Are you committed to living more with less? Then you’ll need to amp up your spring cleaning routine. After all, living a minimalist lifestyle goes beyond getting rid of your old t-shirts!
If you’re not sure how to start living a minimalist lifestyle, begin with a thorough decluttering. Bookmark this room-by-room list of 25 things to get rid of, and you’ll be on your way.
The Living Room
- Magazines: Old and unread magazines often top the list of items to recycle!
- Magazine Rack: A related item should likely go as well: the magazine rack holding those publications.
- Extra Chairs and Couches: Any underutilized chairs or couches should go. That green recliner gathering dust in the corner? It might have been a thoughtful gift from your favorite aunt that one time, but that time has passed.
- Worn Out Furniture: In general, any furniture that has lost its support or firmness, or has served double duty as a cat’s scratching post, should go. If you find that most of your living room furniture falls into the “toss” category, you might want to consider renting furniture for your space, rather than buying new. Learn how to responsibly dispose of your unwanted furniture and find out if renting furniture for your home may be the right next step for your situation. Remember that the key to a minimalist lifestyle is to own less material goods!
- Bad Lighting: Broken lamps with excessive wear to their cords aren’t merely cluttering up your space with poor aesthetics. According to FireRescue1, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that they could even present a fire hazard. Out they go!
The Dining Room
- Unused Dining Chairs: Maybe they’re not kept in the dining room at all times, but even a single unused dining room chair occupies a good deal of space. If you’re not entertaining enough to put all your dining room chairs to use, get rid of them.
- Table Leaf: And if your dining room table came with a leaf (an insert that extends its length) that you never use, it’s time to let it go.
- Oversized Storage Cabinet: As for the China cabinet that doesn’t hold any China but serves as a magnet for mail, unfiled paperwork, and an unsorted collection of tchotchkes? There’s likely an interested buyer on Craigslist or Freecycle waiting for the chance to add it to their dining room.
- Withering Plants: The dried-out plant in the corner? Move it on out. If you like the idea of having something there, don’t buy it. Instead, rent furniture and furnishings — including plants. That way, you don’t have another item taking up permanent residence in your home!
- Worn Rugs: The same goes for the stained and frayed rug under the dining room set. If it’s too far gone to keep around, but you’re not sure how you’ll feel about not having anything there, dispose of it. If you decide you like the idea of a rug there, get one without a life-long commitment.
- Hidden Junk: There’s an obvious place to start decluttering in the kitchen: the stuff in your junk drawer! Junk drawers provide every home a landing space for items big and small. Pick through the things you need, set them aside, and discard the rest. After that, use an organizer to corral that drawer’s contents.
- Dust-Collecting Appliances: Have you made a loaf of bread or homemade pasta in the past six months? How about waffles? According to The Spruce, there’s a good chance you haven’t. Time for those bulky, neglected appliances to go.
- Mismatched Place Settings: While you’re at it, find a new home for the extra dinnerware, glassware, and utensils you have, especially the pieces that don’t match the others.
- Expired Goods: Another sneaky place where the clutter piles up? Your fridge and cupboards. Dispose of the out-of-date contents, recycle the cans and jars, and take pride in how much space you created.
- Extra Storage Containers: It’s possible you picked up some of that food intending to prepare lunch for yourself for work but could never quite get such a routine down. If there are underutilized lunch boxes, storage containers, or grocery bags in the kitchen, consign them to a permanent vacation elsewhere.
- Excess Personal Care Products: Do you find yourself with multiple containers of grooming products? Consolidate into a core lineup of products you use daily and get rid of the rest.
- Underutilized Gadgets: Consider eliminating the grooming devices you no longer use, too!
- Cleaning Supplies: Many people have cleaning products that they turn to time and again to keep their bathrooms germ-free. Dispose of all the other cleaning items that you simply don’t use.
- Expired Medicine: If you have any old medication lurking around, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in your bathroom. As with the unused cleaning agents, dispose of them properly.
- Tattered Towels: One item you use a lot? Towels. Repurpose too-worn bath and kitchen towels as rags to wash your car or for other maintenance work.
- Old Clothing: Remember when we brought up your old t-shirts? We weren’t kidding. Time to Marie Kondo your closet by getting rid of any clothing you haven’t worn in two years.
- Collectables: Old hobbies often find bedroom corners in which to hide. If your passion for Funko Pops, vintage Pez dispensers, 1970s vinyl records, or any other collectible has run its course, run those items out of town. There may be another collector scouring eBay, aching to get her hands on it!
- Untouched Exercise Equipment: Speaking of passions having run their course: that cutting-edge exercise gadget you bought from a late-night infomercial and retired beneath your bed can go.
- Don’t feel guilty: there are plenty of other ways to exercise. Think about the calories you’ll burn taking it to the curb.
- Reading Material: As with your exercise regimen, you perhaps made a goal for yourself to read more books. But the stack of them holding up yesterday’s dinner plate isn’t doing you any good and might be the perfect thing to donate to a local library.
- Stacks of Paperwork: Now is also an excellent time to clear out any personal, academic, or professional paperwork you still own. Shred the sheets with sensitive info and recycle them.
Get What You Need — And Only What You Need — From CORT
Minimal living is especially helpful during seasons of change. If you’re on the move and interested in living with less, consider renting furniture with CORT. It’s an easy way to live with the best without the hassle that always comes with having more stuff between you and pure minimalism.