Ready to make a big break in decluttering? Not sure where to start? Sometimes it is best to start with the easy eliminations to make a quick visual and emotional difference. Choose a few that are really easy for you!
I find that families keep toy boxes, shirt boxes, shoe boxes and boxes galore! Now that boxes are free at the post office for shipping, keep only a small number of different size boxes for mailing. If you think you may return a product, keep the box only until you have confirmed your decision. Only keep 2 of those shoes boxes for upcoming school projects please!
2. Tee shirts
Each race we run, vacation bible school we attend, and school alumni celebration adds to our tee shirt collection. It is time to pare down to a number that can fit in a drawer or hang in a section of your closet. What number depends on you. A memory quilt is a good next step if you are not ready to part with these.
3. Ball caps
We all have our favorite! Pull a few together, hang them in an easy access space, and part with the remainder.
4. Single use kitchen items
Some of the least useful are often the most space hogging items! If you have more than one miscellaneous kitchen drawer, go through and pare down to one drawer. In the newly empty drawer you can fit hand towels or pot holders. When was the last time you used that breadmaker, fondue pot, or air popcorn popper?
5. Toys that your kids have outgrown.
Our kids are blessed with an abundance of toys. Keep a few that you consider to be keepsakes. Ask you kids to be a part of the decision making process. Donate to local philanthropies to make a difference.
Who doesn’t want to have a wonderful home cooked dinner on the table? But having more cookbooks than needed does not make you a better mom or an Iron Chef. Pare down to what you really love and use. Think about using allrecipes.com or the internet to find recipes too.
7. Extra towels
You get new towels, but the old ones are put in the back of the closet or in the garage. Keep a few for those big spills, a few for padding, and move the rest on!
8. Cell phones
Cellphones for Soldiers takes your old cell phone and turns it into a phone card for our service people. It is free to send it off too! As soon as you get your new phone, send the old one packing.
9. Junk mail
Stand over the recycle bin, just inside the garage before you enter the house, and drop in the junk mail. Right away you feel better! We are overwhelmed when the mail comes, so just have this baby step as the first step to getting in gear with paper.
More than ever, the clerk asks if you want your receipt. Answer no if it is at Starbucks, at the gas station if you don’t keep a mileage record, at locations with small purchases, and where you think a return is not necessary. Having fewer receipts keeps them from piling up!
What are the easiest eliminations for you?