools.
Is it just me or is there always dried out flower on a shelf in a living
Go through them pick the ones you really play as a family or with friends and donate all the other games to a local charity. If its an unwanted recent gift you can always try selling it.
Recycle ones with a missing
Recycle them or re-purpose them as a fire starter if you have an outside firepit or wood burning fireplace. They’re always handy to cover the table when kids do
Sell: sell any game you don’t play with.
Donate: the old games, which console are outdated. Recycle: damaged non-working game
DVD & VHS
Donate them to a library. If they are pg-13, a school. If it’s mostly kids movies daycares can use them. You can donate the VHS and Dusty DVD machine along with them if you no longer use them.
Your Pet’s Toy
We all spoil them rotten, there are definitely a couple toys
Donate: if you can wash them and disinfect them, bring them to a local shelter they are always happy for any pet supply.
Trash: any torn or damage toy that is harmful
Find the model number, search the model number on google and download the PDF file on
Re-purpose: they are good fire starters!
Recycle: toss them in the recycling bin
Go through all the seasonal and ever-green decorations you have, keep the one you really really like!
Sell the decent unwanted ones,
Donate the un-sellable working decoration.
Recycle: any decoration that is broken and you won’t repair. The only thing these are good at is collecting dust. Less knick-knack less cleaning to do!
Recycle: damaged, stained and most of all ugly coaster must be eradicated!!! (joking. Lol)
I was a candle hoarder myself, but I made it a goal not to buy anymore and invest in an essential oil diffuser. I chose to also go through my whole candle collection before purchasing it. Now your probably looking at your collection thinking how will you go through yours, it will take a decade. Fear not, separate the big name candle such as bath and bodywork, post the brand new ones up for
As for the small or unscented candles donate them to your local charity.
Sell any gaming consoles you don’t play with anymore, if not bring them back to your local gaming store, they might give you store credit in exchange.
If the cushions that are supposed to be on a seat or couch always on the floor, it might be a hint you have too many. Donate any extra cushion to a local charity.
unless you’re a large family you only need one or two that’s all, recycle the broken one and donate the unwanted.
Finish up what you currently have, donate anything you won’t be using (soap bottles with the fragrance you don’t like). If they’re empty, recycle the bottles and boxes you probably were too lazy to bring them to the recycling bin a while back.
Sell or Donate what doesn’t fit or is unwanted.
Recycle any loner glove, repurpose old scarves as rags. Sporting gear that doesn’t fit can be sold as well or donated.
Tennis rackets, hockey equipment, skis, snowboard, fitness equipment, yoga mats etc.. you get the picture…
Sell everything that doesn’t fit or that just collecting dust.
Donate anything repairable and unsellable.
Recycle anything that is damaged beyond repair.
**Common sense would be to wash and disinfect anything you pass on from your kids especially.
** A great way to switch
Keep in mind that if you want another kid, you might want to store all this, we all know how expensive having a child can be.
Sell toys they don’t play with anymore or outgrown.
Donate toys that’s can be repaired easily and toys you weren’t able to sell.
Recycle the heavily
All clothing that your child(ren) have outgrown, or don’t want to wear should be donated
Sell any furniture they have outgrown (crib, baby seat with valid expiration dates).
Donate any furniture you’re not selling, or easily repairable. Many charities are available to help mothers and father in need.
If your youngest is 10years old it might be time you donate that baby bottle drying rack and diaper garbage can!! Or the baby bullet, bottle warmer etc… I strongly suggest giving you stuff to charities for mother in need if you can afford
As I stated earlier small container might come in hand if your planning to have kids, and now I’m telling you that you don’t need 20000 tiny container for food anymore. Keep what your use.
I may not have children yet, but I have discussed this issue with friends who have kids and they all say its really hard to let go of your children’s art, but what use are they in a box hidden away. My suggestion would be to keep a few favorite ones and recycle the rest… when you’re ready of course.
Outside Seasonal Decoration
Recycle any broken/non-working decoration you have no intention of repairing
Donate decorations you do not wish to use anymore
Sell the decorations which are still decent a couple months ahead of the event. Ex: Christmas decoration should be put up for sale around October.
Dispose of any vehicle fluid you don’t need or use (left oil with a grad that does go into your car ex: you have 3 bottles of 15w40 diesel oil and you don’t own a diesel vehicle anymore) dried or expired cleaning car products, old coolant bottles, old gas oil mixes etc.
In Canada, we have to bring them to Canadian tire to dispose of them properly. If you find bottles with good product still inside but you have no use for them, sell it for a dirt cheap price and it will be gone … 3$ is 3$ more you can put toward your financial goal.
Any form of paint what so ever: interior, exterior, spray, touch up paint. Dispose of any paint tin you will never use again (burn orange from 1980, No thank you) properly.
Usually, your local paint store will know where to dispose of them. In Canada, most renovation center such as Lowes, Home Depot, or Canadian tire will take them.
If you’ve kept every bicycle you’ve needed in the last couple years, you probably will have a few that your children have
Whether they are ice or roller skates they are taking place, donate or sell the ones that don’t fit anymore. Once you stop growing skate are the type of item you will buy once and keep your whole life.
Donate the skates that don’t fit anymore
Recycle the broken one or the dried out ones as well (if they’ve dried out they haven’t been used)
I may not skate on a regular basis anymore, but I’ve owned my roller and ice skates for over 10years, they’re paid, so when I ever I fell like doing a cheap activity I bring them out.
Go through your stuff and see what you really need, after our road trip last summer I realized I didn’t need half of the things we Brough. Therefore, I made a list of what we do use when we road trip and I was able to sell everything I wasn’t using.
I also looked around the house for double usage item. Why keep a ‘camping Clothing line’ when I have 200ft of yellow rope. I can Definity bring my yellow rope instead. So I sold the Camping overprice marketing clothing line.
Donate what hasn’t been sold.
Recycle anything that’s broken and not worth repairing
Now, this is a touchy area, maybe ask your man to go through his own tools. Everything you won’t use again (specialty tools) sell them !!! tools sell really well.
If they don’t then donate the unwanted tools. Tools can be repaired therefore you can post them up on garage sale websites for free and someone will
Wood, tiles, doors anything material leftover from a home improvement that your keeping just in case you need it, this needs to be recycled.
Women’s second dark hole!!! I don’t like to carry a purse so I’m the perfect person to tell you to declutter it. Do you realize that I’ve been walking around with no purse for nearly 10 years! This brings a whole different perspective on decluttering your purse.
You don’t have to be like me and get ride of it 99% time (I do have a purse/backpack on outing so I carry along food and equipment needed), but lighter baggage is always welcomed.
ther than money, spare dos of your meds and cards there shouldn’t any reasons to have other stuff in there
Collection of receipt
Unless your planning to return something you can recycle all those kilometer long receipts. No questions asked …. You should not have any emotional
Loyalty cards are pointless if you’re not using them, chose the ones you really use and concentrate
Unless you are going to an event after work, you should have a bag of makeup permanently in your purse, a Chapstick should be the only ‘make-up’ in there permanently
Bring only the coupons you’ll use, recycle are the expired coupons hanging out in your purse.
You shouldn’t have full-size medication bottle whether they are prescribed or over the counter. You should only have your daily doses and emergency spare dose.
Random Clutter(Crap) Drawer
Hopefully, you only have one of those! If not then empty it, trash any dried out thing (elastic, pens), leaky things (batteries, bottles) and loose unneeded random thing (buttons, safety pin, nail, screw, an actual fake nail, pen caps). Put away what needs to be put away (tools in the garage, bills in the office etc).
Recycle any paper, ad, pamphlet.
By the end of the article, you probably have a pill of material to cut up into rags. If you chose not to keep them all, you can always make little bundles and sell them for 1$. Believe me when I say you can sell anything… And they won’t end up in a Lindfield.
Last Little Words
If you’ve read the whole thing, you’ve
I live with things I use regularly at some point during the year. I’m still bringing in new things to our house hold because our need constantly
Now its your turn to start tackling your clutter, you chose when, where, how big and why you want to start to declutter. Simply be happy that your taking every step to declutter. Your winning a battle every step you take! It won’t be easy especially when you’ll cross your diseased grandmothers neckless (which you can totally keep), you’ll be left feeling relieved and light weight.
Let me know in the comments below what you think, I also am curious to find out how your decluttering went!