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Clutter-Busting Challenge Day #18: 9 more things to add to the donation/trash bag {and help me out! Where else should I look?}

Every week day in May, I’m challenging my readers to try to find at least 7 things to get rid of. These can be big or small things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually throw them out, sell them, donate them, recycle them, or find someone else who can use them. Think you’re up for the challenge?

I had a lot of trouble coming up with things to toss today. In fact, I went back over a few rooms that I’d already gone through and found almost nothing to toss. I guess that’s a good thing!

But I’m soliciting your help. What other great ideas do you have for places I should look for things to get rid of? I know I’m missing some spots so send any and all ideas my way. I realized tonight that I still need to go through the DVDs & CDs, sock basket, and a little bit of the garage. But after that, I’m rather stumped.

What places could I be overlooking? I’m positive there’s more stuff to toss lurking here, I’m just not readily thinking where to look — and I’ve got quite a few more days left in this challenge. 🙂

How did your clutter-busting go today? Link up your blog post and/or Instagram pictures below. Or, leave a comment telling us how many things you got rid of. Let’s clear our homes of clutter so we can be more productive and efficient!


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85 Comments

  • Christie says:

    Check the cars…I can always find trash, old registrations or insurance cards, broken sunglasses…

    Or you can come clean out my basement in get 7 things in the first 7 seconds!!

  • Diane says:

    storage areas, closets, garages seem to be our biggest places for storing things we don’t really need any more. I went through a box of Christmas ornaments and got rid of the ones that didn’t have sentimental value. But we’re in a similar boat, we just don’t have much clutter after that initial big Goodwill drop-off we made.

    • Definitely Christmas decorations!! (We got rid of 99% of them last year. Ahhh- best feeling!)

      • Crystal says:

        Oh, that’s a fantastic idea!

      • I was going to suggest this too!!! Especially since we just cleaned out ours (hanging plastic French horn with really ugly, smooshed plastic poinsettia that someone gave my husband when we were in college and have never, ever hung…anyone…going once…). He he. And Yikes! I can’t believe some of the things we had kept over the years.

        If you decorate for other holidays or have things on hand for birthday parties, etc. or have gift “stash” that might be a place to look too!

        Lea

  • Michelle says:

    Car….Mini van 🙂 Maybe your purse/travel bags hope this helps. My daughter is big enough to buckle herself up. She sits in the last row and I am always amazed at what she has back there! LOL

  • Erin says:

    I have a list I’ve been working on, and its getting small which is a good thing! I have DVD’s, my closet and craft supplies left.
    What about winter clothing items? The garage? Do you have any scrapbooking or stamping supplies? Laundry room supplies? Under the kitchen sink?
    It’s a good problem to have 🙂

  • My ideas:

    1) Outdoor toys, etc.
    2) Inside your vehicles
    3) School area, if you haven’t yet.

    I’m enjoying your declutter posts this month!

  • Charlene says:

    Stuff in the car, yard toys or sand box toys, and winter coats/hats/gloves. Those are just a few ideas! 🙂

  • Marie says:

    As I mentioned I have been going through my house and everything gathered was either tossed, shared with friends or saved for the yard sale I’ve had the last two days. So much kids clothing and toys, books etc. sold. I made $400 . But there is still much left so we are having the garage sale next week as well. I know I have not turned up everything. I’m glad I sold so much because I honestly didn’t have room for it all. I kept adding as I was selling and making space!
    Have you checked your stock piles, storage areas like attics, garages, basements? Any storage for kids clothes? Dishes, bakeware? Coupons, file cabinets? Sheds?
    I am really loving getting rid of all the extra. I think my world for 2013 should be simplify!! it’s bringing me so much inner peace!!!

  • Becki says:

    Expired medicines in the medicine cabinet. DVDs and books that you can just check out of the library. School supplies that you’ve been keeping “just in case” – which in my case never comes. (I haven’t run out of clutter spots yet but started the challenge a little late.)

  • Carrie says:

    I went through my medicine cabinet yesterday and was able to get rid of somethings. 🙂

  • Kay says:

    Don’t think of it as things to toss – look through your house and try to find things to give away. I find it hard to throw things out but when I think of giving a particular item to a friend, it’s suddenly ok to say goodbye to it because it’s going to a good home. Stockpile to gifts (I have bunches of random candles for example) to clothing to books.

  • Carla says:

    Places I still need to look through, which may give you some ideas, too:
    1. My closet- clothes, purses, shoes
    2. Extra bed pillows – need some for guests, but need to see if I have too many.
    3. Jewlery
    4. Attic
    5. crawl space
    6. CD”s and movies
    I know there are more, but these are the ones thatnI need to focus on. Not many days left!
    My usual Friday activities are all cancelled , so I have more time. May I use it productively!!

  • Lisa says:

    How about my house?? 🙂

  • I think I have found the most items to get rid of by going back through the spaces I have already purged. I have been surprised each time I can find one more item here or there that I decided to keep the first time around. At this point I have gone through most areas in my house three times.

    • Sandy says:

      I agree. I just finished reading a book, The Joy of Less, and the author mentioned how once you’ve mastered eliminating “things’, going back over the areas in your home you’ve already gone through helps to rid of things you didn’t the first time around.

  • Deb says:

    Did you already search your makeup drawer? I always find eyeshadows, etc. that I just don’t wear anymore. Also, what about cleaning out your recipe books/binders?It’s nice to be rid of recipes I know I won’t make again b/c they’re too much work or contain ingredients I never have on hand.

    • Angie says:

      I have been purging a lot of recipe books too because I save recipes on my All Recipes account now. I can access them on my iPod. I have a few that aren’t on All Recipes that I have printed and some that I saved off of food packages, but other than that I don’t keep a lot of recipes on paper anymore.

  • Sandy says:

    I took on my desk today. Believe me when I tell you you’ll be amazed at how much you can streamline there. I re-organized, and shredded, cleaned up my files eliminating all those recipes I never make anymore, pictures I decided I no longer want, and documents I no longer need. I even found a book in one of the drawers I plan to donate to my library. And afterwards, I did a disk clean up and defragment. I’m so glad I took on this major project. Now, for the closet I pack-ratted. Tomorrow.

  • Organize365 says:

    Declutter your paper files, computer files, apps on your devices, email.

    Clutter is what keeps you distracted so all of the above counts!

    🙂
    Lisa

  • Sprice says:

    I have been reading Miss Minimalist, and have found a number of things I just don’t use that I have been culling. You probably don’t use some of your –
    cookbooks
    table linens
    glassware
    fiction books
    craft items
    stationary
    pens
    hair accessories
    pillows
    old sheets
    perhaps you have a stash of random electronic cords
    shoes that you wore two years ago

    instead of just looking for clutter, look for things that you “think you need” but don’t use and will give you more space if you didn’t have it around.

  • Melissa VD says:

    I agree. Check vehicles. Always something in there to toss! Do you have a camper or boat or anything like that? Check those! File cabinets? Sometimes mine have papers tossed in there that don’t belong.

    I’d say not being able to find things to toss is a good thing!

  • Merry Jo says:

    THE ATTIC!!! 🙂

    • Dona says:

      Your backyard?? Do you have outside toy bins or items in the back yard that you could get rid of?? My kids often have old broken squirt guns and such lying around 🙂

  • Christie says:

    Fridge!

  • Meg says:

    Crystal,
    You make me giggle.
    I just think you are one immaculate gal (and I strive to be more like you)!
    I could give away bags and bags for days before I’d run out!

    Good for you! 🙂

  • Julie C says:

    Baby items you’ve been saving as they might show stains after storage; maybe you’ve gotten rid of them already?!?

  • Joy says:

    Underwear/lingerie drawer. Lol. I just did that a couple of weeks as ago.

  • Heather says:

    My house. You wouldn’t have any problems at all finding plenty of stuff to get rid of around here. Guess I should have done your challenge with you. 🙂

    • Deborah says:

      Underwear drawers. Someone usually has a pair of something that’s stretched out, not the most comfy, etc. that is pushed to the back and never worn.

  • Shelly says:

    At our house the craft supplies yielded quite a few items to remove. I would also double check your storage areas too, I know I always find items I forgot about in the storage areas.

  • Elisa says:

    I would start getting rid of just 7 things a day and then carry the extras over onto other days. That should buy you a few more days 🙂

  • jennifer says:

    Garage, under beds, boxes around the house.

  • I’m 7-weeks postpartum with our 5th baby and just now feeling up to a little belated “spring cleaning”. So far, I’ve tackled the closets and part of the garage!

    Isn’t it amazing how much STUFF lurks behind all those cabinets, doors, and drawers!

    Great challenge, Crystal!

  • Victoria says:

    My friend who has been joining me on facebook for the challenge counts her buckets of weeds and yard waste. Not sure if it is really clutter, but she is a gardener so for her, her flowers are a huge extension for her home, and weeds are clutter in flower beds.

    • Sandy says:

      What a great idea! “Decluttering” the garden certainly must make the outside of her home look as good as the inside.

  • Jessica says:

    May 23:

    trash: t-shirt of mine with a hole in it, old bag of cookies tossed out for squirrels

    give away: bottle of lotion

    donate: 3 pairs of boys winter pjs (2 piece sets), paddle ball set, pair women’s shorts

  • Jennifer says:

    How about the fridge/pantry? No you can’t donate it, but expired items can stay hidden for a long time.

  • Jennifer says:

    We are rearranging my daughters room, so I cleaned out her desk drawers today – I was amazed and how much I was able to get rid of. So if you’ve got school drawers or arts and craft sdrawers, check them out. I also went thru my laundry supply – got rid of half a bottle of fabric softener (we don’t use it anymore) and was surprised that we’d amassed 6 lingerie washing bags, so gave three away to friends! What about old keys that don’t belong to anything?

  • jennifer says:

    Did you go through your utensil drawers? What about vehicle glove boxes?
    This may be a sign you need to invite yourself into readers’ homes to help us out!

  • Ellen says:

    How about the linen closet? I seem to have towels that have seem there better days… Kids books, (just did my kids last week)

  • ashley says:

    Filing cabinet…kids art supplies (usually broken crayons and dried up markers lurking)…

  • How about:

    Files – paper or electronic
    Sports equipment
    Yard tools/Yard toys
    Get on a stool and really go through the top shelf in each of your closets
    I’m having my husband go through his clothes too
    Board Games/Puzzles (missing pieces anyone?)
    CDs/DVDs and yes, cassettes and video tapes if you have them
    Photos on your computer or printed (you really don’t need to keep the bad shots unless they’re the only one you have of a person who’s important to you)
    Extra/outdated electronics
    Household appliances
    Laundry supplies
    The pantry and cupboard space
    The deep freezer (and the regular one for that matter)
    Hats/Mittens/Scarves/Boots
    The linen closet
    Medicine cabinet
    The utensil drawer in the kitchen (this seems to collect all kinds of stuff at our house)

    Hope that’s helpful and that you continue to find things!

    I haven’t been posting but I’ve been following along and finding my own 7 things a day – my house and I are both grateful for this challenge! My the stuff we collect! I’ll never be a minimalist but space is a good thing! 🙂

    Lea

  • Maureen says:

    What about linen closets? I know that dog kennels and animal rescue places are always looking for donations of towels. So if your towels are not in the best shape and you want to get rid of them, you can donate them there.

  • Pamela says:

    If you go through books and DVDs be sure to check Amazon’s trade in program to see if you can get a credit. We did and got a small credit we could use towards ebooks and MP3 downloads.

  • Robbin says:

    An idea that may help you think in a different direction is scrap metal. My 11 yo wants to make some money so we told him he could start collecting scrap metal, he collects cans from our neighbors weekly and any other metal. Any time I have anything that is metal that I don’t want I throw in there (bent kitchen utensils, pots, curtain rods). It is easier for me to toss it knowing we’ll get something back for it. Once I someone come in with a wad of Christmas light and get a few $$. Our metal place gives $0.80 per pound for coated wire, like Christmas lights and old cords. So start a metal pile. You wont make a lot but it might motivate you to get rid of something else. You may want to check your scrap metal yard for prices, if you have several check around, prices do vary. We separate by cords/wire, aluminum cans and all other scrap (unless it is a specialty metal like a dented brass bowl).

  • Courtney says:

    Crystal,
    Just a thought-if you’re having to “search” for things to declutter, maybe clutter isn’t an issue for you, lol! Different women have different issues as far as homemaking is concerned and some women really need to declutter (big time). But, it sounds like that’s an area that you have under control. Maybe focus instead on “decluttering” things from your schedule, your homeschool, your thoughts, etc. Just my two cents! Have a blessed day!

  • mel says:

    What about the paint. . . I’m heading to the basement to analyze the half-full cans of paint. There should be a hazardous waste drop-off for this. . . DON’T TOSS IN THE GARBAGE.

  • Allison says:

    I haven’t done the challenge in a little while because I’ve been out of town, but yesterday we got rid of some old clothing. Some of it went to the Goodwill pile, some to be used as rags and some for the trash.

    All the places I can think to look have already been suggested. Good luck 🙂

  • Think of friends (yours or the children’s) who might enjoy some of your favorite books and give it to them. We wrapped some up with a note: Happy Summer, Happy Reading! My daughter gave these to friends for their end of the year party. This is especially perfect if you know a family going on a road trip this summer- include a book for each family member!

  • Ginger says:

    Did you go thru linen closets? We only keep two towels for each person (one on the shelf and one in use; same for wash cloths and hand towels). Did you thin out you beach towels, and sheets? How about getting rid of extra blankets/pillows?

  • I have felt like this a few times and it helped that I mapped out my areas for decluttering on a calendar otherwise I would be walking around the house aimlessly every day. Some of the areas I have found the best have been.
    *The car
    *My makeup bin
    *Kids toys
    *Garage
    *Shed
    *Kids Clothes.

    From reading your post’s, it looks like you have already taken care of most of these areas, but its worth a shot. You really only have a few days left so keep it up!

  • jerilyn says:

    Maybe the computer? I know I save/download so much stuff along with hundreds of blurry photos, programs no longer in use.

  • I can’t believe how much I got rid of in a week!

    I’m try to do an EXTREME declutter. I’m shooting for 10 items a day, hoping for 7 (your challenge) but making sure I do at LEAST 5.

    I ditch 5 daily!! Thanks for the motivation. It’s fun to follow along with others.

  • I soooo wish I had this problem. *Sigh* 🙂

  • FMRFMR says:

    I don’t think I will ever need help finding clutter! I am planning on extending this challenge for myself for at least another month. I might not do 7 items every day, but I know I can get rid of something every day. Thanks for the motivation.

    I am starting to look at “things” in my house from a different perspective. Do I want it for its emotional connection? Do I find the item useful? Do I like the item? Can someone else make better use of it? Do I really need to save this item? Those questions will determine it it stays, or goes.

    Today I was able to eliminate some items of winter clothing that I did not use even one time last winter. Some don’t fit my body, some no longer fit my lifestyle, some I just don’t like.

  • Melissa says:

    Paper storage is a place I can usually go to and find out dated papers that can go. I found a few manuals that were to things that I’ve donated earlier in the month. No need to keep those! My purse also has a way of collecting random junk so I try to clean it out at least once a month.

  • cheranne says:

    today I got rid of a broken umbrella (we found out too late that it was broken :(… ,
    I cleaned off my fridge lots of papers, papers, papers! I passed on some coupons that i did not use, tossed an old toothbrush, an old candle, and some flyers. I found one pair of shoes for the donation bag too…
    I also packaged up and shipped 2 gifts that were sitting in my dining room for a week too long.

    as for ideas on what else to purge…check all the pockets of all your coats. I am always amazed at the junk I find in them sometimes…. the same goes for purses that you have stored…maybe there are some bits in those too 🙂

  • sheri4L says:

    Haven’t read everything that you have been cleaning out but I think people over look the medicine cabinet and Makeup drawer. So thats where I wold look.

  • April says:

    Why not de-clutter your computer? I’m sure there are files or pictures in there. They aren’t items that you actually throw away but it does need to be done periodically. (Unless you’re way more organized than I am anyway!).

  • Heather says:

    I have to go through these still on my list: Holiday decor, purses/backpacks/handbags (them or the contents inside). My wallet, my husband’s duty bag, my magazine baskets (we have 2…not sure why??) My recipe binders (some I have never used…not sure I ever will). We have way too many coffee cups, plastic containers withOUT matching lids. Ugh.

  • Courtney says:

    I don’t know if you are only counting physical items, but a computer is a great place to look. How many unused /unwanted /unneeded files are hanging around on your hard drive? I know I found a few old resumes, duplicate files, and old programs to get rid of.

  • Lisa says:

    Have you gone through the nightstands?
    The junk drawer?
    Computer desk drawers?
    Linen closet?
    Boxes and totes under the bed?

  • Have you looked in your car? The glove box and trunk are places in my car that contain quite a bit of clutter. Matter of fact. On my way there now to see what stuff I can rid it of.

  • Emi says:

    Your garden – bulbs that you can separate and give to someone else, garden tools, plastic pots, etc.

  • Beka says:

    I just went through CD’s and DVD’s and got rid of quite a few. Also, “Free the Girls” was collecting bras to be sent to Africa to help women who have escaped sex trafficking, so rooting through your undergarments drawer might help. What about cleaning supplies? What about homeschool supplies you no longer need? Toys?

  • Angie says:

    Try your underwear and sock drawers! I always seem to have old ones that need to be tossed!

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