Living a minimalist lifestyle feels incredibly liberating for a few reasons. It’s easier to keep your home clean, it saves money, and it helps you to love and appreciate the things you already have. Those those who are just getting started with minimalism, it might seem a bit overwhelming to look around your home and see all of the excess stuff. How could you possibly get rid of these things you have held onto for years? It’s actually a lot easier than you would think, and there are certain items that should be easy to say goodbye to. Here are 50 things that you should be able to get rid of immediately from your home.
60. Clothes That Your Don’t Wear Anymore
Nearly everyone has clothes and their closets that they don’t wear anymore, so it should be an easy place to start on your minimalist journey. Make a giant pile of clothes on your bed, and start to go through your items one-by-one. Split up your clothing into three piles of keep, discard, and donate. Most towns will have clothing donation bins, or you can go to your local thrift store. If you need help getting started, check out our other article called 20 Ideas on Purging a Bedroom Closet For More Space.
With so many people buying a new phone every year, pretty much everyone has some old electronics lying around the house. There is no need to hang onto certain things anymore. For example, are you ever going to your your VCR or VHS tapes ever again? Chances are that they are just collecting dust. Check out your local recycle center for options on getting rid of old electronics. If your items are still valuable, you can always sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
In case you are not aware, makeup expires just like food. From the moment you open the makeup packaging, you are on a time limit to how long you should use it. So instead of holding onto products for multiple years at a time, throw away the items that you are no longer using. Try to get in the habit of only buying your favorite makeup products and using them to completion before you buy a new one. Not only does this cut down on space, but it also helps you save money.
Almost everyone has made the mistake of buying something that they did not realize they already had. For example, maybe you bought yet another pair of black sneakers, even though you have several in your closet. Or you grabbed a bottle of sunscreen at the beginning of the summer without checking to see that you actually have several bottles left over from last year. If you want to live a minimalism lifestyle, try to pair down to one of each item. Use up the items you have, or donate the least favorite duplicate.
Almost everyone has objects in their house that make us scratch our heads. It could have been a gift, a joke from a friend, or a hand-me-down from your relatives. If you go through some old boxes and drawers and find random items that you aren’t even sure what their use is, throw it away. Sometimes, we hold on to these strange things with the assumption that we will figure out a use for it someday. However, the odds that that day will ever come or slim to none.
Almost everyone has received a kitchen gadget or appliance as a gift from family and friends. This is especially true if you got married, and everyone was trying to chip in for your new home. However, you might realize that a lot of these appliances are not actually something that you use in your everyday life. They could be taking up a lot of space in your cabinets or countertops. Instead of allowing these items to junk up your kitchen space, donate it to a thrift store so that someone else can enjoy it.
Plenty of women have a handbag collection that they feel proud of. However, there are always those bags that were a mistake purchases. Styles change, and so do trends, therefore something that may have been cool a few years ago is now considered to be ugly. Or, they have begin to wear down, but we are holding on to them for sentimental reasons. If you were trying to become minimalist, it is time to pair down the number of purses you have in your closet, and only hold onto the classic styles.
Pretty much every woman on the planet has extra bras in her drawers that don’t actually fit. Unfortunately, we can go somewhere like Victoria’s Secret and love the style of a bra, but we get home and realize that it’s not very comfortable. So it ends up in a drawer somewhere with the idea that maybe we will wear it someday, but that day never comes. If you have designer bras that still have the tag on it, you can actually sell them on eBay and get your money back. But if they are used, it might be time to say goodbye.
Cleaning up your digital space is just as important as your physical reality. If you are constantly being bombarded by email subscription services in your inbox, do yourself a favor and unsubscribe from mailing lists. This will help to alleviate the temptation to buy more things during a sale.
Americans love to buy shoes. Apparently, the average man owns 12 pairs of shoes, while women own 27. The reality is that you might gravitate towards one or two pairs of shoes that you wear on a regular basis, while the rest are sitting in reserve for some special occasion. Recently, I was able to downsize my shoe collection to just one pair of sneakers, snow boots, booties, ballet flats, sandals, slippers, and heels. This is basically all you ever need for any occasion, and all of those shoes are black, so that they can match any outfit. Remind yourself that if you really need a certain color shoe to match a dress, it’s possible to buy it later instead of keeping it around due to a “what if?”
Nearly everyone has experienced the mysterious disappearing socks. We don’t know where your socks went, but we do know that having the lonely individual sock isn’t helping anyone. Do yourself a favor and throw them away, or use them for rags when you are cleaning.
Unfortunately, the average American household waste over $600 a year in food that has been thrown away either due to leftovers or expiration. So the odds that you have expired food somewhere in your pantry is actually pretty high. Take the time to go through your refrigerator and cabinets to see if there is anything that needs to be thrown away. pay attention to which foods when it bad, because it is a sign of what you should never buy again.
Growing up is filled with a lot of adult responsibilities like paying bills and doing your taxes. So sometimes, we end up holding onto paperwork for the fear that we might need to look into something someday. Nowadays, most bank statements and other records are available online. And the IRS can only audit your taxes for up to three years. So any paperwork that is older than 3 years old can safely be thrown away. Make sure you use a paper shredder when you’re throwing away documents with personal information like your address or social security number.
For some reason, mugs are a go-to gift that people give to one another for holidays and birthdays when they’re not sure what else to get them. Or, you might see an adorable mug at the store and feel like you can’t help but buy it for yourself. So most of us have loads of mugs in our cabinets. Take the time to go through all of your mugs to see if there are ones that you can donate to the thrift store. Only keeps your favorites, and remind yourself that someone out there might need it more than you do.
No one uses CDs and DVDs anymore. With subscription services like Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, no one needs to own physical copies of media unless they are living without the internet. If you are the type of person who had a huge DVD collection, consider donating it to your local thrift store. These will go to people who are too poor to have these services, or the elderly who still like to hang on to physical copies.
Almost everyone has a few items that we think we will get around to fixing one day. If you have the ability to fix something, by all means, do it. This will cut down on waste, and help save you money. But if these broken things are cluttering up your house, it’s best to let them go. Check to see if you can recycle these items instead of throwing them in the trash.
If you are holding onto stuffed animals from your childhood, you might want to think again. Plushies are known for holding onto a lot of bacteria over the years. Either put them through the washing machine or hand clean them if you insist on keeping them around. If not, it might be time for you to throw them away. Even a lot of thrift stores throw these away because they know that they could potentially have mites or bacteria inside of them.
If you get a lot of takeout, you probably have gotten plenty of plastic food containers delivered to your home. Or, you might have gotten the Dollar Tree plastic food containers to help you put away your leftovers. After a while, these containers take up a lot of space in your cabinet. Remind yourself that it’s not necessary to keep every single one. In fact, it is healthier to invest in a set of glass containers, because reheating old plastic can be bad for your health.
Pretty much everyone has received a gift for Christmas or their birthday and that they didn’t particularly like. You might have held onto these items out of politeness, and they end up in a closet somewhere. Or maybe you only take these items out when you are ready to see this person face-to-face. However, you don’t have to feel guilty about getting rid of these things that you don’t want. Either re-gift them to a friend, or donate them to a thrift store.
A lot of businesses like to give out free pens as part of their marketing. So plenty of American households have random pens all over the place. If this sounds like you, take some time to grab all of your pens and tests to make sure they all still work, and throw away the pens that have run out of ink. Most of the time, plastic pens can be recycled, so make sure it goes in the proper container.
As the years go on, you have probably collected a lot of magazines and paperback books. There is something cool about having a home Library. However, there is a fine line between keeping a nice book collection and having tons of reading material that you are never actually going to read. Personally, this is something that I struggled with for years. All my life, I would take my birthday and Christmas money to buy new books. So I was very proud of my massive collection. At some point, I realized that it was much better to hold on to the books that actually mean a lot to me. Now, I only have one book shelves filled with books that I feel represent me as a person. These books serve as a great conversation starter instead of holding on to things that I don’t actually enjoy that much.
When we first become adults, buying our first home decorations feels like a big deal. THis can compel us told hold onto things for far too long. You might still have decorations you bought years ago at Ikea, even if you no longer enjoy it. Instead of crowding your space with these items, donate them instead. You never know if it will go to someone who will enjoy it so much more.
Every retail chain has their own loyalty card. You might be able to get some perks for spending money at their stores, but nowadays, everything is digital. If you are still holding onto old store cards, do yourself a favor and transfer your account to the app. Some stores have you been transferred over to the app making your old cards obsolete.
Since glasses are so expensive, it can be understandable why we want to hold onto them. But if your prescription has changed, it doesn’t make sense to hold on to them. If you have old glasses that you no longer want or need, donate to The Lions Club. They run a program that gives eyeglasses to elderly people who cannot afford to buy their own.
This might sound strange to some people, but there are those out there who hold on to dead plants with the hope that they will come back to life. Sorry to say, that’s not how plants work. Dead is dead. Other people might get lazy with throwing away fresh flowers they received as a gift. Go through your house and discard any plant life that is no longer living. And if you don’t particularly have a green thumb, there is no shame in buying fake plants that will last forever.
Almost everyone has paper takeout menus from their local restaurants in their home. You might even have one on your refrigerator. However, this is not actually necessary for you to hold onto. Most restaurants have their takeout menu on their website, so it’s a simple as Googling the menu on your phone.
Sheets and towels can be expensive, so it’s understandable why you may have held onto old linens over the years even when you bought new ones. These might come in handy if you are in the middle of changing and cleaning your sheets, but other than that, they are almost never used. Instead of holding on to your old towels for too long, consider donating them to your local pet shelter.
Over the years, you have probably gathered old board games, video games, playing cards, and more in your attempts to provide entertainment for your family and friends. But as time goes on, it becomes obvious that certain games are not family favorites. Instead of taking up all the space in your cabinets, don’t eat the games you no longer want to your local thrift store.
For whatever reason, everyone’s dad likes to hold onto old batteries. This does not make a lot of sense, since dead batteries are not going to be useful again. And you’re able to get brand new batteries at your local Dollar Tree for just a dollar per pack. Look up your local recycling rules about batteries, and arrange a day for you to take all of them to the community center. Also consider buying rechargeable batteries so that you never have old ones lying around ever again.
Every new device and item that requires assembly comes with a thick product manual. You might feel compelled to hold on to these manuals just in case something goes wrong in the future, but it’s not actually necessary. Every product manual is available online in PDF form, plus there are also people on YouTube who will explain how to use or fix something. So you don’t actually need to hold onto the paper manual any longer.
If you love watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, you might have gone through a phase where you bought a lot of brushes and tools to try to copy what you saw online. However, most of us are not professional makeup artists. We might reach for one or two brushes on a daily basis. Instead of holding on to all of these extra tools, throw away the ones that you don’t need, and only hold on to the ones that you use on a daily basis.
Halloween only comes once a year. Even if you think that you might reuse something in the future, chances are that you will plan a new costume when next Halloween comes around. If you have kids, some of your old costumes might be good for a costume chest in your home. However, if you are an adult living on your own, you don’t really need all of these adult size costumes taking up space in your closet. Donate them to the thrift store and let someone else enjoy them.
Pretty much every home on the planet has at least one junk drawer. This is a place where your random items and tools end up being thrown when there is nowhere else for them to go. Take a day to pull out the drawer and sort through the items. In most cases, almost everything could be donated or thrown away. Once the drawer is cleaned, use it to put away items that need a place to go, and your home will automatically become more minimal and clean.
Over the years, you might have collected clothing hangers from the stores where you purchased your items, dollar stores, or random purchases that you need to try to accommodate your closet. Having mismatched hangers is not exactly attractive. It is actually very affordable to buy a full matching set of hangers online. So instead of holding on to the old junky ones that you got for free from a store, recycle them and find new ones that match.
Receiving a greeting card can be very sentimental, especially if you had a thoughtful note written inside. However, the vast majority of cards that we received nowadays just have to and from as well as wishing you “happy birthday”. Instead of holding onto all of your cards, recycle the ones that don’t matter, and only keep the ones that are truly special and sentimental.
When you are still in school, your notebook is precious because you need your notes to pass a test. However, as the years go on, you will no longer need that information. And even if you wanted to find out the answer to a question, you can easily Google it. Recycle your notebooks, or pass them down to someone who is currently taking a class. If you use notebooks for journals, take some time to read through your past memories. Sure, it may be cringe-worthy, and you might find yourself tearing out the pages. But at least you can make more space on your book shelf.
If you from Sephora online, you probably received a lot of free samples with your order. This also happens a lot if you go to a festival and you get some free marketing merchandise from a company. It can also happen in a hotel room, on a flight, and pretty much anywhere you go. Sometimes, free samples can come in handy, especially if you need some toiletries the next time you go traveling. However, many of these items are pretty much useless. Do you really need that frisbee with the name of your bank written on it? Donate these items to your local thrift store or throw them in the trash.
When you’re a teenager, having a cool poster on your wall is something that everyone strives for. It can be a great way to display your interests. However, when you grow up as an adult, it is far less common to hang posters on your wall unless they are framed. Almost everyone has rolled up posters from their youth, and many of them have even been damaged over time. If you never plan to hang the posters again, just put them in the recycling bin.
For some reason, a lot of people hang on to their old cell phones. It could be because of nostalgia, or the fact that we know that at one point in time, we spent a lot of money on that phone. However, if your phones have completely gone out of style and are no longer usable, you might as well recycle them. Check out your local area to see if there is a special electronics recycling center.
Most women have a large jewelry collection in their home. We get jewelry given to us as gifts and have them handed down from female relatives. Plus, if you are shopping somewhere and don’t want to spend a lot of money, buying a piece of jewelry is sometimes the cheapest option. However, this means that over time, you have a huge collection of pieces that you don’t actually wear. Take some time to go through your pieces and divvy up the costume jewelry and the real gold. If you have something that is valuable, you should always try to sell it instead of giving it away. But costume jewelry that you no longer like can be given to a thrift store so that someone else can enjoy it.
Plenty of people love to collect candles. In fact, companies like Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works make a ton of money off of the fact that women love to buy candles for themselves and their friends. However, what ends up happening is that we have a lot of candles in our houses, and many of them are only halfway burned. Some women even have an entire candle closet of brand new items that are yet to be used. Instead of buying yourself a new candle every time you go to the mall, make a conscious effort to burn everything before you buy another one.
For some reason, most electronics nowadays come with extra wires that we don’t actually need. Usually, it comes in the form of a charger that they assume you must need, even though one cord can power multiple devices. You might already have a basket or a drawer in your house filled with wires that you’re not really sure what they go to. Double check to make sure you don’t actually need anything, and throw the rest away.
When you become an adult, buying furniture seems like a big deal. College students and people in their early twenties flock to Ikea to buy pieces for their first apartments. Sometimes, you can buy something that looks amazing and last a lifetime. However, most of the time a lot of us have pieces that we don’t actually like after a few years. Or, if you have pets or kids, they might have destroyed the furniture at some point. Some people clutter their rooms with too many pieces of furniture, even though they don’t have a ton of space. Instead of cluttering a room, donate your unwanted furniture to Goodwill, and let someone else enjoy it.
For some reason, a lot of people hang onto old pajamas and t-shirts. Since you just wear these items to bed, they don’t necessarily have to look the best. So, chances are that you have pajamas with holes and stains that are not too attractive. As long as you have a few pieces that you rotate in your wardrobe, you don’t actually need to hold on to all of your old pajamas. Personally, I reuse the same pair of pajama pants a few days in a row, because they don’t actually get dirty or smell while you’re sleeping or lounging around the house for a few hours at night.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and some people feel nostalgic about the decorations that use. You might be holding onto items that you had since you were a kid, or that were passed on to you from relatives. However, what ends up happening is that we have a lot of old items that are sentimental, but they might be broken or no longer usable. Remember that your memories of the holidays are still going to be there whether the decorations are there or not. So don’t feel too bad about discarding any broken holiday items that you can no longer use.
Whether you have already been married or were a guest to a wedding, there are a lot of items that go along with celebration. Wedding invitations, favors, bridesmaids dresses, and flowers all add up after the ceremony is over. A lot of people feel sentimental about weddings, so they feel obligated to hold on to these things. However, as long as you have the photos and the memories, it’s not always necessary to hang on to every little thing.
So many of us start out the new year with resolutions to get fit. This might have sent you to the store to buy a yoga mat, weights, new shoes, or any number of workout equipment. Unfortunately though, a lot of people my work out once or twice before giving up. If this sounds like you, consider donating your unused items to your local thrift store so that someone else can enjoy it.
If you love your pets as much as your children, you have probably collected toys, clothing, costumes, and so much more for your furry friends. However, a lot of these items end up going to waste. After all, you have no idea if your dog or cat is going to enjoy a certain toy until you have already brought it home. If you have products that your pet have never used, consider bringing it to a local animal shelter.
When you go on vacation, you might be tempted to buy something from the gift shop to remember your trip by. Or, you may have received one of these knick knacks from a friend who brought it back as a gift. However, these items usually end up thrown in a drawer somewhere, and they are rarely used in everyday life. So long as you have the photos and the memories of your trip, there is no need to hang on to the tourist items. Just donate them to the thrift store.
As corny as it sounds, you should let go of a negative mindset in 2020. Sure, this is easier said than done. But having a positive outlook on life can be a game changer. Once you get yourself in the right state of mind, things can begin to change for the better in your life.
In today’s world, people are building up a back stock of essentials in order to avoid going to the grocery stores too often. This is great, but don’t overdo it. Earlier on this list, we already went over getting rid of expired products. However, many products can stay good for two to three years. People tend to accumulate bathroom products like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion for a lot of reasons. Maybe you were curious about a new brand, had a coupon, or received products in a gift set from a friend. Instead of continuing to buy more products, make a conscious effort to use up what you already have. Then, once every bottle has been used up and recycled, treat yourself to your favorite products.
Most teenagers like to hang posters in their bedroom and dorms. Eventually, they move on to buying affordable print-on-canvas art from places like Ikea or Walmart. In your 20’s, having any artwork on a canvas feels very grown up. But we can outgrow certain pieces as the years go on, and want to move on to investment pieces, instead. Sometimes, art no longer works after redecorating in a new era. For a lot of people, their art collection is sentimental, and they tend to store their pieces in the attic or closet. If you’re having a hard time giving up your art, consider offering it up to friends and family who are looking to decorate their homes. This way, you know exactly where your artwork has gone, and can even visit it from time to time. You could also possibly sell your art on eBay.
Nearly every company in the world gives out reusable water bottles as part of their marketing campaign. Chances are, if you’ve ever worked at a big corporation, you have a water bottle with the company name on it. When you watch organization shows like The Home Edit or Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, you’ll see that pretty much every American family has a whole area of their kitchen dedicated to these bottles and mugs. Do yourself a favor and recycle or donate all of the ones you don’t actually use. And if all of them were too old and cracked to use in the first place, invest in a high-quality bottle that can replace them all.
For years, I’ve been collecting crafts, books, and activities where I thought, “Maybe someday, I’d be bored, and I’ll sit down and do this.” In 2020, we got hit with the longest stretch of time in our lives where we had the opportunity to finally do these activities that we have been putting on the backburner for so long, and yet many of them remained untouched. If you can relate to this, pay attention to the hobbies you actually reached for when you were bored. Consider donating your unused items to the thrift store, so that someone else can enjoy them at a discount.
In 2020, there was a lot of panic buying, especially with toilet paper. Some households have enough to last the rest of the year. It should go without saying that if you want to live in a minimalist home, it’s time to use up that back stock. Companies have increased production of toilet paper in order to meet the demand, and people have also calmed down knowing that it’s not going to disappear. Even during the peak panic, it only took a few weeks for supplies to catch up. So there is truly no reason to stock up on toilet paper to last a year.
Just like toilet paper, a lot of people went overboard panic buying non perishable goods. If you still haven’t eaten this food by now, it’s time to cook it before it expires. Even when the supply chain was interrupted, there was still plenty of food to eat. And if you truly don’t know what to do with all that dried food, donate it to a local food bank. Sadly, there are a lot of families that are unemployed and struggling to feed their children in 2020. So any food you can donate will directly help a family in need.
Pretty much everyone in their 20’s had clothing and accessories in their closet that was really only appropriate for going to the bar or nightclub. But let’s face it- no one is clubbing anymore in 2020, and even into 2021. Even if things get better a year from now, the chances that your old clothes will still be in style are slim-to-none. Find a Goodwill or other thrift store in a college town so that someone younger can enjoy it now.
Plenty of people have borrowed things from friends and family members, and forgot to give them back. You may even have overdue library books. Make an effort to go through your house and find these things that belong to other people. Send your friends a quick text or phone call to let them know that you’re cleaning your house, and would like to return their belongings. Always remember to show a lot of gratitude. As a plus, make sure you use the object for what it was intended. For example, if you borrowed a DVD from a friend, watch the movie! It’s a good conversation starter, and a great way to get some social interaction.
In the past, pretty much every Millennial had some form of side-hustle. As a society, we put entrepreneurship on a pedestal. So plenty of people invested money into supplies for a new startup. For example, I sold clothes on eBay for a couple years. I needed to buy mannequins, shelving, industrial clothing racks, photo backdrops, and more. That side hustle business helped me as a stepping stone to the next stage in my life, but it’s best not to look back. So I donated those items to my local thrift store owners to use in their clothing section. Everyone with a side hustle is going to have their own version of that story. It’s okay to hold onto a few sentimental items from that era of your life, but don’t let it take over your attic or garage.
If you’re a homeowner, your backyard has likely evolved over the years. Parents typically buy trampolines, tree houses, swing sets, pools, and so much more for their kids. While some people want to save those toys for grandchildren, there are plenty of objects that are no longer safe for kids to play on after 20 to 30 years outside. Same goes with old lawn furniture that has been rained on for multiple seasons. In 2020, it became abundantly clear just how important it is to have a nice outdoor space to spend time in. So make an effort to let go of the things you’re no longer using. Trade those objects taking up square footage in your back yard for some grass seed, plants, flowers, or even a new patio area.