Decluttering Minis: 250+ small things you wouldn’t miss if you got rid of them

The main issue with decluttering is that we think that we have to tackle the big things in our house first. While it’s still one step to get rid of things that we no longer want in our house, it’s still counterproductive. Think about it, you declutter big items today, then lo and behold, you’re overwhelmed with clutter a week later. This is because we tend to take what small clutter can do to our house for granted. Things that are in plain sight but you never really pay attention to, extra items that you have in your drawer that you just don’t care for since “it doesn’t take up much space”. Small things cluttering up your home is like an army of ants, one ant might seem small, but when they team up, boy, are you in for a world of pain!

So here’s what you need to do, gather up small items that are unwanted, beyond repair, out of date, outgrown, or ultimately unnecessary – and you’ll be surprised with how much your house is transformed! You don’t necessarily need to throw these things out. Ones that are not expired or unmendable can be donated or re-homed. Impulse buys that are totally new and unopened can be gifted or sold online. Check for items on the list below and put them in bins so you don’t accidentally throw away items that are still good for donation, re-homing, selling or giving away as gifts. What do you know, maybe you’ll get to cut back on Christmas shopping before December arrives!


  • Old receipts
  • Old planners
  • Expired credit cards
  • Expired membership cards
  • Expired discount cards
  • Expired vouchers
  • Store reward cards you don’t use
  • Unknown keys
  • Keys for old locks


  • Dried up nail polish
  • Nail polish you haven’t worn in 2 years
  • If you have a lot of nail polish, test them out and donate those that are very similar in color, or ones that you know you will never wear.
  • Foundation bottles you’ve been trying to get last bit out of for past couple of months. If you’re keeping one of them because it’s discontinued but is a good shade match, transfer the contents in a small 3 ml or 5 ml container. That should be enough for using it as reference.
  • Multiple half used emery boards that are older than your cat
  • Lipstick you never wore because it’s too light for you but looked good on the ad – I’m looking at you MAC Salmon and Saint Germain!
  • Multiple hairbrushes
  • Multiple tweezers
  • Perfume bottles you’ve had open for over 5 years. Yes, perfume goes bad. Especially when you store them where they get direct sunlight or in a warm and humid place. You’re welcome for that bonus tip, by the way!
  • Perfume that you know you will never wear. Say, someone gifted you with perfume that’s just has too much floral notes for your liking – ditch it.
  • Dried up mascara. You’re actually supposed to open a new tube every few months, so I don’t know why you still have that.

Makeup samples you’ve been meaning to try out but never did
Foundation or concealers that just not the right shade for you. Don’t stow them away and wait for them to go bad before getting rid of them. Give them away to friends and family who you know will be able to use them or donate them to a women’s shelter near you.
Makeup brushes you never even used.
Old makeup sponges. You don’t want acne now, do you?
Old eye shadow you’ve been keeping since college
Blusher or bronzer that turned out to be patchy or too glittery for your liking
Brow products that are too reddish or are just not the right shade
Tubes and pots of lip balm that don’t really do anything for your lips


  • Old bus, train and plane tickets
  • Old movie tickets
  • Old theater tickets
  • Extra photo prints
  • Junk mail
  • Old birthday cards that are of no sentimental value to you
  • Old calendars
  • Old diaries
  • Magazines. While we’re at it, cancel subscriptions to those that you don’t really read.
  • Newspapers
  • Finished notebooks
  • Out of date letters
  • Take out menus – maybe keep some that you order from on the regular
  • Product warranty for stuff you no longer have
  • Electronics manuals – you can get them online
  • Furniture manuals
  • Paper bags
  • Expired contracts
  • Old party and wedding invitations
  • Save the date cards
  • Parcel collect cards
  • Flyers
  • Old lottery tickets


  • Cookbooks that you never use – you can get tons of recipes online now anyway
  • Old guide books
  • Books you never finished or are just not good reads
  • Worn out books
  • Out-of-date reference books
  • Books for hobbies you no longer follow
  • Finished activity books
  • Telephone directories
  • Old brochures
  • Old catalogues


  • Gloves missing their pair
  • Gloves with holes in
  • T-Shirts with holes from moths or ants
  • Torn jeans that are beyond repair
  • Promo shirts that you won’t ever wear even around the house
  • Tacky promo caps
  • Bags that are beyond repair
  • Caps and hats that you no longer wear
  • Old prescription glasses
  • Scratched sunglasses
  • Sunglasses that you no longer wear
  • Broken umbrellas
  • Badly stained clothes
  • Leggings that have lost elasticity
  • Sports bras that have lost elasticity
  • Hair elastics that have lost stretchiness
  • Waterproof clothing items that are no longer waterproof
  • Hand me downs you never really wanted
  • Other clothing items that are beyond repair
  • Extra buttons
  • Broken belts
  • Threadbare sweaters, ponchos and mittens


  • Socks missing their pair
  • Socks with holes in them
  • Socks that have lost elasticity
  • Hosiery with runs in them
  • Bras with the underwire poking through
  • Underpants you would not wear on a bad day
  • Used and abused underpants – let them go!
  • Old worn out pajamas


  • Shoes that are beyond repair
  • Shoes that not longer fit or never did fit comfortably
  • Sneakers/trainers with holes in
  • Multiple flip flops
  • Odd shoes
  • Snapped shoes laces


  • Foot and body scrubs that you never use
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Expired medicines
  • Expired vitamins and other supplements
  • Soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner you never use
  • Body lotions you’ve had opened for who knows how long but never use
  • Old bath lillies and bath sponges
  • Mouldy bath toys
  • Hand creams you just hate the smell of
  • Worn out or stained towels
  • Aftershave you’ve had open for more than 2 years
  • Bubble bath, bath salts and essential oils you’ve had open for more than a year but never use. Yes, they go bad too.
  • Broken or rusty hair clips
  • Dull razors and razor blades
  • Old sunscreen products
  • Old bath mats
  • Near empty bath products
  • Skincare samples you’ve been meaning to try out but never did
  • Skincare products that irritated your skin one way or another
  • Skincare items that you’ve been using but doesn’t really do what they claim to do.


  • Forgotten cleaning products under the sink – we all have them
  • Vacuum cleaner fittings that don’t fit your vacuum cleaner
  • Old room and linen sprays
  • Old mops
  • Old or dried up shoe polish

10. FOOD

  • Expired food packets & canned goods
  • Expired spices
  • Expired or almost-empty condiments
  • Expired flour and baking ingredients
  • Expired sweets and chocolates
  • Expired junk food at the back of your cupboard
  • Old cooking oil
  • Food items in your freezer that you know you will never eat
  • Expired teas and old coffee

11. KIDS

  • Kids artwork and crafts. Take photos of them if you’re finding it hard to let go of them.
  • Old school work
  • Old school letters and forms
  • Outgrown clothes and shoes
  • Outgrown rain gear
  • Outgrown school shoes and uniforms


  • Electronic toys that don’t work even with new batteries
  • Board games with missing pieces
  • Finished colouring books
  • Finished sticker books
  • Finished activity books
  • Video games for consoles that don’t work
  • Game consoles that are beyond repair
  • Old party balloons
  • Mouldy soft toys
  • Dirty rubber or silicone toys that are beyond the toughest scrubbing action
  • Broken sports rackets
  • Balls with puncture holes
  • Inflatables with unmendable holes


  • Broken kitchen tools
  • Cracked crockery
  • Food mixer fittings for food mixers you no longer own
  • Extra match boxes and lighters
  • Old aprons
  • Multiple corkscrews
  • Multiple can openers
  • Multiple peelers
  • Rusty cutlery
  • Pan lids that don’t fit any of your cookware
  • Pans with missing handles
  • Saucers with missing cups
  • Chipped coffee mugs
  • Empty jars you are never going to use
  • Cracked mixing bowls
  • Cracked glasses
  • Can openers that no longer work
  • Specialty kitchen tools that you never use
  • Old chopsticks from takeouts
  • Water bottles with missing caps
  • Rusty sieves
  • Damaged non-stick cookware


  • Finished glue sticks
  • Run out markers or pens
  • Leaking pens
  • Bits of wrapping paper
  • Broken staplers
  • Broken hole punchers
  • Rusty pencil sharpeners
  • Broken crayons
  • Stickers that no longer stick to anything
  • Old bubble wrap
  • Old used envelopes
  • Broken ring binders
  • Worn out document boxes
  • Old rubber bands


  • Dead batteries
  • Broken watches
  • Busted light bulbs
  • Camera fittings for cameras you no longer own
  • Broken flashlights
  • Old broken cameras
  • Old mobile phones
  • Record and video tapes and vinyl you can no longer play
  • Old phone chargers
  • Data cables that no longer work
  • Earphones that no longer work
  • Scratched DVDs and CDs
  • CDs you never listen to
  • Old cables for broken electronics
  • Old cables for electronics you no longer have
  • Cracked phone cases
  • Phone cases that you no longer use
  • Old software CDs


  • Bed linen with tears you cannot mend
  • Threadbare blankets and throws
  • Duvet covers that don’t fit any duvet that you own
  • Hair dryer fittings for hair dryers you no longer own
  • Pillow cases that don’t fit any pillows that you own
  • Bedsheets and pillow cases with tough stains that can no longer be removed
  • Bedsheets and pillow cases you no longer use
  • Old candles that you haven’t lit in years
  • Old shoe boxes
  • Old jewelry boxes
  • Broken alarm clocks
  • Old, dirty pillows and duvets that are beyond any special cleaning
  • Broken hangers in your closet


  • Broken Christmas lights
  • Broken Christmas baubles and other Christmas decor

Getting a few of these items out of your home little by little each day makes a lot of difference. You’ll find that what will be left in your home are those that really matter and those that are really useful to your everyday life.

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