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How to Downsize Your Life + 100 Things To Throw Away

by on Jan 29, 2024

Do you feel overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos in your life? Do you wish for a simpler, more organized existence but don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone. 

In today’s fast-paced world, we often accumulate more and more possessions, filling our homes and minds with unnecessary items and distractions. 

But don’t worry, I have gathered a comprehensive guide on how to downsize your life and declutter your space in this blog post. 

I have also compiled a list of 100 things you can throw away to begin downsizing your life. Whether you are moving to a smaller space or smaller home, or just want a fresh start.

Get ready to let go of the excess and create a more intentional and fulfilling life. 

Let’s dive in and learn how to downsize your life and make room for what truly matters.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the idea of downsizing your entire home, creating a list is easier. Use this guide for help on what to throw away or downsize, room by room.

Tackling the Kitchen: Decluttering Items You Don’t Need

The kitchen, often the heart of the home, can also be a hotspot for clutter. 

So, where do you start your decluttering journey? 

First, search your drawers and cabinets for expired food and spices. If it has passed its use-by date, it’s time to dispose of it. 

This includes canned food items hiding at the back of your pantry and dried herbs that have been sitting for years. 

Don’t forget to check your refrigerator.  Outdated condiments and leftovers take up valuable space.

Secondly, take a look at your cookware and bakeware. Are there pots and pans that you never use or have duplicates of? 

What about baking trays or muffin tins that are warped or excessively worn? 

These items can be donated or recycled to free up cabinet space.

Next on the downsizing home checklist are appliances. Countertop appliances can take up a lot of space, especially if you don’t use them regularly. 

Do you really need that bread machine or ice cream maker that you haven’t used in ages? 

Consider donating them to a friend who will get more use out of them or selling them online.

Lastly, examine your dishware. How many mugs, plates, and bowls do you actually need? 

If you find yourself constantly washing the same few favorites, it might be time to downsize your collection. Donate the extras or pack them away for when you have guests.

Managing the kitchen may seem overwhelming, but if you adhere to these guidelines, you will soon have a more efficient and well-organized area. 

Keep following us for more tips on decluttering as we proceed to the other parts of the house.

Streamlining Your Wardrobe: Clothing Pieces to Ditch

Learning how to downsize your life can be a challenge, but you can start with your wardrobe. 

Over the years, we tend to accumulate a lot of clothing items, and it’s time to streamline your wardrobe collection. 

First, go through your clothes and remove anything that no longer fits, is stained or torn, or hasn’t been worn in the past year. 

Clothing that no longer aligns with your current style or lifestyle can also be discarded. For instance, there’s no point in keeping skinny jeans from college or that sequined top you wore once to a party five years ago if you’re never going to wear them again. 

Secondly, consider your footwear; if they are uncomfortable, worn out, or you don’t wear them anymore, it’s time to let them go. 

The same goes for accessories like bags, hats, and scarves. 

Additionally, take a look at your undergarments and replace bras and underwear that are stretched out, uncomfortable, or not your preferred style anymore. Finally, revisit your seasonal items and keep only what you need and use each season. 

You can donate or sell unwanted clothing items to give them a new lease of life while helping you declutter. The goal is not just to make space but also to simplify and make your life more intentional. 

So take a deep breath, let’s get started, and make your wardrobe spacious and organized.

Organizing the Bathroom: Clearing Out Excess Products

The bathroom is often considered a peaceful place, but it can quickly become overfilled with unused products. 

To declutter your bathroom, start with expired medications and products. 

These items can clutter your cabinets and can even be harmful. Be sure to dispose of expired medications properly. 

Next, look at your toiletries. 

Do you have half-empty shampoo bottles or old makeup that you no longer use? If so, it’s time to let them go. 

Consider your towels and bath mats as well. If they’re worn out, consider repurposing them or donating them. 

Lastly, check your grooming tools. Replace old razors, toothbrushes, and nail clippers that have seen better days. 

Also, get rid of almost empty tubes of toothpaste and tattered loofahs. By decluttering, you’ll create a more peaceful and cozy environment. 

After all, your bathroom should be a place for self-care and relaxation. Let’s continue this journey of decluttering and move on to the next room.

A Room-by-Room Guide for Lightening Your Material Load

The Living Room: Removing Unnecessary Decor

As you step into your living room, it’s time to evaluate the decor. This space often becomes a catch-all for miscellaneous items and unneeded decorations. 

However, our goal here is to create a serene and enjoyable atmosphere. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and delve into the decluttering process.

First, examine your decorative items such as figurines, vases, and picture frames. 

If these items no longer bring you joy or don’t match your current home aesthetic, it may be time to let them go. 

Remember, less is more when it comes to creating a harmonious living room.

Next, consider your entertainment items. 

Are there DVDs, CDs, or books cluttering up your space that you don’t watch, listen to, or read anymore? It’s time to pass these on to someone else who can enjoy them. 

You can digitize your favorite movies and music to save space and donate old books to your local library.

Also, don’t forget to assess your throw pillows and blankets. 

Do they match your current decor? 

Are they worn or stained? 

You’d be surprised at how much space you can free up by only keeping those in good condition and truly enhancing your comfort.

Finally, take a hard look at your furniture. 

Do you have more chairs than you need or a side table that’s rarely used? 

Redundant pieces can make the living room feel cramped. Sell or donate these items to make the room feel more spacious and functional.

By decluttering your living room, you’re not only creating a cleaner space but also making room for new possibilities and a more relaxed environment. Let’s keep this momentum going as we continue our journey to downsizing.

reducing clutter and downsize your life

Office/Workspace Clean-Up: Reducing Paper and Electronic Clutter

Moving on to your office or workspace, it’s time to tackle the common culprits of clutter in these areas: paper and electronic items. 

Many of us hold onto old paperwork, outdated electronics, and unused office supplies, causing our workspaces to become chaotic and less productive. 

Start with the paper clutter. 

Old bills, receipts, manuals, and documents you no longer need should be the first. 

Be sure to shred any documents containing sensitive information before disposing of them. 

If you have important documents that you need to keep, consider going digital by scanning the documents and saving them on your computer or a cloud service to reduce physical clutter.

Next, evaluate your collection of pens, notebooks, and other office supplies. 

If you have more than you need or if they’re no longer functional, it’s time to say goodbye. Donate extra supplies to a local school or charity, and recycle any items that are no longer usable.

Now, turn your attention to electronic clutter. Old cell phones, chargers, and cords that no longer serve a purpose only take up valuable space. 

Consider recycling these items at an electronic waste facility or donating them to a charity that can put them to good use. Additionally, go through your computer files and delete any unnecessary files or apps that are slowing down your computer.

Lastly, take a look at your books and magazines. If you have publications that you’ve read and don’t plan to revisit, consider passing them on. Donate them to a local library or sell them online.

By reducing paper and electronic clutter, you’ll create a workspace that promotes productivity and focus, propelling you toward your downsizing goals. 

Let’s keep the momentum going as we move on to the bedroom next.

removing bedroom clutter when downsizing

Bedroom Declutter: Toss Out Unwanted Bedding and Accessories

The bedroom is our personal sanctuary, a place to relax and unwind. 

However, it can easily become cluttered with excess bedding and accessories, which can negatively impact the peaceful atmosphere. 

To bring back the tranquility, it’s time to declutter. Here are some steps you can follow to achieve that.

First, look at your bedding. Do you have extra blankets, sheets, or pillows that you hardly ever use? 

Perhaps some sets are worn out, faded, or no longer match your decor. 

It’s time to let go of these items. 

You can donate usable bedding to local homeless shelters or recycle worn-out materials. 

Remember, your bed only needs one good set of sheets, so keep your favorite and most comfortable set and say goodbye to the rest.

Next, assess the accessories in your room. 

Over time, we tend to collect trinkets and decor that take up space on dressers and nightstands. If these items no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy, it’s time to get rid of them. 

This includes old alarm clocks, dried flowers, or souvenirs that have lost their significance.

Don’t forget to evaluate your closet space too. 

We already covered clothing items earlier, but what about the hangers, shoe racks, and other storage items? 

If these are broken, unused, or taking up unnecessary space, add them to your discard pile. Simplifying your storage can make your closet feel larger and more organized.

Lastly, consider the larger items in your room, such as furniture. 

By decluttering your bedroom, you’re creating a more spacious environment and a serene and peaceful space where you can rest and rejuvenate. 

Let’s continue on to the next area as we journey towards a simpler, more intentional lifestyle.

making outdoor space decluttered

Outdoor Spaces: Purging the Garage and Garden

Outdoor spaces like garages and gardens can easily become cluttered with unused tools, equipment, and other items. 

As part of our downsizing effort, let’s address these areas starting with the garage. It’s common for this space to become a dumping ground for things that don’t have a place inside the house. Begin by assessing your tools and equipment. 

Do you have duplicate tools or items that aren’t used often? 

Check for old paint cans, car care products, or gardening supplies. 

If they’re outdated or unnecessary, it’s time to discard, donate, or recycle them. Next, focus on larger items such as sports equipment, bicycles, or camping gear. 

If you haven’t used these items in the past year or two, chances are you won’t use them in the future. It’s best to donate or sell them to free up space in your garage.

Now, let’s move on to the garden. 

Old pots, broken outdoor furniture, and rusty garden tools don’t do much for your outdoor aesthetics. 

Consider composting organic materials like leaves or plant cut-offs and recycling or disposing of the rest appropriately. 

Don’t forget to review your garden decor too. 

Old birdhouses, worn-out flags, and broken decorations can all go. 

Our goal is to create a peaceful outdoor sanctuary that reflects your downsized, clutter-free lifestyle.

Finally, check your outdoor storage spaces. 

Sheds and other outdoor storage areas are often filled with items that we forgot we even had. Discard or donate anything that you don’t need or use regularly. 

By decluttering your garage and garden, you’re not only creating more usable space but also making your outdoor areas more enjoyable and relaxing. 

Let’s push forward with our downsizing journey, embracing a more intentional lifestyle one step at a time.

Decluttering Your Home Checklist | 100 Things To Throw Away

  1. Duplicate kitchen utensils
  2. Old, mismatched dishes and glassware
  3. Expired canned goods and spices
  4. Unused kitchen appliances
  5. Worn-out pots and pans
  6. Excessive plastic containers without lids
  7. Outdated cookbooks
  8. Unwanted or broken small appliances
  9. Expired food in the pantry
  10. Unused cleaning supplies
  11. Old and expired medications
  12. Duplicate cleaning products
  13. Expired personal care items (shampoos, lotions, etc.)
  14. Old towels and washcloths
  15. Worn-out bed linens
  16. Extra bedding sets
  17. Damaged or unused luggage
  18. Broken or outdated electronics
  19. Outgrown children’s toys
  20. Unused craft supplies
  21. Old magazines and newspapers
  22. Outdated textbooks and reference books
  23. Excess office supplies
  24. Old and non-functioning pens and pencils
  25. Unused or broken sports equipment
  26. Outdated and unused CDs/DVDs
  27. Old, worn-out shoes
  28. Unwanted or duplicate belts
  29. Outdated fashion accessories
  30. Clothes that no longer fit
  31. Damaged or stained clothing
  32. Unworn or ill-fitting hats
  33. Old and worn-out wallets/purses
  34. Excess hangers
  35. Unused or broken jewelry
  36. Old and unused backpacks
  37. Duplicate or outdated phone cases
  38. Broken or outdated sunglasses
  39. Unused or outdated skincare products
  40. Old, broken, or mismatched silverware
  41. Unused or expired candles
  42. Excess coffee mugs
  43. Old and worn-out bath mats
  44. Extra throw pillows and cushions
  45. Outdated wall art or decor
  46. Broken or unused picture frames
  47. Old and unused DVDs/Blu-rays
  48. Expired batteries
  49. Worn-out and uncomfortable furniture
  50. Excess throw blankets
  51. Unused or broken headphones
  52. Old and unused power cords
  53. Expired coupons and mailers
  54. Outdated calendars
  55. Duplicate kitchen gadgets
  56. Old and unused gardening tools
  57. Unwanted holiday decorations
  58. Excess gardening pots and planters
  59. Broken or unused exercise equipment
  60. Outdated board games and puzzles
  61. Duplicate or outdated software
  62. Unwanted and outdated electronics cables
  63. Old and unused stationery
  64. Broken or unused kitchen appliances
  65. Excess glass vases
  66. Outdated phone books and directories
  67. Old and unused backpacks
  68. Broken or worn-out umbrellas
  69. Duplicate or outdated textbooks
  70. Outdated reference materials
  71. Unused and expired art supplies
  72. Excess or mismatched dishware
  73. Old and unused sewing supplies
  74. Outdated toiletries
  75. Duplicate gardening gloves
  76. Broken or outdated computer peripherals
  77. Unused or expired pet supplies
  78. Old and unused gift wrapping materials
  79. Outdated software manuals
  80. Duplicate or outdated board games
  81. Unused or expired vitamins and supplements
  82. Broken or outdated video game consoles
  83. Old and unused luggage tags
  84. Excess plastic bags
  85. Outdated technology manuals
  86. Duplicate phone chargers
  87. Old and unused gift cards
  88. Expired car maintenance supplies
  89. Excess cleaning cloths and sponges
  90. Outdated event tickets and invitations
  91. Unused or expired condiments
  92. Broken or outdated cameras
  93. Old and unused CD/DVD cases
  94. Duplicate kitchen linens (towels, pot holders)
  95. Outdated travel brochures and maps
  96. Unused or expired cosmetics
  97. Broken or mismatched Tupperware
  98. Old and unused event programs
  99. Duplicate sports jerseys
  100. Outdated reference maps and atlases

Embracing the Downsizing Lifestyle

As you can see, downsizing your life is not a one-time event but a lifestyle change. 

It’s all about making conscious decisions about what genuinely enriches your life and letting go of everything else. 

By adopting this mindset, you can create more physical space in your home and make room for personal growth, experiences, and relationships that truly matter. 

Remember, downsizing should not equal deprivation, but liberation. 

Removing excess creates a pathway for clarity, focus, and peace. 

Living with less doesn’t mean living without. In fact, it often leads to a fuller life as you rid yourself of clutter and make room for the things that genuinely bring you joy.

As you continue your journey, remember to revisit this declutter checklist periodically. 

It will serve as a helpful tool to maintain your newly decluttered space. Embrace the beauty of less, live with intention, and welcome the freedom that comes with a downsized lifestyle. 

Here’s to a simpler, more fulfilling life – you’ve got this!

Room-by-Room Checklist for downsizing and decluttering your home

Now that you’ve purged your life, check out these organization tips for every room in your home

Share this list on Pinterest! 

You won’t be able to tackle your whole house in one day, so plan it out. Pick one room per day (or two) to work on, and before you know it, you will have decluttered your life and your home and feel lighter. 

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  1. You left out the laundry room. It must have been 30 years ago that I realized I had an overabundance of cleaning supplies, mostly cleaning fluids. How many different stain removers do you need? How about those various floor cleaners you tried and did not like? I still fall into the same trap, but not nearly as bad as I did years ago.