Updated: Mar 21, 2021
When it comes to decluttering, many think that it has to be big, time consuming, momentous projects. That perception can be paralyzing. At Neat Little Nest we are a fan of decluttering "wins" of all sizes.
Oftentimes by beginning with smaller and more manageable spaces, you can build your decluttering muscle and spur momentum and motivation for tackling larger areas or sections when you are ready.
Here are 5 areas or items that don’t require a lot of thought, effort or time to declutter.
I know it can be hard to throw away your favorite foundation or lipstick, but keeping around makeup that is past its' expiration is bad for your skin. Why? Cosmetics trap bacteria, which means replacing them regularly helps you avoid skin irritations, breakouts, eye infections, and styes. If you'd like a helpful guide to when makeup expires, check out the packaging of the product. When you see a number inside of a small cap (example below), it tells you how long the product is good from when you open it.
Don't quite remember when you bought it? Look for other clues on the packaging such as a worn out label or dried up product. You can also give it the smell test - if it smells bad, likely it's time to say goodbye.
2. magazines, newspapers and catalogs
Magazines, newspapers and catalogs can accumulate as fast as lost socks in a laundry room. If you can't remember the last time you recycled a large stack of them, then today is the day! Set a timer for 15 minutes and walk through every room in your home with a paper grocery bag in your hand and look for any of them or other types of paper such as mailers/flyers that you know can be recycled.
If you haven't taken everything out of your handbag/purse in awhile, now is as good a time as any. I like the dump method - just turn your bag over and dump it out on the floor. Doing it this way gives you the opportunity to clean the inside of your bag and really look at the items inside to determine if they really should stay.
4. Medicine Cabinet
I can tell you with near certainty that you probably have expired medicines in your home. In every home that Neat Little Nest has ever decluttered, there is one thing in common, there is a lot of expired medicine taking up real estate. Even in my own home, I can find expired medicines without fail. Take a few minutes to look at dates on prescription bottles and those over-the-counter medicine boxes or containers. Before you throw anything out, do a little reading on how to properly dispose of them.
Cars usually become dumping grounds and accumulate clutter like magnets. The next time you park that car in the garage, take a few minutes to collect all of the trash, papers, and anything that shouldn't live there, out of it. It is amazing how quickly you can transform a car into a fresh space simply by removing items that don't belong. When you're finished, go get the outside cleaned as well at a local car wash!
When we declutter one or two (or five) smaller areas, the satisfaction of doing so makes it easier to continue on with other areas. Quick transformations can provide inspiration for accomplishing larger ones.
P.S. If you are on a roll and want to declutter additional areas in your home, you can download the Neat Little Nest's free decluttering worksheet.
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