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If you’d like to declutter your home but are unsure where to begin, start with these 13 items you’ll hardly even miss.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to decluttering your house. Here are 13 things in your home and life to get you started on your simplifying journey.

1. Cookbooks and Recipes

How often do you consult that shelf full of cookbooks or the box full of recipes? My guess is not as often as you used to since a majority of us find new recipes on Pinterest these days. Cull out cookbooks you never reference and toss recipes for dishes you’ve never made (and honestly aren’t going to) or that your family simply didn’t like.

2. Unused Apps

Don’t let unused apps take up precious space on your phone and tablet. Many apps are data hogs that slow down your device and eat up your memory. Sit down with your device and browse through yours apps, deleting ones you never use or don’t like. After all, you can always download them again if you change your mind.

3. Single Socks

Many of us have a drawer (or laundry basket) full of single socks. We never seem to find the time to try to match them up, so the pile grows and grows. Now is the time to let those single socks (and the discolored ones with holes!) go and maybe treat yourself to a new pair or two.

declutter laundry

4. Blurry and Bad Photos

Have you ever tried to take a picture of your precious toddler or of a beautiful sunset only to have your phone tell you that your memory is full? In a world where we are on track to take one trillion photos in 2015, you know you’ve taken some bad shots. Clear out the bad and blurry photos from your phone, camera and computer, and make room for the ones that are truly special.

5. Misshaped Candles

Do you have drawers and cabinets full of old candles that you never use? While it’s a good idea to keep a few candles around for a power outage, you can toss ones that are warped, partially melted or that no longer fit in your candle holders.

6. Old Nail Polish

Nail polish that has separated or that has gotten full of clumps will not give your fingers and toes a “polished” look. Get rid of these bottles and any colors that you simply don’t like.

7. Excess Office Supplies

Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to use the 10,000 staples that crowd in your desk drawer? Is your junk drawer overflowing with pens and pencils? It’s time to purge what you don’t need or won’t use in a reasonable amount of time. You can donate your extra supplies (if they are in good condition) to a local school or church.

Organize and Declutter Your Office Supplies, Things You Can Get Rid of Right Now!

8. Receipts

Is your wallet or purse overflowing with paper receipts? Sort through them and trash any that you don’t need for budgeting, business expenses or your taxes. This will probably be about 99 percent of your stack.

9. Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags

Do you always put presents into gift bags but still have a closet full of rolls of wrapping paper? Recycle that unused paper and any gift bags that have seen better days.

READ ALSO:  Organize Your T-Shirt Drawer in 30 Minutes or Less

10. Dried Out Pens and Markers

Remember that overflowing junk drawer, stuffed desk drawer and the kids’ art bucket? Let’s pull out all the pens and markers and make sure they work. This is a great job for the kids. Throw out any that are dried out or unusable. Donate any extras to your local school or church.

11. Expired and Unused Spices

Spices lose their flavor over time. Who wants to add old parsley that resembles dried grass to your grandmother’s special spaghetti sauce? Take the time to sort through your spices and get rid of the old, expired ones. This is also a great time to get rid of that strange spice you bought for a single recipe and never used again. Chances are you’ll never miss it.

Organize Your Spice Rack, Get Rid of Unused Spices

12. Empty Boxes

Having a few empty boxes around for gift wrapping and packages can be handy, but it’s way too easy to save all of those Amazon boxes – and things can quickly get out of control. Recycle all but a few of your empty boxes. One benefit of this is that you will be getting rid of a much-loved home for lots of creepy, crawly critters.

13. Instruction Manuals

When was the last time you consulted the instruction manual for your phone, your lawn mower or your bicycle? Probably never. Since most instruction manuals can be found on the manufacturer’s website or on a site like manualsonline.com, it’s an easy decision to recycle those manuals.

Like these decluttering ideas? Stayed tuned as Life Storage and I are working on an illustrated guide to help you get rid of even more things you won’t even miss.

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About the Author

Andi Willis

Andi Willis is a Professional Organizer, Certified Personal Photo Organizer, author and video host. Passionate about helping people organize their homes and preserve their precious photos, Andi can be found at goodlifeorganizing.net.

  • Ah yes, the empty boxes. Keep a few on hand, but not an attic full!

    • Agreed. Same goes for plastic bags, definitely have a few too many stashed away. Thanks for visiting!

  • Jill Robson

    Great list, dried out pens and markers are my favourite, I see them all the time

    • the junk drawer effect is real, happens all the time! Thanks for reading!

  • Nicole Ramer

    I love this list, Andi! My husband insists on keeping expired spices- he says they are still good! I’m showing him this post pronto!!

  • I was reading this list smugly thinking I’ve already dealt with that, till I got to empty boxes. Definitely my next organizing task!

    • Good luck Janet, hope it works out. Thanks for coming by the blog!

  • Great list! My rule of thumb for boxes is: A box of boxes. (A big box full of smaller boxes nested inside, but no more than that.)

    • That’s a really smart idea Hazel, thank you for sharing!

  • My hubby has a thing for empty boxes (Sometimes I think he’s a cat!) – But they have come in handy for photo equipment and other things that he’s wanted to resell. We’ve just had to prioritize what to keep. The Cookbooks and Recipes is a great idea, and I found a great resource to help me archive the heirloom recipes though – Cindy Shattuk is awesome – archive-my-memories.com!

  • Great reminder! Before I go school supply shopping for my kids, I go through all the pens and markers. It helps me save money and space. =) Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re welcome, Sabrina! It’s easy to forget all the items, especially school supplies, we have throughout the house.

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