Clutter is the bane of many households. Sometimes I swear it multiplies overnight until one day I can’t close a drawer without some major reshuffling. The reshuffling thing is my bat signal that it’s time to declutter! And, I’m going to share my favorite 10 minute decluttering jobs with you.
My Top Ten 10 Minute Decluttering Jobs
Organizing your stuff can sometimes be intimidating, but these small jobs scale it down to user friendly. Keep in mind while you’re reading the list that I’m a Conservationist, so you’ll find some Earth Friendly suggestions along the way.
Don’t panic! We’re decluttering not deep cleaning. Although I’ll give you bonus points if you go ahead and clean while you’re in there, but for now let’s declutter!
What you’re looking for is extremely expired food. Remove that pitcher of orange juice containing 2 tablespoons of juice. The half eaten peach science experiment, or the $10 jalepeno and lime gourmet mayo your husband bought but will never eat again without a medical team on standby. Go ahead and get rid of that stuff, compost what you can, recycle the containers and take back your fridge’s precious square footage! If you want to learn more about cleaning your fridge, read my post Chill Out.
There is nothing more frustrating when you’re in the middle of cooking than to find out that you’re either out of an important ingredient, or what you have is old and stale. Give your spices a quick scan and remove any old spices that you have, your taste buds will thank you for it. To learn how to store your spices, read The Spice Of Life.
3. Junk Drawer
Everybody has one. The black hole that contains the little stuff you want to keep but don’t know where to keep. But when you come to the point that you have to hold things down while you try to close the drawer with your hip, it’s time for an intervention. Do a quick run through, remove expired coupons, loose change, find out what those lone wolf keys belong to, remove 3 of the 4 phone books. Put the loose screws and various hardware doodads in a jar in your garage. And if you find a winning lottery ticket in there…..I get commission!
4. Your Closet
Your 10 minute decluttering job for your closet consists of removing old, worn out, not repairable in any realistic universe, and never to be worn again in public clothes. That moth eaten, seam ripped 1970’s green & blue plaid polyester jumpsuit that even the Fashion History Museum wouldn’t display needs to go. So does your entire size 6 wardrobe when you’ve been a size 12 for 5 years now…..ok. maybe closer to 10 years. But it’s time to get real, when you do get back down to your normal size 6, those things will be so passe.
Have you even looked at your inbox, sent, deleted or junk boxes lately? Take 10 minutes to declutter! You can always create a new file folder that you call “open in case of emergency” and store what you’re afraid to delete in there. If you want more reasons why you should declutter your email, read 7 Reasons Why You Should Delete Emails .
Your makeup drawer. Go ahead open it and take a peek. Maybe it’s time to let that overly shimmering ice silver eye shadow go. I don’t think it’s coming back. And that petrified lipstick that requires a microwave to actually tint your lips has passed it’s prime….trust me. But it’s not just about your makeup being outdated, using old mascara and liquid eye liners can cause eye infections. And some makeup can develop fungal or bacterial growth after time. So take the 10 minutes to look over your makeup, toss anything that smells off, looks funny or can be traced back to your High School yearbook photo.
7. Linen Closet
You have 10 minutes until the flood is going to come into your living room. Quick! Grab your worst,worn out sheets and towels and prepare to protect your hardwood floors! That would definitely clear up my decision making fog. I could cheerfully lower the ax on several of my towels no problem if it was them versus my hard wood.
While potential disasters can help categorize your stuff really quickly, you don’t have to flood your living room to declutter your linen. Take 4 of those towels you were willing to sacrifice and store them in your garage for messy cleanup jobs and donate the rest. Did you know that Goodwill accepts fabric in any condition? They do!! They sell it to companies who turn them into aprons, oven mitts and other cool stuff. Same goes for the sheets you can see through, or that have lost their elastic and that 1970’s polyester jumpsuit…..just saying.
Of these 10, this is the hardest for me. I collect jewelry, but even then I have to admit that when it overflows onto my bathroom counter, I’ve lost some control. It’s time to crack open the jewelry box and start letting go. Earrings with a missing partner, broken necklaces, rings I no longer wear, the bracelets my ex gave me. These I will donate to a friend who crafts with jewelry.
9. Medicine Cabinet
Even Neosporin can go bad, so take 10 to check out the expiration dates in your medicine cabinet. For prescription drugs this is really important. I’m lucky enough that I can take old or unused prescription drugs to our local police station, plus they hold drug drop off events several times a year. I love this because I know what prescription drugs do to our drinking and groundwater when flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash. Want to find a drug disposal event near you? Visit the FDA there’s a nation wide drop off event being held on October 22nd.
But even if you don’t have such programs, you still need to remove those drugs from your cabinet. Check to see if they have a drug take back program. And if you have to dispose of them via the trash, please mix them with damp coffee grounds or kitty litter to make them less appealing to anyone who may want to take your old meds.
10. Glove Box
It’s time to whittle your fast food napkin collection down to 10 or 15. Check to see if your Wet Wipes are still wet. Throw out those 12 years of 6 month insurance verification cards and that macaroni pumpkin your 13 year old made in 1st grade. It’s time to take back your glove box.
There! Don’t you feel better??!! In just 10 minutes you’ve organized your way into less stuff and more space. Imagine what you could do in 20 minutes!