Advice and learnings

Decluttering – 10 things to get rid of before 2019


The new year is nearly upon us! If you find yourself at home in the break before New Year, use the opportunity to give your home a quick declutter. Take a look around your home for the unused or unwanted items. Whether scratched, broken, baggy or daggy, it’s time to let go of the things that are cluttering up your home. Here are ten things to focus on for a quick declutter.

1. Old Christmas decorations
If there are miscellaneous decorations rolling around in your Christmas storage box, it’s time to throw them away. This includes chipped or scratched baubles, scrappy tinsel, tree lights that no longer work and maybe it’s time to update your Christmas wreath.

2. Platters and serving ware
You’ve probably just used your favourite and most practical platters and serving ware for your Christmas festivities. Platters and bowls are especially cumbersome to store. If you didn’t use it this Christmas, it’s time to let it go.

3. Old Tupperware
After storing leftovers from Christmas lunch and dinner, you’ll be able to tell which Tupperware or other plasticware you haven’t found useful. Get rid of the plastic containers that aren’t spill-proof or airtight.

4. Towels
Throw away the threadbare, cardboard-stiff towels. Keep two old towels for odd pet spills or muddy feet.

5. Bed linen and pillows
This one is easy. If you wouldn’t use a particular set of sheets for your guests coming to stay, then wash, package and donate to charity with a note describing the size and condition. Old pillows are notorious for outstaying their welcome. Time to banish the stained, misshapen or whiffy. When you buy replacements, write the date of purchase on the label inside.

6. Toys
This is a perfect time to surreptitiously declutter the kids’ playroom. They will be busy playing with their Christmas presents. Use the distraction post-haste!

7. Expired pantry items
Some of us will need our glasses to read the Use By dates! Now is the time to check the herb and spice collection – especially the rarely used items like the ingredients for that Christmas pudding you were going to attempt two years ago but ran out of time. This includes the miscellaneous jars at the back of the fridge.

8. Old shoes, socks, and underwear
If you haven’t worn those shoes in the last year, or you’re holding onto those patent stilettos as a memory of smoke-filled discos – out they go. The same goes for saggy socks and baggy underwear.

9. Old makeup and perfume
For cosmetics, apply criteria listed above. Perfume has a shelf life of 3-5 years, and less if stored in a hot area.

10. Clothes
The wardrobe is often the most challenging area for women to declutter. The Golden Rules of decluttering your wardrobe – if you haven’t worn it in two years; if you have an ‘if I lose weight’ section of your wardrobe; or sentimental reasons involving discos, or the 80s, or both – donate to charity NOW. Be ruthless!

That wasn’t so hard was it? Now sit back, relax, and cross decluttering off your new years’ resolution list!

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