A little simplification does everyone good in what can be a hectic modern life. The easiest way to simplify your home life? A good old-fashioned purge session. Getting rid of things we’ve been clinging to but don’t really need can feel so liberating that it can be hard to stop once you start…which isn’t a bad thing, actually. So drag out the donation boxes and trash bags, and consult our list below of some of the superfluous items most homeowners don’t realize they’re clinging to.
- Extra sheets and towels (especially the ratty ones). How many sheet sets do you really need? If you’re extra good at keeping up with laundry, you could get away with having one set for each bed in your home. But that’s not exactly realistic for most households. Each bed should ideally have two sets. Anything else is just clutter. While you’re at it, get rid of those faded towels that are riddled with holes and bleach spots. Lots of pet shelters take donations in the form of linens to create bedding and warmth for cats and dogs.
- That 4,983,347-piece butcher block knife set. That’s pretty hyperbolic of us, but really. Who needs that many knives? Even most professional chefs will tell you that you only need the basics to get by. Keep a couple of chef’s knives and then choose whatever specialty ones you know you’ll use (e.g. boning knife, bread knife, paring knife). And ditch that butcher block knife stand! It harbors bacteria and bits of food.
- Excess storage containers. Admit it. You know you have that one scary cabinet that hides a jumbled mess of mismatched food storage containers and lids. Get rid of that nonsense! While the bowls can get by without their tops, all those stray lids are doing absolutely no good lingering in the cabinet. Toss them all! Then take stock of how many you actually use on a regular basis and weed out your collection accordingly.
- Multiple kitchen tools that do the same thing. Do you really need a blender AND a food processor AND an immersion blender AND a Magic Bullet? (Hint: The correct answer is no.) Ask yourself how often you use your specialty kitchen tools and pare down.
- Knick knacks, a.k.a. dust collectors. Most of us are guilty of hanging on to little decorative items that we don’t actually have any emotional attachment to. It may be out of guilt because the item was a gift, or it might just be out of laziness. If it doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t part of a super special, sentimental collection, it doesn’t belong in your house.
- Lonely, tired furniture. Does anyone actually sit in that cool-looking bamboo folding chair over there in the corner? It may be hip and trendy, but it certainly doesn’t look comfortable. And that old, dirty, ripped armchair only the dog loves? Yeah. It’s gotta go.
- Specialty cleaning products. This might seem counterintuitive (pun not intended!) since we’re talking about cleaning here, but truth be told, you don’t really need eleven different kitchen or bathroom cleaners to be squeaky clean. In fact, with just a bit of lemon, baking soda, and vinegar, you can clean pretty much anything in your house. Check out our blog post on how to make your own cleaning products.
- Extra dishes. Not only do extra plates, bowls, glasses, and utensils add clutter, but they also contribute to laziness. Who needs to do the dishes if there’s clean china to be had? Abandon that way of thinking! Unless you entertain regularly (and depending on the size of your household), you really only need about six place settings.
Is there anything on this list you disagree with? What would you add to our list? Tell us in the comments below!