35 Easiest Things To Declutter For Stress-Free Decluttering

decluttering Nov 08, 2023
Easiest Things To Declutter


Holding onto items often stems from their sentimental value, practical use, or habit, making the process of deciding what to let go challenging. Recognizing the easiest things to declutter can be a great starting point in this journey, as it allows for a gradual approach to this emotionally charged task.

Sentimental items, for example, can stir strong emotions, and parting with them might feel like losing a piece of your history. On the other hand, large, bulky items like furniture present physical challenges, requiring extra effort and help to move.

Then there are items that are tied to our identity, such as an artist contemplating whether to discard unused art supplies, a reminder of dreams and aspirations.

Decluttering, however, is a personal journey, one that you can navigate at your own pace, beginning with the simplest steps. For those looking for an easy and fulfilling way to start organizing their space, our guide on the easiest things to declutter offers an accessible and gratifying approach, ensuring you feel a sense of accomplishment right from the start.


Items That Are Hard To Declutter

Suppose you’re looking to avoid feeling stressed or overwhelmed (or you’ve been sitting in that boat for a while and want to move forward easily). In that case, it’s best to leave the items that trigger heavy emotions off your decluttering checklist until you’re more prepared to tackle them. 

How to approach stress-free decluttering

Since we’re looking for the easiest things to declutter, here are some areas we will avoid and why!

#1. Sentimentality: Items with sentimental value trigger big emotions, which we avoid.

#2. Personal Association: These items create a lot of inner conflicts and can cause overthinking/feeling overwhelmed. Let’s save those for another day.

#3. High Cost/Value: Most of us get a slight cringe thinking about letting go of items that were a significant investment, so maybe save these for a day when you have more time to prepare mentally.

#4. Ease vs. Cumbersome: Skip the broken, heavy, or oversized items that require a lot of effort; today is all about comfort πŸ‘Œ

And now, the easiest things to declutter! Time for some instant results.

Easy Decluttering Checklist

#1. Junk mail

The joys of filtering through the never-ending mail on your doorstep (not!)

It can be overwhelming, even stressful, having to decide what is and isn’t essential. It’s also safe to say that anything that requires us to look at bills makes us naturally want to turn the other cheek.

On that note, I’m here to encourage a mindset shift: decide what’s essential and what isn’t, address what is important (and what doesn’t need your immediate attention), and discard the rest! 

#2. Expired and Freezer-Burned Foods

This is one of the easiest things to declutter, as most of us aren’t attached to old food! It covers multiple food categories, not just the old food in the back of the fridge. 

Things like:

  • Freezer-burned 
  • Expired
  • Items no one reaches for crammed at the back of the fridge… last week’s leftovers? 
  • Food that isn’t being used

All take up a substantial amount of space! Taking stock of what isn’t getting used will help you make significant progress.

If some of it’s STILL good, but you don’t know what to do with it, you might benefit from the “Use it Up” Challenge instead, allowing you to declutter it sustainably and maybe even spark some new ideas for recipes!  

It’s funny- during a recent visit with my in-laws, I was grabbing a drink from the fridge in one second, and the next, I was immersed in decluttering the fridge (without even realizing it!) πŸ˜†

Yes, it’s that easy.

Let it serve as a comical moment that highlights exactly why it’s one of the easiest things to declutter, how quickly and effortlessly this step can take place- it ultimately leads to more room for groceries that you plan to eat πŸ₯—

#3. Expired Coupons/Receipts

Simple- if it’s past the return date or an expired coupon, it truly serves no purpose.

I promise you won’t miss them.

#4. Extra Remote Controls

Collecting remotes is a universal affliction, like the common cold- but instead of tissues, you end up with an ever-growing pile of remotes.

Time to break your remote-hoarding habits. Get rid of any (and as many) remotes you don’t use. This is one of the easiest things to declutter because you won’t even notice they’re gone (but you will see you have more space!)

5. Extra Earbuds

Having too many headphones seems to be a “thing officially.” Suppose your collection consists of cheap models that don’t do the job well; time to get rid of them.

Even if those no-name buds were good enough for an in-flight movie once upon a time, don’t let yourself fall into the trap; invest in one quality pair and stick with them!

#6. Depleted Household Consumables

There’s nothing worse than changing the batteries on something you need to use only to discover none of them work. (Matt is notorious for grabbing the batteries from the beeping fire alarm and tossing them in the drawer, it drives me just a little bit crazy πŸ€¦‍♀️)

Sometimes we keep these because it feels safer to have a pile stashed away rather than having none. 

But in the end, all it does is make you ‘think’ you have a stash, which means they aren’t getting replenished, and you’re stuck with inefficient clutter.

Speaking of stress-free decluttering, this one is a great way to help ensure you stay stress-free in the future πŸ˜‰

#7. Unused Boxes or Packing Materials

If you’ve received a package and thought to yourself, maybe I can use this cool box for something, you may have a box tower you need to tackle. 

You may feel guilty throwing it away if it’s neat, but alas, you have yet to devise a plan, and the items are just sitting in a pile. 

Don’t get stuck with an exhibit of unused boxes or packing materials; free up the space!

#8. Partially Used Duplicates

This one’s all about simplifying and streamlining.

Instead of hoarding partially used duplicates, why not scoop it all into one container?

That’s right- merge those garlic containers or combine your half-empty, complimentary hair products into one jar. It’s one of the easiest things to declutter.

Consolidating is an incredible way to declutter. It’s so simple, yet it makes a huge difference.

#9. Hair Accessories

Hair accessories like combs and hair ties are small but still add up-, especially brushes.

People often keep old tools and brushes even once they purchase new ones. Thus the enormous stash of supplies just gets stuffed into drawers.

Keep the items you plan to implement in your routine, and part with the rest. You’ll also save having to dig through them to reach the items you ARE trying to use.

#10. Disposable Jugs And Bottles

I try to steer clear of items made with heavy disposable plastic. 

Things like laundry detergent are a considerable culprit- they’re also a pesky mess that takes up a significant amount of space.

Let’s be honest; we’ve all had the sticky detergent rings stuck to the machine or old drip marks lurking around the edges-  I hate it (there I said it 😬)

If that wasn’t the worst part, they’re also terrible for the environment and typically end up in the garbage once they’re caked in old residue.

It made sense to do it this way when it was the only option available, but now some alternatives replace the big plastic mess- consider these the course of the past!

If you’re looking for something natural, eco-friendly, which takes up less space, AND, most importantly, actually “works,” my family has used TruEarth for years. Recently we tried the baby laundry strips for Chloe, and I was particularly excited to try the new toilet bowl strips (I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s gross to stick a bottle in a toilet to clean it, to stick it back onto the shelf). If you haven’t heard about them, they will radically shift your laundry game and save you space πŸ™Œ

#11. Used-up Candles:

Unless you have a habit of repurposing the leftover wax from old candles, the rest of us don’t take steps to do it, so they aren’t handy.

If you have a candle that isn’t burning or sunken to the bottom, consider removing it from your space—

#12. Board Games with Missing Pieces 

If you’re a game-lover like me, it can be challenging to let go of the fun ones you love or that you used to play regularly. 

Even if you don’t play games very often, you might like to save them for when you have guests over. 

Despite how fun a game may be, it can’t be played if it doesn’t have all the pieces you need, so why keep it?

It’s one of the easiest things to declutter, as it isn’t usable anyway.

#13. Gross Sponges

This one speaks for itself .. and should be one of the easiest things to declutter🀒

#14. Cracked Travel Mugs or Missing Lids

Ever tried to use a mug only to discover that there’s no lid to go with it?

A sloshy, spilling hazard for your coffee to-go.

Sometimes, mugs get cracked in the dishwasher and leak everywhere. If you’re a mug person, I’m sure you own more than one, so part with these.

#15. Melted Spatulas

If you have a backup, toss it! If not, time to replace it (and then toss it.)

#16. Small Office Supplies

Office supplies can be a challenge to get rid of, but you can easily throw the small items out of ink or worn down and broken away.

It all adds up over time, even if it’s just a few items.

#17. Torn Pet Toys

With Charlie on the loose πŸ• I’ve had my fair share of encounters with broken toys.

There have been times when my daughter, Gracie, has gone through the effort to fix them if we’ve noticed it’s a particularly loved toy. But most of the time, once the stuffing is popping out, it’s safe to toss it away!

#18. Old Nail Polish

Whether it’s a color you don’t like or become dry and clumpy over time, clearing away old nail polish can free up a substantial amount of space (assuming you have an extensive collection.)

#19. Extra Toothbrushes

If it’s old or no one uses it, why keep it, right?!

#20. Rusted Razors

This is an obvious one β›” It’s not uncommon to find one sitting in the shower on a ledge. 

I found the disposable razors to be short-lasting and highly wasteful, so I upgraded to these double-edged safety razors!

#21. Hardened or Clumped Spices

You never know when you need a particular spice, so spices might feel tough to tackle. But certain herbs or items containing salt set and become unusable over time, so sift those out once they’ve reached that point!

#22. Underwear and Socks

One of the easiest things to declutter is worn-out garments- most of us aren’t attached to old underwear and socks with holes in them!

#23. Excessively Pilled Clothes and Sheets

Some items eventually reach a point where they’re so pilled that they just aren’t comfortable anymore. When they get to the itchy phase, you’re not going to reach for them anyway.

#24. Hardened or Shedding Paintbrushes

Whether home improvement or art-related, a paintbrush is useless once it’s had paint dry onto it. 

You also don’t want to use a brush that sheds all over your project, so you can safely toss these away guilt-free!

#25. Hotel Toiletries

I know the struggle to receive cute, luxury products after a pleasant stay. But it’s safe to say most of us will naturally reach for the superior soap we already use daily. 

#26. Items with Broken Elastic

It probably has an elastic for a reason, so if it’s broken, it should be one of the easiest things to declutter on this list!

#27. Maternity Clothes

Some of us can attest to being done having kids, myself included πŸ™‹

If you know that you aren’t getting pregnant again in the future, these make easy candidates for stress-free decluttering.

I had zero problems decluttering anything maternity-related.

#28. Baby Items

Baby’s needs change often and quickly. Once a baby grows out of something, there’s no reason to keep it. 

#29. Irrelevant Documents

Sometimes, we have old documents that no longer apply to anything or have long surpassed their credibility, which can take up a lot of space.

#30. Outdated Calendars

Certain things have to be used in a particular time frame, like a yearly planner or a calendar- which many of us receive as gifts.

If the timeline no longer applies, safe to say it falls into one of the easiest things to declutter. These items are great to recycle ♻️

#31. Outdated or Irrelevant Hardware

Sometimes, we hoard items that belong to things we don’t even own anymore- like a furniture leg that belonged to a previously owned couch.

It could also be things like a faulty USB stick or disks that are scratched and no longer work.

#32.Cookbooks That Don’t Apply

Sometimes we explore a new diet, craze, or particular cuisine and find ourselves no longer reaching for the recipes. In the process, we end up collecting different cookbooks…

These make fabulous donations, or you could even sell them online!

#33. Outdated or Damaged Media

If you have a stash of media from your younger years, chances are that some of them have lived their life span. 

Whether it's DVDs, CDs, or old VHS tapes, eliminate the ones that no longer work!

#34. Crayon Fragments 

This is, without question, one of the easiest things to declutter.

I know kids break crayons all the time, and they’re still functional afterward, but some of their collection is probably turning to bits, which are safe to toss.

#35. Broken Bags or Backpacks

We all use bags for different activities; eventually, they develop holes or broken zippers.

Sometimes it’s worth fixing and makes sense, but other times they’re worn or damaged beyond use. Those are safe to part ways with!

A Quick Note

One of the worst things one can do when trying to declutter is comparing their journey to others; it’s a huge part of why many fail.

It’s easy to convince ourselves we aren’t decluttering the right way, or we can’t manage the stress, and to give up entirely…

Truth is, we all have different starting points, different struggles, and different goals! As long as you make improvements, you WILL be successful, even if they’re baby steps in the beginning, such as these!

I hope you found some things on this easy decluttering checklist that will help you kick off your decluttering journey hassle-free.

There you have it, a simple way to free up space in your home quickly and efficiently! 


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