If you need to declutter fast here is a list of the top 10 types of no brainer items you should make sure leave your home as soon as possible.
Now, before we begin, please understand there are almost always exceptions to every one of these rules.
If, for example, you can make a compelling case for keeping an item then do so. However, a compelling reason is not because you're undecided, or that you have an emotional reason for keeping it, such as the ones which I've identified as emotions that chain you to clutter.
Instead, be honest with yourself, and if it fits one of the criteria below, in most instances, you can declutter fast by getting it out of your home today.
Clearly, garbage and trash should not be in your home a moment longer. Get them out now. This one is really non-negotiable, and I can't think of any compelling reason to keep trash in your home.
You can recycle these items though! You don't have to add it to the landfill if it is recyclable.
Be careful if you think you can re-purpose such items. This often involves crafting, and if you have to create a new plan or goal to try to think of a way to use it -- don't. You've most likely got too much to do around your home as it is, and won't ever get around to it.
If an item is broken, missing a part, stained or otherwise damaged you should seriously consider getting rid of it.
This is especially true if you've let the broken item sit around for more than six months, or you are unwilling or would find it unecessary to spend the money to replace the item. This means you really don't need the object anyway (even if it was repaired), so you might as well get rid of it.
(You can read the Declutter 365 mission article on decluttering broken objects here.)
Once you begin decluttering your home you'll often find duplicates of several items that you added when you couldn't find one of the things in the clutter and had to get another one.
Now that you're decluttering and designating homes for all your objects these duplicates will begin to emerge. Most of the time it is unnecessary to keep both, so keep the better one and get rid of the other.
There are a few legitimate reasons to keep extras of an item, but seriously consider why you want more than one before keeping them both. Hint: If your main reason to keep it is in case the other one breaks, that's not good enough. Toss (or donate) the second version.
If you see an item you know you haven't used in your home for a year, and its function is to be used, go ahead and declutter it, fast.
Such items aren't helping you in any way, but instead are just taking up valuable space which could be put to better use.
If you've got a decorative item that you no longer love (or got as a gift and never loved), this is a classic example of clutter.
Let go of your guilt about getting rid of it, and donate it (or sell it) so someone that does love it can enjoy it.
Think about it, even if just on an unconscious level, every time you look at this decorative object it makes you unhappy. Release the negativity from your home!
Sometimes an item is initially saved, not for practical uses or for decorative uses, but because you may need it for legal or financial reasons.
However, with time many of these reasons for keeping something go away. It may be past the mandatory period for saving it according to law, or you don't even have a certain financial account anymore.
When you have items that you aren't required to keep for such reasons anymore, go ahead and tell them bye bye. (Be sure to use a shredder if necessary to protect yourself from identity theft!)
If you've got clothes that don't fit, even if they are perfectly lovely, this is the type of item to declutter fast.
It can be hard enough to find room in your home for one set of clothing. Don't make it harder on yourself trying to keep wardrobes of three different sizes at all times.
Similarly, if you don't actually feel comfortable in something, even if it fits, get rid of it.
Practially, you will avoid that outfit and always choose something else, effectively allowing it to just take up room in your closet or drawer without benefiting you in any way.
If you don't have room to store an item somewhere in your home, seriously consider getting rid of it.
There are very few reasons where I ever recommend outside storage that you have to pay for, typically on a monthly basis.
If you have to store it outside your home you won't use it very often, if at all, so why pay money for the privilege of not using it?
Everything in your home must be cleaned and dusted on a regular basis. Plus, many items require additional upkeep.
If an item is not worth your time to care for in this way, get rid of it!
An added incentive is that when you do declutter your home it will thereafter take A LOT less time to keep it clean and maintain its organization. That is because you're not spending time taking care of stuff you don't actually want!
Now that you know the top 10 types of items you can declutter fast, look around your house and get started! Good luck!
The practical part of this series is really getting going now, now that we have both the mechanics down of how to declutter, and know what items we should get rid of quickly from our homes.
Next week we'll keep discussing this topic by sharing strategies for clearing clutter, when you don't know where to start.
Top photo, and photo collage courtesy of two readers, with top photo from Angela and bottom photo from Nikki
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!