We all have clutter in our lives – whether it’s in our homes or in our minds. Clutter is basically a collection of scattered items and things, we rarely use, but keep and sometimes allow to accummulate.

The problem is they take space and often require dealing with. I always believed that physical clutter and spiritual clutter are almost the same thing, but I always recommend getting rid of the physical and only after that working to eliminate the spiritual.

For this reason I have prepared a list of 50 items you can throw away to help declutter and detox your home.

It’s a good place to start! Here goes:

  1. Old and expired medicines. Those not only clutter your cupboards, but can be dangerous to use past their expiration date. Please also be advised on the proper disposal of such meds. You wouldn’t want them to end up being used by someone, who found them on the street or being picked by birds.
  2. Books you have never read and are not planning to read or you hated. Why keep something you will never open? Donate it to a hospital library, or sell it.
  3. Expired make-up and beauty products. If you are a female chances are you are already familiar with the urge to splurge in the cosmetics store. This can often result in body lotions that have only been used once or twice.
  4. Old newspapers and magazines. Out of date newspapers can either be used to pack something and as a filler in a box, or thrown in the fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace and don’t plan to pack any boxes, throw them in the designated recycling bin.
  5. Unloved toys. It happens even to the best toys. If you have any, lying around your home and are in good condition you can donate them. If your children have lost affection, maybe someone else will love them. On the contrary, if they have been played with a lot and have become unrecognisable toss them.
  6. Old batteries. Lose them. Safely.
  7. Board games with missing pieces or decks with missing cards.
  8. Unused Halloween costumes. You can donate these.
  9. Traces of old hobbies. So, you thought you had a chance to become the best ice skater that has ever lived, but that ambition died the first time you set foot on the ice rink? If that’s the case and you are still keeping all your gear you can sell it or throw it away.
  10. Plastic bags and bottles.
  11. Unused mason jars and their lids.
  12. Plastic cutlery, paper plates, chop sticks and menus you get from take-aways.
  13. Dried up polish nail bottles. Having tons of bottles with unusable nail polish on the inside is not cool.
  14. Jewellery with missing stones. Any peace of jewellery that has been worn out, is fake, cheap and darkened, or damaged beyond repair.
  15. Old baby items. It’s sweet to keep a thing or two, but there are a lot of items like car seats, cots, strollers, etc, that take up a lot of space. If you are not planning to have another baby donate or throw these away.
  16. Plastic containers you do not use, or especially those without lids.
  17. Your kids’ old school/art projects. Again you can keep a thing or two, but you don’t need absolutely all of it, especially that soap on a rope your child thought would make a lovely present. One thing you can do is photograph each art project and keep images together in a file, organised by date and your child’s age. Digital photos don’t become dusty and unusable.
  18. Chargers or cords that don’t belong to anything you currently own.
  19. Cleaning supplies you rarely use or are past their expiration date, as well as any mops and rags that are unusable, but still manage to find a place in your home.
  20. Empty bottles – plastic or glass. Just toss in the designated rubbish bin.
  21. Old puzzle pieces and puzzles you are not planning to solve.
  22. Stockings with runs in them.
  23. Out of date gift cards and expired food vouchers.
  24. Old textbooks and notebooks. If you are finished with your studies chances are you won’t be needing these anymore. You can sell them, or donate them so other students can benefit.
  25. Catalogues, magazines and spam mail.
  26. Remote controls with no purpose. Program and use a single remote control, two tops.
  27. Clothes that make you feel unattractive, too fat or too thin, or simply don’t fit anymore/are outdated. Damaged and stained clothing goes on the list as well.
  28. Instructional manuals you can easily find online.
  29. Bank statements and papers older than 7 years.
  30. Dried up glue, or glitter. Any materials associated with a completed crafts project.
  31. Old cell phones. Dispose these safely.
  32. Old appliances, like mixers, blenders and food processors you never use. You can organise a garage sale for these, or donate them if they are in a good condition.
  33. Old pillows and mattresses. Did you know that pillows need to be changed after a year or two of use? That’s because they start to deform and may hurt your neck or back.
  34. Any sippy cups and old plastic plates and cutlery your children have outgrown.
  35. Broken clocks and unused watches.
  36. Old wallets, keyholders, belts and purses. Any accessory you no longer use.
  37. Unused picture frames, diaries, scrapbooks – either make memories, or make room.
  38. Orphaned single earrings, socks, shoes.
  39. Unused pencil holders.
  40. Gardening gear you no longer use: tools, pesticides, etc.
  41. Outdated computer software and hard disks. You can store everything on a cloud these days.
  42. Old and chunky phone books.
  43. Dull and unused pocket or kitchen knives.
  44. Clothes you never wear make a great donation.
  45. Hair styling products and gear – curlers, straighteners and everything else you no longer use.
  46. Old calculators – smart phones, tablets and desktop computers have this feature and can replace calculators in this modern day and age.
  47. Old Christmas Decorations. Every year newer and newer pieces of Christmas decorations flood the market and they are, oh so very tempting to purchase. That being said you may find yourself not using some of your old ornaments. Toss, or donate them.
  48. Video Tapes and VCRs. Guilty of this one. Even though I donated a huge part of my childhood books I still keep my childhood video tapes for reasons I don’t know.
  49. Old carpets and area rugs that are stained or worn out beyond repair. If you are in possession of such, it may be a high-time to let go.
  50. Old sponges, loofahs and toothbrushes. If they are older than two months it would be a good idea to throw them away.

Don’t forget that when you get rid of items you don’t need, nor use, it’s time to do the same with your thoughts – especially those that bring back negative memories, feelings and emotions.

Don’t let clutter and baggage slow you down and rob you of all the positive things that surround you. Let go of grudges, toxic friendships and embarrasment. Toss these just like you tossed your old stuff. You’ll see there are many things you can do with the space that opens up!

Hope you found this list useful! What are the first things you would throw away? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • I love reading and ended up with so many books it was insane. I started my own neighbourhood library which has become a huge sucess.


  • If you haven’t used it for a year and/or if its broken – throw it out or try to sell it.


  • this is a great list! i try to live minimalistically so i am already on top of it. i hate clutter. i went through my mum’s kitchen table and helped to declutter that and she loved having the space back. she has been in her house since before i was born :) so it was a big job. i cleaned out her fridge too and was surprised at how much food she had bought and used once or not all


  • we are moving house soon so all this is being done right now :)


  • This is such a great reminder to declutter, loved this article, thanks so much!


  • I love doing a proper cleanse like this. Our house is great because I make sure to keep on top of it all but whenever I visit my parents house where my younger brother lives as well I am left alone for a day usually and find I will spend that time just throwing out things which have no business being there like expired food.


  • there goes my whole house!


  • Great list! Some of these were really scraping the barrel (stockings with holes?) but I love number 17. Now to remember to do this later….


  • You really inspired me this week. In fact me and my sister tackled my daughters play room and closet. We were rude since we threw all her stuffed dolls and other toys in black garbage bags so she will not notice whats inside. I then chucked everything out for collection.
    I think that moms at one point in time they should do this and throw away all childish toys in garbage. Nowadays children are more interested in other stuff.

    Even my friend she is planning to do the same, since she remember her mom doing this to her.


  • Yes guilty of a few of these things


  • some great tips here. Old medications are definitely ones that i find in my medicine cupboard. i always realise they are expired when i NEED them. i love this article…thank you


  • Great list. I like the idea of the childs momentos one. taking photos and creating a scrapbook – that is one scrapbook instead of 15 :D although I think I will have a really hard time throwing any of it out :/


  • I’m going to print off this list & do our house tomorrow!
    So many things get away from me & it’s the little things I always forget & they clog up quicker than anything!
    Just a few days ago I rang a take away store to order & they had closed down! How embarrassing!
    Thanks so much for sharing.


  • Excellent list! I definitely need to go through this and throw away a lot of stuff.


  • Great list! I’ll have to copy and save it so I can throw out without hubby noticing, he’s a shocking hoarder :(


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