50+ Things to Declutter According to the Time You Have

Angela | Arrow
by Angela | Arrow

Decluttering and organizing your entire might feel overwhelming, which is why it is so helpful to break it down into a list of smaller things to declutter one by one. Today I want to share a long list of decluttering and organizing projects that you can accomplish in less than a day. To help you make the most of your time, they are categorized according to the time it takes to finish them.

When decluttering each area, ask yourself which items you haven’t touched in a while. Let this criterion lead your decluttering process.

10 minutes or less:

  1. Food storage containers. If it doesn't have a lid or if it's covered in scratches or stains, consider decluttering.
  2. First aid kits
  3. Throw pillows
  4. Wallet. Does it contain any gift cards that need to be used up? Business cards that are no longer valid?
  5. Candles, sprays, or other scented products. If you don’t like the smell, they give you a headache or are nearly used up, feel free to toss.
  6. Sunglasses. Remember: you can only wear one pair at a time.
  7. Writing utensils. Check to make sure they still work and have erasers.
  8. Cookbooks. Consider ripping out the pages that contain the recipes you use or snap a picture of them.
  9. Coffee mugs. Choose your favorites, then set aside the others.
  10. Water bottles and kids’ sippy cups
  11. Backpacks
  12. Packaging material. Envelopes, stamps, tape, boxes - consider how many of each you actually need to keep on hand.
  13. Cookware. Make sure that the non-stick items are removed from rotation as soon as they have scratches in the Teflon.
  14. Paint cans. Many incinerator stations will collect leftover paint and resell small quantities for a deeply discounted price.
  15. Makeup or other self-care products. If there's a little of a product left in one bottle, you can save space by moving it to a new product container.
Easy things to declutter

30 minutes:

  1. Toybox. Have your child sit with you and go through each item one at a time, making decisions together.
  2. Vehicle. Go from the glove box to the trunk and everything in between, picking up garbage, cleaning up crumbs, and removing unnecessary items.
  3. Silverware or utensil drawer. I like to take everything out, wipe down the drawer and cutlery tray, then put everything back in in an orderly way.
  4. Under sinks. Make decisions for this area based on efficiency and safety, keeping dangerous chemicals away from children or pets.
  5. Purses. If the inventory is getting a bit much, getting rid of some of the excess might be in order.
  6. Phone and computer desktop
  7. Coffee products. Get rid of flavors you didn’t like, extra creamers or tools, or even machines that are not in use.
  8. Cleaning products. Gather them all in one central location. Look for duplicates and products that you've tried and not liked.
  9. One bookshelf. Make organizing fun by sorting the remaining books by color or categorizing them by topic.
  10. Kitchen counters and islands
  11. Toolbox
  12. Socks and undergarments. Throw out anything with holes and rips, and consider downsizing. To organize, use smaller containers to separate items into categories.
  13. One nightstand

1-2 hours:

  1. China cabinet
  2. Shoes. Try choosing your favorite 2 or 3 pairs, then think critically about the rest.
  3. Fridge or freezer. This might take a while, but having a clean and organized fridge and freezer can make meal prep much more efficient.
  4. Medicine cabinet. Make sure that you have a proper supply of your regular medications, and discard any that are expired.
  5. Pet supplies. Depending on your pet, you could be holding on to quite a few items. The cleaning involved may take up some time.
  6. Puzzles and games. It's a good idea to go through them often, especially if kids are the ones who are normally the ones to manage them.
  7. Magazines. A tip I use to keep magazine clutter under control is to rip out the pages I want, then store them in three-ring binders with plastic sleeves.
  8. Spice drawer. Are there any spices you never use? Is there a way you could organize them so that they're more readily available?
  9. Entryway. The port of entry into your home should be a peaceful and welcoming site.
  10. Clothes closet. Consider decluttering clothing items that no longer fit or that don't match your style anymore. For the future, choose a specific number of hangers to keep in order to limit the inflow of clothes.
  11. Junk/utility drawer. This area might get disorganized easily, so decide how you want it to function, eliminate everything that does not belong, and let your family know the new system.
  12. Decorations. Perhaps save this for the relevant season. Think about which items you didn’t use last year.
  13. Linen closet. Think about how many blankets or towels you need and downsize. The first ones to go should be those that smell musty or have rips and stains. Animal shelters would gladly accept your discards.
Things to declutter right now

2-4 hours:

  1. Coat closet. At the turn of the seasons, check if everyone has a coat that fits, and declutter unused hats, mittens, and umbrellas.
  2. Filing cabinet. To help ease the clutter going forward, organize the cabinet in a streamlined way that makes sense to you.
  3. Photo albums. This can take a while for sentimental reasons. Take your time and don’t overwhelm yourself.
  4. Home office. Look for outdated papers, supplies, and even electronics.
  5. Garage. Consider starting with sports equipment, lawn care, tools, building supplies, and hobby gear.
  6. Pantry. It doesn't need to look Pinterest perfect, but it should function well, so be thoughtful.
  7. Crafting supplies. Only keep whatever you need for the projects you find most joy in. The local senior citizen center probably accepts these as donations.
  8. Media console. With all the streaming platforms, we don’t really use DVDs and CDs anymore. Consider that a prime opportunity to set some of these things free.
  9. Hobby equipment. Think camping or fishing gear, cake decorating supplies, or sporting goods equipment. What are you actively using on a regular basis?
  10. Kitchen cabinets. Rethink each cabinet to organize them efficiently.

Things to declutter

I hope that you have found my list of easy things to declutter helpful and inspiring. By tackling just one or two of these projects each week, you will transform your home in no time.

What are you decluttering first? Leave a comment below!

Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • Perl Perl on Nov 17, 2023
    Thank you for sharing! I'm having a hard time getting started. By breaking it down by minutes & hours is great (for me). I have tried several "systems". By breaking it down so much I hoping to not feel overwhelmed & be able to stay on task!
  • Pam Castillo Pam Castillo on Dec 10, 2023
    have made an error. Never mix old and newer make-up items, lotions, and self-care together. The older items' preservatives may no longer be active and the older product could be a cesspool of harmful even fatal bacteria.