Decluttering Checklist: What to Clear Right Now

If you find it challenging to muster the motivation for decluttering your home, a decluttering checklist can significantly simplify the task. The difficulty often stems from decision-making, but with a checklist, you already have a pre-made list of items to clear out, eliminating the need for prolonged decision-making.

An added advantage of using a decluttering checklist is the ability to mark items off as you progress through the list. This not only provides motivation but also a tangible sense of empowerment as you witness the checks accumulating.

Before diving into the decluttering process, it’s recommended to start small. Confronting the entire list at once can be overwhelming, so focus on achieving small, quick victories.

Select a specific room to declutter, then break it down further by choosing a specific area within that room. For instance, if you decide to begin in the kitchen, you might opt for the spice drawer or pantry as your initial target. Move on to the next area only after completing the decluttering process for your chosen section, addressing the primary sources of clutter.

Decluttering Checklists for Each Room

Tip: Before commencing decluttering in any room, make decisions about each item—whether to donate, gift, throw away, recycle, or sell it. This proactive approach reduces overwhelm during the decluttering process.

Bathroom Decluttering Checklist

  • Expired and no-longer-used make-up
  • Expired and no-longer-needed medicines and prescriptions
  • Dried-out nail polish
  • Extraneous hairbrushes, combs, and hair accessories
  • Skincare and make-up samples
  • Old or threadbare towels
  • Unused hair styling tools
  • Expired sunscreen

Bedroom Decluttering Checklist

  • Paper clutter
  • Books that won’t be read again
  • Old magazines
  • Unused or unnecessary furniture
  • Excess decorative pillows
  • Sheets that are past their prime

Closet Decluttering Checklist

  • Clothes that no longer fit
  • Socks and tights with holes in them
  • Gifted clothes that you won’t ever wear
  • Underwear that is worn or frayed
  • Extra hangers/dry-cleaning hangers
  • Shoes that hurt or are uncomfortable
  • Broken jewelry
  • Unused fitness gear
  • Old and excess wallets and purses

Home Office Decluttering Checklist

  • Paper clutter such as old bills, receipts, and old insurance papers)
  • Excess pens and pencils
  • Dried-out pens, markers, and highlighters
  • Expired gift cards and coupons
  • Used notebooks
  • Unused cords, cables, and chargers
  • Manuals for items you no longer own or use

Kid’s Room Decluttering Checklist

  • Outgrown clothes and shoes
  • Broken toys or that are no longer use
  • Worn-down stuffed toys
  • Used arts-and-crafts supplies
  • Books they have outgrown
  • School books from previous years
  • Old school projects
  • Toys, games, and puzzles with missing pieces
  • Paper clutter

Kitchen Decluttering Checklist

  • Appliances used once a year or less
  • Out-of-date spices and pantry items
  • Mismatched and excess coffee mugs
  • Excess serving dishes, plates, cutlery, and glassware
  • Stained food storage containers
  • Food storage containers without lids
  • Rarely used recipe books
  • Old and worn dish towels
  • Fast-food utensils and straws
  • Broken or chipped dishes and plates
  • Takeout menus

Living Room Decluttering Checklist

  • No longer used furniture
  • Old magazines
  • Books that you won’t read again
  • Broken or not-in-use remote controls
  • Excess couch pillows and throws
  • Broken or chipped decorative objects
  • Chargers and cables that are nolonger used
  • Any stained textiles that can’t be cleaned
  • Dead plants that can’t be revived

General Household Items Decluttering Checklist

  • Old photos (pick your favorites and clear out the rest)
  • Unused or broken holiday decorations
  • Old holiday cards and birthday cards
  • Excess and unused luggage
  • Unused exercise equipment
  • Extra bed linens (two per bed is ideal)

Next Steps After Decluttering

After decluttering, your items will likely fall into one of five categories—throw away, donate, gift, sell, or recycle. Here’s what you can do with each category:

  1. Throw Away:
    • Items in the throw pile should be discarded on the same day you declutter. Avoid delaying until you complete the entire room to prevent second thoughts.
  2. Donate:
    • Choose a meaningful place for donation to make parting with items easier. Knowing your belongings will find a new home where they’ll be appreciated can ease the letting-go process.
  3. Gift:
    • When giving something away as a gift, focus on the joy it will bring to the recipient. Imagining the item finding a loving home makes it easier to part with.
  4. Sell:
    • Set a specific ‘sell by’ date when selling items. Anything unsold by that date should be either donated or gifted. This ensures a clear timeline for the selling process.
  5. Recycle:
    • Similar to the throw pile, items in the recycling category should be taken to your recycling location on the same day as your clear-out. Prompt action ensures proper disposal and minimizes clutter.

Taking these steps promptly and decisively will help maintain the sense of accomplishment from decluttering and prevent backtracking on your decisions.

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