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10 Ways to Declutter Your Home in 5 Minutes or Less

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If you’re like me, the Fall season can leave you feeling very short on time. With my kids back in school (on a funky, half-day COVID schedule), my growing business, and just LIFE, it sometimes feels like there’s no time left to declutter a cupboard or closet. 

If you feel me, you’re in for a treat today, because… 

I’m sharing 10 things you can declutter in your home in just 5 minutes or less!

You don’t need to dedicate hours of your life to get your home in order… start with a little 5 minute task and let the goodness grow! 

So with no further ado, let’s dig in…

1. OWNER’S MANUALS

Yes, I know, you’re hanging onto those 57 pages of English, French, and Spanish instructions for your TV because it makes you feel safe, but here’s the truth… you’re going to Google an issue before you bust out that manual, my friend. 

Nearly all owner’s manuals can be found online. True story: I once found the owner’s manual for my mom’s 1950’s pink wall oven online. This not only saved Thanksgiving, but also proved my point:

IT’S OKAY TO TOSS ALL YOUR OWNER’S MANUALS.

I make only one exception to this rule, in deference to my dad, a lifelong car mechanic: keep the owner’s manual to your car. In the glovebox. There you go, Dad. See? I do listen to your advice!

2. YOUR SOCK DRAWER

This is a great 5-minutes or less task. I encourage you to even set a timer to add drama. You know there are saggy, droopy, lonely and hole-ly socks in there that aren’t doing your feet any favors. How many can you toss in 5 minutes? You won’t know until you try… 

3. RECEIPTS

This is the one that gets us all nervous, right? We fear that the moment we toss that receipt, the IRS will come knocking our door asking us how much we spent at Target on April 12, 2018. 

The truth: the only thing the IRS cares about is your taxes. So if the receipt isn’t related to taxes or a really big ticket purchase, it’s okay to toss it. And if you’re really nervous about this, ask your accountant to recommend a records retention guide. (I mean, you probably shouldn’t be taking sole tax records advice from a girl who blogs about decluttering, just sayin’…)

4. FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS WITHOUT LIDS

Do I even need to explain this one? Didn’t think so. 

5. BOOKS YOU WON’T READ AGAIN

I’m a former English teacher so when I say I LOVE books, I’m not kidding. Books open doors to ideas and opportunities. Books have the power to literally change lives. 

And they can’t do any of that if they’re sitting unread on your shelf. 

Adopt this as your motto: NOT READING = NOT NEEDING

If you aren’t reading it and don’t plan to read it ever again, let it go so someone else can experience that book’s life-changing magic. 

6. OLD MAGAZINES

The NOT READING = NOT NEEDING motto applies here, too. If you’ve already read it, let it go. If it’s been sitting around for several months and you still haven’t read it, let it go. If you have multiple magazine subscriptions and not enough time to read them, cancel those subscriptions and let them all go.

And if you need your magazine fix, just arrive 60 minutes early to your next dentist appointment and enjoy the plethora of magazines they’ll surely have in their waiting room. 

7. RANDOM CORDS

You’re not alone if you have a drawer, box, or several grocery bags full of mystery cords. This is a common clutter source in the digital age. And the funny thing is, although we all have the cords and none of us use the cords, we’re all terrified to toss them. 

One of my favorite questions to ask clients is: “If all your technology works and you know how to charge it… why do you need those cords?” 

Ask yourself this. Be honest. And also realize that if you ever needed one of those cords you can probably buy it again online in a few clicks. 

8. MISCELLANEOUS HARDWARE

If you’re a handy person – or you’ve ever been in my dad’s garage – you may be familiar with the Cool Whip container of random screws, nuts, and bolts. Miscellaneous hardware is a common source of clutter and let me tell you… it’s probably not helping you finish any of those projects. In the time it takes to paw through the container and find the right screw, you could’ve popped down to your local hardware store and bought an entire box of them. Which is what I encourage you to do. 

Toss the miscellany and from now on, keep your hardware in the original packaging so you know what it is!

9. DUPLICATE KITCHEN UTENSILS

The kitchen is the mother lode of duplicate tools. How many ice cream scoopers, wooden spoons, and vegetable peelers do you need? I guarantee you have your favorites. So keep your faves and let the rest go. And cheers to easier cooking!

10. CDs, DVDs, and VHS TAPES 

I hate to break it to you and your box set of Billy Blanks 1990’s Tae-Bo videos (which yes, I used to own), but the Internet makes most of these guys obsolete. I don’t own any CDs or VHS tapes, but in full transparency, I do have a few DVDs that are special for holiday viewing. It’s okay to keep some. But if you have entire boxes or shelves of old media that you never, ever listen to or watch? It’s time to go, friends. 

I hope these 10 tips get you motivated to start decluttering in a simple, quick way this Fall! 

Want to download a free checklist of all 10 of my 5-minutes-or-less tips? Click below to hook yourself up!

To less stuff and more you!

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