The Essential Decluttering Checklist – 195 Items to Get Rid Of!

table that is full of clutter

In the whirlwind of motherhood, finding balance between the chaos of daily tasks and maintaining a tidy home can feel like a never-ending juggling act.

As moms we wear many hats – from caregiver to referee – and our homes often bear witness to the joyful mess of family life. Are you looking for a more organized and stress-free home? A decluttering checklist can help you achieve that. Decluttering is not a fun activity for most. It’s a task I usually push further and further down on my to-do list. However, decluttering can be a form of self-care for busy moms.

Clutter can definitely give you anxiety. When we have clutter around such as projects from my daughters on the kitchen table, mail to be sorted, deliveries that need to be put away, I can’t relax. I see the clutter, and know that it’s something that needs to be taken care of, but it just feels like too big of a job. The goal is to have a place for everything, but sometimes I don’t know where something will go, so I just delay putting it away. When we do go through an exercise of decluttering and everything has a place, I feel so much more at peace in my home.

A decluttering checklist can make the decluttering exercise less overwhelming. In this blog post, I’ll share tips to get you started with decluttering and I’ll also share a decluttering checklist of 195 items to keep you on track.

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pin for the most epic decluttering checklist, free printable!

Tips for getting started with decluttering

It can feel very overwhelming to see clutter around and not know where to start. Here are some tips to help you begin decluttering.

1. Use a decluttering checklist.

Using a decluttering checklist will help keep you organized and focused. Checking items off a list also has many mental benefits. You feel productive, which makes you feel good about yourself. Making progress on your list motivates you to continue. You can download my free decluttering checklist below!

2. Start with short periods of time.

Getting started is the hardest part of any task you don’t feel like doing. If decluttering doesn’t sound fun to you, I recommend starting with short periods of time. Spending 15 minutes on decluttering is better than nothing! You may end up surprising yourself and blow past your planned time. Recently, I told myself I’d spend 15 minutes decluttering one of my bedroom drawers. I got into the zone and ended up decluttering all my drawers.

3. Start with a room that stresses you out the most.

As you review the decluttering checklist, you can start decluttering the room that stresses you out the most. For me, it’s our family room. That’s where my desk is set up and where we spend the most time relaxing and watching TV. When our living room is cluttered, I see the clutter whenever I’m there (which is a lot!) which makes me feel so anxious and unable to relax.

4. Start with a room that would make your life easier.

You could also start with the room that would make your life easier. For me, that’s the kitchen. When our kitchen table is full of my daughters’ school papers or mail that needs to be sorted, we can’t sit at the table for a meal. When our kitchen island is cluttered with a bunch of groceries that need to be put away, I feel stressed cooking a meal. Having a clutter-free kitchen would definitely make my life a lot easier!

5. Start with your favorite room.

You could also start with your favorite room. Your favorite room is likely the place you spend the most time in, so if it’s clutter-free, you’ll feel happier. My favorite room is our finished basement, so I want it to look neat for when we host guests or just want to relax.

6. Try not to jump around between different rooms.

I recommend tackling one room at a time. You’ll have a sense of accomplishment when you finish decluttering a room. There are many days when I feel like I did so much but not much at all. Those are days when I’m bouncing around between different tasks but don’t actually finish anything.

7. Purchase products to help you get organized.

You can purchase products to help keep you organized. My sock drawer had always been a mess. I’d get rid of old socks, but whenever I’d go into the drawer I’d have trouble finding a matching pair. Now I have a sock organizer, and I love it! Some other good items to help keep you organized are shoe racks and closet organizers.

8. Ask yourself questions as you declutter.

As you declutter, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this still fit?
  • Will I wear this again?
  • Is this broken?
  • Do we have all the pieces?
  • Do I have more than I need of this item?
  • Have we used this in the last 6 months?
  • Do I actually like this?
  • Would I buy this today if I didn’t have it already?

9. Sort as you go.

Sort your items as you go to be more efficient. You don’t want to do all this decluttering and then have to go through the items again to sort them. As you’re decluttering, put the items in different piles such as donate, sell, give away, recycle, and throw out. Also, have a plan for where everything will go. You don’t want to do all this work and then have garbage bags taking up space in your house or car.

10. Motivate yourself.

Get motivated and excited! Read some decluttering quotes, watch videos about decluttering, set up a playlist to listen to while you’re decluttering, and come up with a reward for yourself once you are done.

decluttering checklist

Room-by-room Decluttering Checklist

So now that you’re ready and motivated, take a look at my decluttering checklist of 195 items!

Living Room/Family Room Decluttering Checklist

  1. Old magazines
  2. Old newspapers
  3. Unwanted or duplicate books
  4. DVDs/CDs that you no longer use
  5. Excess throw pillows
  6. Vases that you don’t use
  7. Old remote controls
  8. Outdated or excess cables
  9. Excess throw blankets
  10. Excess coasters
  11. Wall art you don’t love
  12. Broken or chipped decor items
  13. Excessive candles
  14. Outdated curtains
  15. Old or mismatched picture frames
  16. Outdated rugs or carpets
  17. Excess knick-knacks
  18. Broken or damaged furniture
  19. Furniture that doesn’t fit in the room well
  20. Uncomfortable or unused chairs
  21. Outdated or worn-out furniture
  22. Excess furniture
  23. Furniture with missing parts
  24. Furniture accessories not needed
  25. Furniture without a purpose

Kitchen Decluttering Checklist

  1. Utensils you don’t use
  2. Duplicate kitchen gadgets
  3. Expired spices
  4. Old cookbooks
  5. Mismatched or chipped dishes
  6. Appliances you don’t use
  7. Broken or unused mugs
  8. Excess kitchen towels
  9. Old and stained dish towels
  10. Fridge cleanup – take everything out, toss expired food, wipe all shelves
  11. Excess glassware
  12. Sauce packets and take-out items
  13. Extra serving platters
  14. Extra pots and pans
  15. Cleaning sponges

Pantry Decluttering Checklist

  1. Expired canned goods
  2. Outdated baking ingredients
  3. Stale snacks
  4. Unwanted condiments
  5. Empty or nearly empty boxes
  6. Duplicates of non-perishable items
  7. Excess plastic bags
  8. Old or excess lunch containers
  9. Excess food storage containers
  10. Unnecessary bulk items

Entry Area & Coat Closet Decluttering Checklist

  1. Outgrown coats
  2. Excess scarves/hats/gloves
  3. Outgrown or unused boots
  4. Extra keys
  5. Broken or unused umbrellas

Linen Closet Decluttering Checklist

  1. Torn towels and sheets
  2. Rags
  3. Excess appliances like irons
  4. Extra comforters
  5. Worn out pillows
  6. Expired cleaning products
  7. Duplicate cleaning tools
  8. Broken brooms or mops
  9. Excess stain removers
  10. Extra air fresheners

Home Office Decluttering Checklist

  1. Old bills and receipts
  2. Old technology (ie. phones, cables)
  3. Excess notebooks or planners
  4. Broken office supplies
  5. Duplicate office supplies
  6. Old calendars
  7. Promotional items you won’t use
  8. Outdated software
  9. Excess pens and pencils
  10. Excess file folders
  11. Broken headphones
  12. Cameras that are broken/unused
  13. Old computer accessories
  14. Broken speakers
  15. Outdated power strips
  16. Expired coupons
  17. Duplicate manuals
  18. Outdated warranties
  19. Catalogs
  20. Tax documents no longer needed
  21. Outdated business cards
  22. Expired batteries
  23. Stationary that is not needed
  24. Excess pads of paper and envelopes
  25. Excess USB drives (delete content)
closet that needs decluttering

Bedroom Decluttering Checklist

  1. Clothes that no longer fit
  2. Worn-out or stained clothing
  3. Single socks without a match
  4. Accessories that you don’t use
  5. Out-of-style clothing
  6. Old or uncomfortable shoes
  7. Jewelry that is no longer wanted
  8. Old or damaged mattresses
  9. Old school supplies
  10. Baby items that aren’t needed
  11. Excess school papers
  12. Paper clutter on surfaces
  13. Random items under the bed or on surfaces
  14. Loose change (find a place)
  15. Books lying around

Bedroom Closet Decluttering Checklist

  1. Extra hangers
  2. Out-of-season clothing
  3. Rarely worn clothing
  4. Clothing with the tags still on
  5. Formal items you won’t wear again
  6. Excess handbags/purses
  7. Uncomfortable shoes
  8. Sentimental items you don’t want
  9. Costumes you no longer want
  10. Outgrown kids’ clothing

Bathroom Decluttering Checklist

  1. Expired medications
  2. Expired vitamins
  3. Excess toiletries
  4. Old or worn-out towels
  5. Empty or near-empty bottles
  6. Broken or unused hair tools
  7. Expired makeup
  8. Excess skincare products
  9. Extra toothbrushes
  10. Expired sunscreen
  11. Excess bath products
  12. First aid/medical supplies not used
  13. Broken thermometers
  14. Outdated prescription glasses
  15. Excess contact lens cases

Playroom Decluttering Checklist

  1. Outdated gaming consoles
  2. Broken/duplicate toys and puzzles
  3. Board games no longer used
  4. Outgrown toys and books
  5. Play dough that has dried out
  6. Outgrown dress-up costumes
  7. Games or puzzles missing pieces
  8. Used up coloring/activity books
  9. Markers that have dried out
  10. Excess stuffed animals

Garage/Shed Decluttering Checklist

  1. Broken or excess tools
  2. Duplicate car accessories
  3. Expired/excess car cleaning supplies
  4. Outgrown sports equipment
  5. Empty boxes
  6. Old paint cans
  7. Excess gardening supplies
  8. Duplicate extension cords
  9. Excess camping gear
  10. Outdated manuals and instructions
  11. Old maps and navigation tools
  12. Broken or excess car chargers
  13. Expired air fresheners
  14. Old car registration documents
  15. Excess outdoor furniture/decor
  16. Outdoor toys that are no longer used
  17. Old or broken outdoor lights
  18. Expired pesticides
  19. Excess bird feeders
  20. Broken or excess hoses

Basement/Attic Decluttering Checklist

  1. Excess craft supplies
  2. Unfinished projects
  3. Duplicate craft tools
  4. Old glue
  5. Outdated paint or art supplies
  6. Excess fabric scraps
  7. Extra knitting/crocheting supplies
  8. Duplicate patterns
  9. Excess sketchbooks
  10. Books you won’t read again
  11. Outdated reference books
  12. Damaged books
  13. Outdated travel guides
  14. Excess pet toys
  15. Expired pet medication and treats
  16. Broken or excess pet accessories
  17. Outgrown pet collars
  18. Excess pet grooming tools
  19. Empty pet food containers
  20. Old pet bedding
  21. Excess pet clothing
  22. Duplicate pet dishes
  23. Damaged holiday decorations
  24. Outdated or broken holiday lights
  25. Ornaments no longer wanted
  26. Excess wrapping paper
  27. Excess gift bags
  28. Old or worn-out stockings
  29. Duplicate greeting cards
  30. Excess party decorations
  31. Outdated collectibles
  32. Unused musical instruments
  33. Excess sports memorabilia
  34. Old or broken luggage
  35. Excess kids’ artwork and crafts (I know this one is hard!)
organized kitchen after using decluttering checklist

Bring order and serenity into your busy mom life with some decluttering!

195 items may seem overwhelming, but start small. Like I said earlier, choose a room that either stresses you out the most, would make your life easier if it was clutter-free, or is your favorite place to spend time in. The goal is to make you less anxious and able to relax. Start with small blocks of time – 15 minutes or so, and go from there. Be proud of what you accomplish, I’m proud of you!

You can download my decluttering checklist for free! I hope you find it helpful, and that it makes you feel more at peace.

the essential decluttering checklist, 195 amazing ideas, images of checklist

Here’s to a decluttered and joyful life – one that leaves room for the moments that matter most.

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