The end of the year is the best time to evaluate the items in your home. Why wait till the new year? Get it done now and start the year fresh.
What I am proposing is to go through your house and find those items that you know you don’t need. The broken items that you need to “fix” or the ones you have been hanging onto because you might wear it “someday”. When you clear out before Christmas comes then your home will be ready for the new things that inevitably show up after the Christmas season.
I have 6 easy areas I like to go through. This type of declutter is a simple one, you are not going through everything! Just pulling out the obvious things that you know you never use.
The kitchen is the easiest place to declutter because very few people are attached to kitchen items. I like to start with any appliances that you rarely or never use. I use to have a George Foreman grill that I never used, the funny thing was when we pulled it out the top was broken off! Another easy thing to get rid of are any duplicate items. For instance we had so many spatulas, now we have 2. I can’t imagine needing more than 2 in any cooking situation. How many cups do you have? This was a big thing for us we had so many cups! Now we only have a few.
For this declutter I don’t recommend pulling everything out, because this is just an audit. I would just take a peak in your closet and pull out anything you know you haven’t worn in the last year. If you wore everything, Great! Are there any shoes that hurt your feet? Is there anything that you just don’t like the way you look in? All of these items should probably go.
If you have kids this is a good time to see if there is anything worn out or too small. Odds are my kids will get a few new clothing items for Christmas so its nice to start with a slightly downsized closet.
This is the best time of the year to go through seasonal decor! You are nearing the end of the year and you have done all the decorating for the year. Is there anything broken or anything that you didn’t end up using? If I didn’t use something for more than 2 years in a row the odds are I won’t be using it ever again. I like to decorate for Christmas and anything left in the boxes that I don’t put up gets donated. It is so refreshing to start the year with the decor you know you love.
This is the best time to go through toys! Again this is not a KonMari declutter, I am just donating the toys that I know my kids never play with. I am also scanning the room for anything broken and anything that they have grown out of. I am always surprised that my kids grow out of toys, but it is true, when something is not age appropriate they never play with it.
In the bathroom I like to get rid of any expired products or anything that I bought and found out I didn’t like. Before I started to become minimal I would keep things that I knew I would never use because I had spent money on it. This is a terrible mistake! The only thing worse than spending money on something you didn’t like is keeping this item as a reminder. Every time I would go in the bathroom and see that makeup I didn’t like I would think what a waste. Now if I don’t like something I get rid of it right away.
Recently I went through the kids bath toys and only kept the few that they love. We now have 2 cups, 2 ducks and a little ring. They are so happy with these toys, they didn’t even notice the huge basket of moldy junk toys I threw out. Less really is more in a lot of ways.
Garage / Utility Closets
I like to scan each closet and the garage for items that were stashed there for no reason. Most people have a closet like this in their home, you know the one I am talking about. The closet that everyone just throws all their junk in, out of sight out of mind. I like to find anything broken, or old dried out paint, there is always something that needs to go.
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By doing this end of year clutter audit I feel like I am starting the new year on the right foot. This audit also makes me feel a lot better about the new things we will be bring in our home. I am a huge proponent of the one in one out policy. Anytime I bring a new item into our house I like to get rid of something that is similar. As I look around my home I know that we could still live with less, but its a slow journey. When I donate things I want to make sure that I won’t have to run out and replace these items. I want to make sure its something that we don’t need. If I could say one thing about decluttering its to take your time and don’t feel rushed.