Urban Road

8 things to declutter to start the new year right

We love homewares and beautiful things as much (if not more than!) the next person — but unnecessary objects can carry a weight, causing a feeling of anxiety or unease in our home.

There’s a big shift happening at the moment where the hype of super-cheap homewares, fast fashion and other high turn over items has died down and people are starting to shop with more consciousness ‘is this something I need or genuinely want’ or ‘is it beautiful’ are questions we should be asking ourselves before accumulating more — and also questions we should be asking ourselves of things we currently own.

Here are our top suggestions on the things to declutter at the start of this new year!

Related article: 5 mantras to get you in the mood to declutter
Related article: How to declutter your workspace and boost productivity

Old tech

Are you holding onto drawers full of old phones, chargers and cables that you’re not quite sure what they’re for, old music players or cameras, or any other old gadgets that are simply taking up space and collecting dust?

Sure, some of them might be, or become, collectors items but we’re guessing most of them aren’t treasured items and can be ditched.

Keep in mind that most batteries cannot be thrown in the rubbish, consider the environment and either donate or recycle them.

Luxurious wardrobe
Wardrobe by Kerrie and Spence via The Block

Clothes you haven’t worn in years

We’re sure we aren’t the only ones who are holding onto nice clothes because we might wear them one day… even if that day hasn’t been in years and we haven’t got any immediate plans to wear them!

There’s no point holding onto clothes that clearly you don’t love or don’t suit your body shape or lifestyle. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so why not donate them and free up the closet space for clothes you will actually wear.

There are also some great initiatives around that you might not know of and one of our favourites is ‘Dressed for success’ (it might be called something different in your state). Essentially, they help disadvantaged women reenter the workforce by offering them a free styling session where they walk away with a few business outfits to set them up for their job interview and first week of work. It’s easier to donate those nice clothes when you know it’s going to a great cause like this.

Old paperwork

Holding onto paperwork well beyond when you need to? It’s time to sit down and sort it out.

The type of tax records you need to keep and for how long depends on your personal circumstances and you can find info about that here. But you can keep these documents in electronic form. So why not do a little research about what old records you no longer have to keep and toss them, and for any that you do still need perhaps you could make electronic copies (and a backup copy!) so you can let go of that additional paperwork too.

Other types of old paperwork include instruction manuals for items you no longer have, old bills etc.

Remember to keep your personal information safe so be sure to properly destroy old paperwork that contains any personal information.

Office desk

Expired medication

No explanation required for this one — if you have medicine that’s past its expiry date, get rid of it.

Be sure to check your bathroom, kitchen ‘junk’ drawer, pantry and anywhere else you may keep medicine.

Dispose of these safely to protect the environment by taking them to designated collection sites.

Pantry items you don’t use or have expired

When was the last time you delcuttered your pantry? Most of us generally just add items each week with the grocery shop and never stop to search into the back corners of the pantry to see what’s there.

Most likely, you’ll find random foods you bought on a health kick that didn’t last and you’ll never use again, or expired foods… lots of expired foods.

Set aside some time or several smaller chunks of time to properly declutter your pantry. We’ve got all the tips on how to create a Pinterest-worthy pantry here.

Pinterest worthy pantry including things to declutter

Old magazines or catalogues

There are two types of people who hold onto old magazines — those who actually look back through them and those who store them in a cupboard or under the bed never to look at them again. If you fall into the latter group, let them go.

Old kids toys

It’s incredible just how quickly our children can accumulate toys, outmatched only by how quickly they can tire of them and move onto the next. It’s a recipe for major toy clutter.

At least annually, declutter your kids toys by sorting them into piles of ‘donate’, ‘sell’ or ‘throw away’ to reduce the load.

Things to declutter

Anything you’ve been meaning to donate

Perhaps you already have a few bags or boxes of items you’ve ‘decluttered’ but haven’t yet dropped off for donation. If these are gathering dust in your garage or are still in the boot of your car, simply drop them off at your nearest charity shop or at the collection bins found in most shopping centre car parks. Otherwise, you may want to hire a rubbish removalist like 1300 Rubbish who will take care of the items for you.

Are you decluttering your home at the moment? We’d love to hear what you’re doing!

Check out more organising ideas here

This article was published in January 2020 and continues to be updated with latest tips and images.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


Get the best of the blog to your inbox each week PLUS instant access to our free downloads!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Interior style quiz

    Shop our fave online stores

    Aura home
    Koala Eco

    As seen in

    Style Curator in the media



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here