In my work organizing people’s homes, I tend to see the same kinds of clutter over and over. These are the things most people have too many of and thus, end up in the trash or donate box most often. I’ve divided them up by room to make it a little more readable:
Candles. See image on right.
Scented bath gels, bath scrubs and those little smelly/fizzy ball things
Mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner from hotels
Plastic travel mugs and sports bottles, usually with a hideous company logo on them
Tupperware/Gladware lids with no bottoms, or bottoms with no lids
Holiday tins that held popcorn or shortbread cookies
Toy cars. The tinier they are, the more prolific they are
Itty-bitty plastic toys — the kind that were once stocking stuffers or plastic Easter egg surprises
Living Room/Office Clutter
Books. College textbooks, paperbacks with ripped-off covers, self-help books and “Chicken Soup for the … Soul” books
Receipts and coupons, six months or older
Stationery. So fun to give, so pointless to keep
The Christmas ornaments your kid made you when he was in preschool
Baby clothes you loved too much to give away at the time. Five years later, you completely forgot you kept them.
T-shirts with hideous company logos on them (came with the travel mugs)
Your grade school, high school, college-era jewelery
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I could think of for now. What do you have too much of in your house? What do you fellow organizers see too much of?
Jeri Dansky says
Great list! I’d add
1. All sorts of items you don’t really like, but they were gifts.
2. Magazines and catalogs you want to receive – but these are from many many many months ago.
3. Way more basic inexpensive pens than anyone is going to use in the next 10 years.
4. Broken stuff you’re never going to get fixed.
I'd also add
Kitchen clutter: single purpose utensils, such as strawberry hullers, melon ballers, etc. especially when owner never undertakes these tasks. Also spices/dried herbs/condiments bought for one specific recipe then never used again can quickly mount up.
Study/home office: Freebie CDs/DVDs, free notepads and stationery from hotels, conferences etc, free messenger bags from conferences/conventions. Computers seem to attract a lot of cheap freebie corporate junk – mousemats, USB sticks etc. Generally you only need one of this type of thing.