When you first start to declutter your home, it often helps to have a decluttering checklist to help you go through different rooms in your home and know what items to touch next.
Here is a decluttering checklist giving you 100 items you can get rid of today when you clear the clutter in your home.
General rules for your decluttering checklist:
- Get rid of any duplicates if you can survive with only one.
- Find a place for everything. Everything should have a designated place in your home.
- If you want to keep it, use it or display it.
- Don’t keep things for “just in case”. You will find you are more resourceful than you give yourself credit.
- Anything broken needs to be repaired immediately or thrown away.
- Save your sentimental items for last. You will be better at decluttering your home when you get to them.
- Remember to track anything donated. I like the It’s Deductible app. Super easy to use.
Use this decluttering checklist to kickstart your journey into decluttering your home, especially if you don’t know how to declutter.
This simple guide will give you the head start you need to see some real progress. As you gain momentum, you will get faster, and things will get easier.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Electronics
1. DVDs – If you haven’t watched a DVD in this last year, sell them in a lot on eBay or give them to friends.
2. VHS tapes – If you still have these, you should have found them a new home by the turn of the century, as they won’t make a comeback.
3. Cassette tapes – Same goes for cassette tapes as VHS tapes. Time to just throw them away. Maybe keep one or two only for nostalgia purposes.
4. CDs – CDs are losing their popularity as well. If you haven’t listened to a CD in the past year, give it away, sell it, or donate it.
5. Video games – Apply the one year rule here too. Either sell them or give them away.
6. Outdated computer software – Just throw it away. No one wants it.
7. Old computers – Throw them away or recycle them at a local electronics recycling event.
8. Old video cameras – Time to let go of nostalgia and throw these bad boys away. Remember to get your tape, disc or memory card out first! Then, convert them to something digital.
9. Clock radio – True confession, I still have a clock radio, but I use it every day so I have the option to not have my phone in my room. However, if your clock radio is collecting dust somewhere, donate it now.
10. CD player – My kids still use a boombox CD player. If you have one sitting in storage, give it to a little kid or donate it.
11. Random wires or cords – We have a “wires box”, and I hate it. One day I will convince my (hoarding) husband to get rid of it. Until then, I am trying to get into the practice of labeling all the wires so we know we no longer own said matching device.
12. Old cell phones – Recycle them or trash them. Many retailers have old cell phone recycling boxes.
13. Old game consoles – Take these to a gaming store, give them to a kid, or donate them.
14. Empty CD cases – I don’t know why, but I had an entire Rubbermaid storage container full of empty CD cases. They were all recycled.
15. Old digital cameras – Give them to your kid as a toy or throw them away, as the old cameras will never keep up with technology.
Decluttering Checklist for General Household Items
16. Books – Are you going to read it again? Why are you keeping it? If you reference it frequently, keep it. A lot of folks hold on to non-fiction books they use regularly. However, if it is a fiction book you never plan to read it again, donate it to your local library or gift it to a friend.
17. Cookbooks – When is the last time you used the cookbook? Do you have a friend or family member that would enjoy it? Could it be a Christmas gift or birthday gift?
18. Magazines – Keep no more than two months of magazines at a time. If you haven’t read it in two months, chances are you will never read it. Recycle them and move on. If you are not reading them regularly, it may be time to cancel the subscription. You can also consider going digital.
19. Empty frames – Put some pictures in them and hang them or pass them on.
20. Posters – You are no longer in high school….sorry. If you really want to keep a poster, put it in a frame. Ikea sells cheap poster frames. Then display it!
21. Wall hanging pictures – We were stuck with many sentimental wall hangings from our parents’ homes. We did not like them, and we felt guilty getting rid of them. If you have no plans for the wall hangings, offer to give them back to your family or give them away.
22. Figurines – Figurines scream clutter. If you are tired of clutter in your home, it is time to let go of your figurine collection. Keep your favorite two or three and display them in a location that makes you smile. If you can’t bring yourself to let them go, invest in a display case so they are all together.
23. Pens – How many pens do you really need? If they are dried up, throw them away. If you have more than you will ever use in a lifetime, donate them to a school.
24. Newspapers – Keep this week’s copy only, or subscribe for an online version and opt to only receive one paper copy per week (ie. the Sunday paper).
25. Vases – One large, medium and small vase should be more than enough. I don’t even use mine, so I’m not sure why I had so many!
26. Old calendars – You will always have your memories.
27. Expired coupons – Create a system to go through them regularly.
28. Old paperwork – Shred it or file it if you really need it.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Bathroom
29. Near empty sunscreen – We once had 15 bottles because we were too aggravated to use them, but we saved them not to be wasteful. Either use them for real or let them go.
30. Travel size toiletries – These are great, and they are free. Use them. If you will never use them, donate them to a shelter or throw them away. If you are throwing them away, stop bringing them home!
31. Make-up – Get rid of samples you will never use, anything outdated, and anything you don’t wear for whatever reason.
32. Curlers – Be honest with yourself. Do you use and love your curlers? If so, by all means, keep them!
33. Hair products – I used to try out different hair products. I am a frizzy mess most of the time. (Thank you curls.) I would then feel guilty for not liking something and then keep it under my bathroom sink for years. If you don’t like something and will not use it, give it to a friend or throw it away.
34. Old toothbrushes – One cleaning toothbrush is plenty.
35. Expired medication – Throw it out. Some say you can use expired medication. If that’s your thing, do it at your own risk. I know I won’t do it, so I throw it out. It also helps me be more mindful about buying medication in smaller quantities to get me through whatever symptoms I may have at some given time.
36. Dried up nail polish – You won’t ever use it.
37. Expired vitamins – Kind of like expired medicine.
38. Hair accessories – If you haven’t used them in the last year, get rid of them.
39. Old perfumes or colognes – Accept the financial loss or start using them.
Related Post: The Flat Surface Rule for Bathroom Counter Clutter
Decluttering Checklist for Your Linen Closet
40. Sheets with holes – We used to say we would use them when painting. We didn’t. Actually, I used an old sheet for painting once and swore I would never do it again after paint bled through to the carpet.
41. Old / Unused Comforters – Give these to a friend, a local homeless shelter or donate them, and let someone else get joy from your unused items.
42. Towels with holes – How many “cleaning towels” does one person REALLY need? Two? Three tops?
43. Washcloths with holes – Throw them away. I hate using a cleaning washcloth with a hole in it. It is way less effective for the task at hand.
44. Any linens you don’t like – It’s ok. If you have a sufficient number of linens you like, stop holding on to the ones you skip over every time you open the linen closest.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Kitchen
45. Old take-out menus – Unless you pull them out and look at them often, get rid of them. If you use them, put them in a folder and then put the folder in a drawer.
46. Single-use condiments – If you must keep a few on hand, limit them to a ziplock bag rather than thrown in loosely into a drawer.
47. Expired items in the pantry – You are not going to eat them, so throw them away.
48. Pantry items you don’t like – Go ahead and donate them to the local food bank, check for expiration dates.
49. Coffee mugs – Go ahead and donate the ones you never use.
50. Kid-specific eatery – If you are kids are over the age of three, they can eat on a real plate, with a real fork, and drink out of a real glass. If they are 3 or younger, they only need one or two sets total.
51. Empty or duplicate spices – Combine duplicates and throw out empty or expired spices.
52. Duplicate cooking utensils – You only need one spatula.
53. Kitchen gadgets you never use – If you aren’t even sure what it does, donate it.
54. Magnets you don’t use – Unclutter your fridge surface.
55. Plastic containers with no lid – Save yourself the misery of searching every time.
Related posts: Create a Minimalist Pantry
Decluttering Checklist for Your Storage and Coat Closets
56. Plastic bags – Nearly every grocery store and big box store recycles plastic bags. Keep enough on hand (ten maybe) for your bathroom trashcans and invest in some reusable grocery bags.
57. Paper bags – I used to use these for recycling, but don’t just hold onto paper bags for “one day”. Recycle them today.
58. Old or unused coats – There are a lot of folks out there who need your unused coats. Find them a good home.
59. Prom dresses – Do you know there are a lot of girls out there who may not go to prom because their parents cannot afford to buy them a dress? Don’t hoard them in your closet for memory’s sake. Take a photo, and then send them to a local charity that distributes them out for prom. If you are unsure, you can probably call your local high school for donation ideas. Besides, they will never fit the same anyway.
60. Extra buttons – They won’t ever get used if they haven’t been used already.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Closet
61. Shoes that hurt – I don’t know why we torture ourselves. If you never wear a pair of shoes because they always give you a blister, no matter how many times you have tried to break them in, give them away.
62. Dresses that don’t fit – Stop making yourself feel miserable every time you try on a dress that used to look amazing on you. Our mama bodies changed, and that’s ok. Let some skinny little girl who has never pushed out a baby wear it.
63. Faded clothes – Unless you NEED these clothes, get rid of them. You will enjoy the extra space in your decluttered closet.
64. Clothes that need repair – Be honest with yourself, will you actually fix the broken piece of clothing? If not, time to throw it away.
65. Clothing items that match nothing – I used to buy unique clothing. Then I would never wear it because I never found the matching shirt or pair of pants to go with it. Buy clothes that are versatile, and consider creating a capsule wardrobe.
66. Shoes that match nothing – Those leopard print, high heeled shoes were so cute when you bought them! Now you never wear them because they match nothing in your closet. Give them to someone who can rock them every weekend!
67. Old shoes – Shoe cobblers are great if you actually use them. If you have old shoes, drop them off at one of those shoe collection boxes (Whole Foods usually has them) or throw them away. Recycling is always best, but I know that’s not always an option.
68. Mismatched gloves – Like socks, sometimes they just disappear.
69. Winter hats – If you never wear them, donate them.
70. Scarves – Get rid of scarves you never wear, whether fashion or winter scarves.
71. Swimwear – If it doesn’t fit or you never wear it or it is old, let it go.
72. Extra shoelaces – If you need some down the road, go get some that match your shoes at that time.
73. Unused purses – You can consign or sell the nice ones. Pick one or two timeless ones and let the rest go.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Bedroom
74. Faded and worn T-shirts – Pull them out of the drawer you can barely close and make room for the clothes you still like to wear. Even your lounging clothes deserve to not be faded and worn.
75. Mismatched socks – I swear our dryer really does eat socks. This baffles me. I finally created a loose sock storage solution. Every month, I go through the bag and match any socks that ended up in there. Eventually, you realize there is that one sock that never finds its match. Throw it away.
76. Worn-out underwear – I’m terrified I’ll be in a terrible accident one day and wearing ugly underwear, so I just won’t do it. Keep only the underwear you love, and let go of those hiding at the back of your drawer.
77. Worn-out pajamas – I don’t know why we feel compelled to turn all of our worn-out clothes into pajamas or loungewear. Years ago, I decided I would LOVE all my pajamas. They would not just be leftovers and worn out items. I’ve never turned back. If my house catches fire and I have to run outside, I will like the pajamas I am wearing!
78. Old costume jewelry – If you don’t wear it regularly, find it a new home or throw it away if broken.
Related post: Declutter Your Bedroom
Decluttering Checklist for Your Craft Supplies
79. Extra fabric – I love to sew. However, I managed to build up several bins of fabric that would never be used. Ask your friends and family if they know a quilter or someone that would enjoy your excess scraps. Keep only the fabric that you plan to use. If sewing was just a passing hobby you were exploring, give it all away.
80. Craft supplies for old hobbies – Scrapbooking was my passing hobby. I enjoyed it for years, and I bought all the fun stuff that goes with it. Admitting to myself that I would never sit down to enjoy the hobby again was disappointing, especially when considering the financial investment I made. So, one year I packaged it all up and mailed it to my mom for her birthday. She is a big scrapbooker and was thrilled.
81. Old patterns – Again, if you have no plans to use the patterns in the next year, find them a new home.
82. Dried up markers – I don’t think we keep these on purpose. Throw them away.
83. Broken crayons – I don’t know why broken crayons bother me so much, but they do. My kids refuse to use them. Their hands are too clumsy to hold on. Make a fun craft out of them. There are some fun ideas on Pinterest!
84. Used up coloring books – Do a quarterly audit on coloring books. Your kids will never tell you when they are used up.
85. Empty sticker sheets – My kids throw empty sticker sheets into the craft storage box. I audit it regularly to see what kind of trash needs to be thrown away.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Laundry Room
86. Old lightbulbs – Lightbulbs that only fit your old house should be recycled or thrown away.
87. Plastic hangers from the store – Invest in hangers you like. No one really likes the free hangers from the store.
88. Dry cleaner hangers – Dry cleaners will often take back their hangers on your return visit. That way you are saving them money, and you are saving yourself from clutter.
89. Cleaning supplies – Throw out the ones you will never use or consolidate any duplicate bottles.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Purse
90. Receipts – Go through your purse weekly and throw out any receipts you do not need to keep.
91. Kid trash – Apparently mom’s purse is a trash can, and kids can sneak stuff in there without me ever knowing!
92. Expired cards – I don’t always throw these away. Sometimes I put them in the play cash register. My kids love it!
93. Loyalty cards in your wallet and on your keychain – If you don’t use them, throw them away.
Decluttering Checklist for Your Sentimental Items and Other Memorabilia
94. Old toys – Your kids don’t want to play with your old toys. My husband had boxes full of old toys saved for his children. My kids were thrilled the day they saw it and then guess what? They told us they didn’t like those toys. Apparently, they were old and missing pieces. They were honest, and they have their own stuff. No reason to add more to it.
95. Papers from school (all age levels) – For some reason, we had a box of preschool papers from thirty years ago. We enjoyed looking at them, but we had no reason to save them. For anything that we really wanted to save, we scanned or took a picture and then stored them on a cloud.
96. Blurry photos – Throw them out.
97. Duplicate photos – Throw them out or mail/ give them to those who may enjoy the second copy.
98. Certificates from childhood – I had an entire notebook my mom put together of certificates I earned throughout school. I digitized some, and then I recycled the rest. (Sorry mom.)
99. Trophies from childhood – Throwing my trophies away hurt for a second. However, the space I created when I got rid of that storage bin was so worth it!
100. Old greeting cards – If you really want the memory, snap a picture and store it on a cloud.
Related post to get you motivated: 12 Reasons Why Living with Less Stuff Will Make You Happier
Related Post: Help With Sentimental Clutter
Start Decluttering Your Home, One Item at a Time!
This decluttering checklist can be used in a day, a long weekend or spread out over time. It all depends on your current situation and your ability to let go of items you no longer need.
Minimalism is a journey for sure, and it looks different for every family.
If you aren’t ready to handle an item yet, come back to it. This decluttering checklist should make things easier as you make your way through the different categories.
Don’t give up, and be persistent. It will be worth the hard decisions when the clutter is gone!
This post is part of the Happy Clutter-Free Home series. You can achieve a decluttered home once and for all. You don’t have to settle for cleaning all day, stress, and general clutter overwhelm. Being a mom is hard already. Don’t let clutter make it feel impossible. Get back time and reclaim the joy in your home.
Tomorrow we will be talking about my favorite habit that helped me achieve a cleaner home: The Flat Surface Clutter Rule.