If clutter is overwhelming you, use this room by room declutter checklist of things to throw away to get a jump start on the decluttering process.

50 things to throw away for instant decluttering - declutter checklist of 50 things to throw away
Our declutter checklist is the easiest way to to get started.

Starting to Declutter Your Home

I have been working really hard on decluttering my house recently. Having too much stuff makes keeping your space clean and organized very difficult. Plus, it makes everything seem overwhelming.

It can feel like a huge undertaking to get your home decluttered once and for all which is why I like to start with this list. This is seriously the first step to full declutter without the trauma that emptying out everything as in a Marie Kondo approach.

Less stuff equals less stress.

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Printable list of things to declutter by room - printed pdf shown of the 2 page printable list on a background of blue and white - Kids Activities Blog
Start by printing our declutter checklists!

Declutter Your Home : What to Donate, Give Away & Throw Away

This is a list of things. All you need to do, is go through and toss the things on this list and then marvel at all your storage space.

Before you take a big series of trash bags out to the curb, make sure to donate or recycle the things you can!

Download & Print the Declutter Checklist by Room Cheat Sheet

 Using A Declutter Checklist

  1. Write out or print out your list of things to get rid of.
  2. Cross off anything that you have already done or doesn’t apply to you.
  3. Circle anything you could do super quickly.
  4. Put arrows by things you know need to be done.
  5. Add ranking of importance to the arrows.
  6. Make notes on anything not crossed off, circled or with a number next to it.
  7. Start with the circles right now…

Once you start going through all your old things you may start second guessing yourself and want to keep a lot of it.

Don’t! Second thoughts will sabotage your progress. Let it go especially if it is something you haven’t used in the last year or so.

How to Declutter Your Home

If you start feeling overwhelmed then maybe try to throw something away everyday. Even if it is just something like a couple papers or a magazine.

The little things eventually add up to big things and soon you’ll notice your house clutter free!

Living Room & Family Room Decluttering Tips

The living room should be a place of comfort, a place to relax, and is usually the first place company sees in the entire house. It can be embarrassing sometimes when your living room is super cluttered. If you can’t see the coffee table or your couch looks like the coat closet, it is time to throw things out.

Start with Living Room Decluttering List

  • Old magazines
  • Old couch pillows
  • Movies you don’t watch
  • Movies that are scratched/don’t work or you don’t have a player for!
  • Burnt out candles
  • Extra cords
  • Games with missing pieces
  • Old books

 Decluttering Ideas for the Bathroom, Medicine Cabinet, and Linen Closet

The bathroom is another one of those places where things tend to pile up because it is such a small space. It is time to go through cabinets, shelves, linen closet, medicine cabinet and counter to throw away all the old things that aren’t being used.

You’d be surprised at how much trash, not just useless stuff, but trash piles up in the bathroom without us noticing.

Start with Bathroom Decluttering List of Things

  • Broken makeup
  • Old makeup
  • Old nail polish
  • Old perfume
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Half empty bottles
  • Old towels with holes
  • Anything you haven’t used in the last 3 months

Bedrooms & Bedroom Closet Decluttering Tips

I couldn’t throw anything away. I was one of those people who think I’ll wear those jeans from 10 years ago again or find the missing sock or mend the shorts with a hole in them. The good news is that with a little persistence I have been able to change and now what was a really hard time actually brings me joy…spark joy!

Start with Bedroom & Bedroom Closet Declutter List

  • Socks without a match
  • Socks with holes
  • Underwear with holes
  • Clothes you haven’t worn in at least 6 months
  • Clothes that don’t fit
  • Earrings without a match
  • Old ties
  • Old belts
  • Old purses
  • Old hats and gloves
  • Worn out shoes
  • Worn out blankets
  • Old pillows

Kitchen and Pantry Decluttering Ideas

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a cluttered kitchen. Even if it is only in that infamous kitchen junk drawer. It is a really busy room with a bunch of kitchen gadgets, storage containers and a kitchen sink full of dishes. Oh, don’t forget all that clutter sitting on the kitchen table. Sigh!

But there are plenty of things to throw away in the kitchen may it be food, cleaning stuff, or a very full junk drawer.

Start with Kitchen Declutter List

  • Expired food
  • Take out menus
  • Restaurant sauce packets
  • Old coupons
  • Old cleaning supplies
  • Cups with missing pieces
  • Anything you have too many of
  • Excess tupperware
  • Rags with holes
  • Expired medication
  • Old mail
  • Old manuals
  • Old receipts
  • Old paperwork
  • Birthday cards

Kid Stuff – Toys & Games Decluttering Tips

This is another one where clutter gets crazy. Kid stuff tends to pile up. This list is a great start, but I’d also suggest throwing away old art supplies, coloring books, and art projects. We can’t keep everything even though we’d love to.

Start with Kid Stuff Declutter List

  • Broken toys
  • Happy meal toys
  • Anything with missing pieces
  • Things they never play with
  • Duplicates
  • Puzzles with missing pieces
declutter workbook

Grab The Declutter Workbook, it’s so helpful to get through your whole house. It’s 11 pages of tips and worksheets you can instantly download.

More organization and declutter tips

Now that you have your how decluttered let us help you organize other parts of your life. We have some real world ways to clear a lot of clutter in addition to our free decluttering checklist. I can’t wait until you have a home look the way you want with these easy tips.

  • Once you throw out all the old toys, you can use these nursery organization hacks to keep everything orderly.
  • Don’t forget about your car! Your house isn’t these only thing that needs to be decluttered and organized. Let us teach you how to keep your car organized.
  • Even the little things organized like your purse and diaper bag and we’ve got you covered with these bag organizer ideas.

What is on your declutter checklist? What will you tackle first?

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  1. Most food does not ‘expire’. Read carefully and you will see that those are not ‘expiration’ dates on the containers, but ‘Best By’, ‘Freshest By’, etc. Food does not suddenly go bad based on a date on the outside of the packaging. Read the FDA guidance on ‘Expiration’ dates. Canned goods were sterilized at canning time and can last YEARS past the ‘Best by’ date. I’ve eaten some canned goods TEN YEARS after their best by date. They were just fine. It depends on how you store them. If the can is intact, has no corrosion or dents, and it’s not bulging, then the contents are probably just fine for human consumption. You paid good money for that food. Don’t be wasteful.

  2. These lists are a great starting point and you can adjust them to how you want to declutter. Why all the negativity on the words “throw away”? Adjust it to the way you want to handle the decluttering and move on. If you want to recycle, by all means recycle your stuff….. just my 2 cents which doesn’t mean much I know. Too much negatitvity.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Debi! Yes, all of our lists/ ideas are meant for everyone to take what they want from it, and make it work in their own way!

  3. Maybe you could change the words “throw away” to “get rid of” so it doesn’t sound like you’re advocating throwing perfectly good usable things in the garbage.

    1. That is a REALLY good point! You are completely right, it is rare that we are throwing away vs. donating, etc.

  4. Hi Liz!

    Dog owner here.

    May I recommend old dog supplies such as leashes and collars that are worn! Tags that are expired or can’t be read, etc

  5. When I saw the graphic on Pinterest, I immediately thought, “some good points but so wasteful”! Then I read the actual article. As you said, “making sure to donate or recycle the things you can” makes this much so much more palatable and responsible. I would definitely adjust the 6 months for clothes and the 3 months for items you haven’t used to at least 9 mo or even 1 yr because of the seasonal nature of some items. Obviously, people have to use their own judgment based on their own situations and values. But overall I think this is a helpful tool! Thanks!

  6. While I agree with some of the things on the list, some of it just seems downright wasteful to me! Think about how a kid in a family with no money for toys might love a Happy Meal toy, and imagine a life where you throw everything out when it’s half done instead of actually finishing it. That’s not all, and that’s already a lot of unnecessary waste!

  7. Promoting “throwing away” all these things is very harmful to the environment. Please consider teaching people to reuse old things they have (ex: turning old clothes into cleaning rags, using up those half empty bottles before buying new, donating things they no longer use but are still usable, etc.) I understand wanting to organize and declutter a home, but how about doing it in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way?

  8. I agree that tossing things in the trash is a good place to start but what about donating the condiment packets to a homeless shelter or repurposing some of the items so they don’t end up in the ocean or landfill? Thank goodness my grandmother didn’t throw away the “old mail” her son sent her from Europe during WWII. To us, finding those letters was a priceless treasure. I’m not saying we shouldn’t get rid of things but some things such as letters from history can’t be replaced. Have you ever thrown something away and regretted it later?