One of the best ways to explore becoming minimalist is to first purge the obvious excess and see how you feel.
This post was first written in 2014 as 20+ Things You Can Get Rid of Without Even Missing, and in 2016 was expanded to 40+ things and separated into 4 different sections for better readability. It continues to serve as the main post that ties the others together.
It can be daunting to think of trying to go through all your stuff to figure out what you really need, but it’s a lot easier to start with what you really don’t need.
I don’t know if we all just acquire a bunch of extra stuff when we get married or if we buy things we like better over the years and never bother to get rid of the old stuff or what, but I’m willing to bet you have a bunch of duplicates in your life.
Here’s a cheat list of some of the most common duplicates and random things you rarely use that you can get rid of without even missing:
BONUS: Download your Quick-Start Decluttering Cheat Sheet below.
Get Rid of Old Equipment
What do you do with your old cell phone when you upgrade?
Maybe you even have an old landline phone laying around!
Then what about walkman, discman, etc. etc…
Old cords, headphones that don’t work anymore…
Since we paid more for some of these things and sometimes have fond memories of them, we often end up just chucking them in a drawer, cupboard, or box somewhere instead of freeing them to move on to a better place.
Sometimes the problem is that we just don’t know what to do with them, so it takes intention to make something happen.
Aside from the usual garage sale, secondhand store, Craigslist, Facebook groups, etc., there’s also the Amazon Trade-In program, which is definitely worth checking out.
Get Rid of Big/Heavy Laundry Detergent
Get Rid of Measuring Cups & Spoons
Most people I know have more than two sets of both of these things in addition to several of those multi-cup Pyrex thingies (which is all we use).
I will admit that I’m not a baker, but I also really hate extra dirty dishes, so even when I do have to use measuring spoons or cups I make sure to do it in a way that I can just use the same ones.
Get Rid of Lingerie
Not to create any enemies among husbands here, but I’m guessing a good 90-100% of wives reading this have lingerie they don’t use.
You probably got a stash when you got married that spent more time on the floor than your body, but is by now likely feeling dejected in the back of a drawer.
Between weight fluctuations with having kids, and the busyness of life, and not being able to wear it around the house because of said kids, most of those clothing items have probably passed their prime.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying never look sexy again.
I’m saying, maybe keep one or two special things, especially if they actually fit, but get rid of what you don’t use. (I took pictures of mine so I could look back someday and say oh yeah, teehee.)
Get something new! That you actually feel good in! And schedule in regular-ish time to actually wear it!
(See, husbands, I’m on your side here.)
Now, I know it can still be hard to get rid of perfectly good things, even when we recognize that we don’t really need or use them.
In some cases it’s easy to feel like you’re giving up a memory, or you might be nervous about what you’ll do if you decide you “need” it after all.
For more tips about these issues, check out How to Deal with Sentimental Clutter Without Losing the Memories and The Question that Makes it Easier to Get Rid of Stuff.
Don’t forget you can take stuff to a consignment store or sell it on Craigslist or Ebay so you can get money back and reward yourself for good decisions.
Goodwill, the Savation Army, and your local thrift store would also be very happy to take your excess, or you could bless someone personally at your church or in your community. It’s going to be doing them more good than it has been taking up space and collecting dust in your house, and you’re going to love the extra space!
In case you skimmed, here’s quick access to each of the 4 sections:
Ready to start kicking some clutter butt?
Want to explore more of what it means to be minimalist and the resulting space and freedom it creates in your life? Let’s take simple living from something you wish for to something you actually do!