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Your Decluttering Checklist; An Action Plan from Todd Schnick

You have too much clutter. You know this. But you don’t know where to start. Here is a simple checklist to get you going. Print it, and then work through one each day. Go:

  1. Your medicine cabinet. A lot of it is out of date.
  2. The junk drawer. You probably have one in multiple rooms.
  3. The sock drawer.
  4. The collection of t-shirts. Your collection here is silly.
  5. Old credit card bills. You don’t need all those.
  6. Dress shirts. Discard the worn down ones.
  7. Pots. When did you last cook with that?
  8. Coffee mugs. Remove 75% of them.
  9. That box of extension cords.
  10. All those old mobile phones. And the endless pile of charging cords.
  11. Books. The ones you will never read (or read again).
  12. Pile of magazines. If you won’t read the current issue…
  13. Coat closet. Yeah. That.
  14. Cleaning supplies. I am willing to bet you have a near empty bottle of something in there.
  15. Tax files. You only need the last seven years.
  16. Old sheets and pillow cases. Do you really want your guests to sleep on those?
  17. Batteries. Some of those are years old.
  18. Light bulbs. Do you even have that lamp anymore?
  19. Wine cellar. Some of that white wine is no longer any good.
  20. Khaki slacks. You don’t need that many. You could open a Gap with all those.
  21. Blue jeans. You haven’t been that size in years.
  22. DVDs. Give me a break.
  23. Beach towels. Seriously…how often do you go to the beach?
  24. Emails. Emails. And emails.
  25. Digital files. Oh Lord, don’t get me started.
  26. Attic. Yeah, get rid of it all.
  27. Basement. Yeah, get rid of it all.
  28. Rented storage unit. Yeah, get rid of it all. Save some money.
  29. Garage. Necessary yard maintenance tools only. And cars. Don’t forget the garage is actually for cars.
  30. Exercise room. [spits up coffee].
  31. Tool box / Work bench. Do you even know what that tool does?
  32. Old computers. Yeah, it’s not really a security threat at this stage, since it was manufactured in 1992.
  33. Extension cords. Unless you need to connect to something a mile away, you can probably get rid of a few.
  34. Holiday decorations. Come on, your children are now in their 40s.
  35. Your email addresses. When was the last time you used THAT email address?
  36. Books on Kindle. Don’t forget to delete useless books that you will never read again. Free the servers!
  37. Gift/discount cards. You know, the stack in your desk…the ones that expired eighteen months ago.
  38. Paperclips. Honestly…will you ever use those?
  39. Coins. Why aren’t those in a bank earning interest?
  40. Old photos. Man oh man, those old photos in a box in the closet must really mean something to you!
  41. The furniture in storage. If you really wanted to use it, it wouldn’t be in storage.
  42. Appointments, including those “I want to pick your brain” meetings. Do you REALLY need to spend your limited time there?
  43. Glassware. You don’t have to keep that gift.
  44. Tupperware. Seriously?
  45. Dog toys. Some of those things are pretty skanky, despite what Fido says.
  46. Old Christmas cards from previous years. And birthday cards. And Easter cards. And…
  47. Neck ties.
  48. Writing pens. You don’t have to collect all of those, especially the ones you lift from your hotel room.
  49. Actual furniture. Do you really need that piece there? Does it serve a real purpose? Was it a gift you are too chicken to eliminate?
  50. Social media accounts and profiles. Honestly, do you really need to have a presence on all those platforms?
  51. Owner’s manuals. I am willing to bet you have a manual for a piece of equipment you no longer own.
  52. Receipts. The shoe box full of those is really valuable…

What do to with all of this stuff?

  1. Trash it.
  2. Donate it.
  3. Recycle it.
  4. Sell it.

I hope this initial list helps you begin the important process of removing physical, digital, and mental clutter.

This list will continue to evolve over time. You might want to check back every now and again to see what else you can declutter. And if you have additional ideas, please address them in the comments below!

Thanks and good luck!


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Header image from Shutterstock (PRILL).

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