1. Clothes chaos

Not only is your wardrobe full but you have spare suitcases stuffed with seasonal clothes, or incentive pieces from years back that you’re determined to slim your way into. Chances are if you do hit your goal weight, you’ll use it as an excuse to go out and buy some new clothes.

It’s time to sift it and declutter it; either to charity shops or cash for clothing outlets. Then enjoy all that space in the wardrobe or under the bed.

If you really can’t say goodbye to all of those excess clothes, find out how to add a dressing room to your home and organise your wardrobe.

2. Bag bonanza

Are your drawers stuffed with plastic bags? As soon as the 5p price was whacked on they became a precious commodity. You can’t throw them away because they’re worth something now, and it’s wasteful, right? But you keep forgetting them and end up buying more.

Leave some permanently in your car or at the bottom of your bag for when you are out shopping, then see if you can recycle the rest. Check whether your local council will take them away — if not, some supermarkets will recycle them.

decluttering-plastic-bags

3. Magazine mountain

Got a teetering pile of glossies from that magazine subscription you were given? It’s not the Encyclopedia Britannica; you don’t have to keep the collection. Say goodbye to these shiny distractions, yes, even declutter your copies of Real Homes (there’ll be another edition next month!). Seek places online that might be grateful of some fresh(ish) reading material.

decluttering-piles-of-magazines

4. Tourist tat

A well chosen objet d’art can help to give your home a worldly look and you a well-travelled aura, But not those holiday mementos – aka tat – you bought under the influence of heat and alcohol.

The souvenir cocktail glasses; the gadgets in the shape of genitalia; anything plastic or ceramic bearing the name of the place you’ve visited. The same goes for the prizes you got in holiday resort competitions as a kid. Give up the dream, you are not the talent that Britain or Simon Cowell is looking for.

decluttering-venice-towers-and-globes

5 Garbage gifts

Are your bathroom and bedroom shelves laden with presents that you looked at and thought ‘does this person really know me or was this the freebie out of a 3-for-2 offer?’ Time to regift or donate.

The same goes for those unidentifiable objects painstakingly handmade by your infant relatives in their arts and crafts classes. They’re old enough to start university now. Move on.

decluttering-unwanted-christmas-gifts

6. School’s out

Still hanging onto all your old schoolbooks? They may have been the best years of your life, but how often have have you taken them down from the loft or out of their dusty boxes and re-read your 13-year-old scrawl? Nostalgia’s all very well, but these only serve to remind you of how much you once knew and have now forgotten.

decluttering-old-schoolbooks

7. Tower of tapes

Back in the 1980s there was an advert for Scotch video tape where a skeleton was still happily using his tapes in 2021 because he could ‘re-record, not fade away’. Turns out it wasn’t the tape quality but video recording itself that faded away. For personal tapes, get them saved to your computer. For old programmes, they are probably being re-run somewhere on TV if you search hard enough.

8. Hanging offence

Coat hangers don’t mysteriously multiply when you close your wardrobe doors. You put them in there when you shove in your dry cleaning or bring them back with new outfits. Just say no at the till, and take the others back to dry cleaners. You’ll need fewer hangers anyway, once you’ve streamlined your clothes.

cluttered wardrobe of coat hangers

9. Waste paper

Have you ever broken out an old, part-used roll of wallpaper in case of a patching emergency? If it’s been up in the loft or at the back of a cupboard for years, you’re more likely to redecorate than you are to use this. Give it to the kids to paint on instead.

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