Martha Stewart Living
By Taylor Combs
Do you ever look around your house and wonder: Where did all this stuff come from? We asked the organizing experts at Martha Stewart which items they see piling up in people's homes and the best ways to repurpose or remove them. Are you hoarding any of these? Click through for the 10 things you need to stop hoarding right this moment, and for our decluttering tips.
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1. Paper and Plastic Shopping Bags
After a celebrity-size shopping spree, bags can quickly pile up. Unless you know you'll use them, get rid of them.
Decluttering tip: Reuse paper bags to carry your lunch to work, or use plastic bags as mini trash-can liners. Recycle any excess totes before they pile up.
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It can be tempting to hang out to the decorative boxes that come with gift sets or as product packaging. But unless you really use it for storage or display, it's just a pretty chunk of cardboard taking up space.
Decluttering tip: Only save the truly beautiful boxes you know you'll use. Our experts cherish boxes from designer brands like Marc Jacobs, but other beautiful boxes can be repurposed as a vanity tray or accessories corral.
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We love to flip through the pages of a beautiful glossy as much as the next person, but they can quickly become a disorganized mess.
Decluttering tip: Our experts recommend taking a tip from inside the industry. Pull "swipe," ripping out the pages that feature things you like, and keep them organized in a three-ring binder outfitted with clear plastic sleeves. This is a great way to make your own personal cookbook of "must-try" recipes. Too much work? Just take a photo for your digital archive and toss the zine!
4. Beauty and Cleaning Products
Our experts have seen it a million times: The cabinet under the sink opens to reveal a mishmash of cleaning products, and the medicine cabinet hides a sticky, half-used lip gloss.
Decluttering tip: Resolve to empty a product before buying a replacement. Do you hoard products like a beauty blogger? Try giving away your unused, or even slightly used, beauty swag to a friend or family member. Trust us, every woman loves free beauty loot.
Coffee mugs and teacups seem like sensible souvenirs ("I'll use it every morning," we think) or fun novelty gifts, but it's easy to amass a set capable of serving cocoa for 50.
Decluttering tip: Buy one nice matching set and save the vacation memories for the Facebook album.
Closets and drawers are a black hole of clutter.
Decluttering tip: If you haven't worn it in seven years, it's wasting space. That size 4 you haven't fit into since the '90s is a pipe dream. Get rid of it.
7. Jewelry and Accessories
Somehow, every time we walk into the mall, we walk out looking like we stumbled into the accessories rack at Forever 21 and didn't entirely untangle ourselves.
Decluttering tip: Go through your stash regularly and toss trendy pieces that are no longer in style. Be ruthless and focus on curating a classic collection.
8. Kids' Toys, Books, and Games
If the toy box has become more like a toy room, take some time to clean things out and donated unused items to those in need. It's a great opportunity to teach your children about being charitable.
Decluttering tip: Keep the absolute favorites for posterity. Ask yourself: Will my child have memories of playing with this in 15 years? 30?
In many homes, there's a box of unlabeled wires and old remote controls that's starting to resemble Medusa on a bad hair day. Tackle the beast whenever you update to new technology.
Decluttering tip: Many electronics can be recycled, and donation centers will gladly take the mess off your hands.
10. CDs and DVDs
By now, most of the music is on your computer anyway. CD cases and DVD cases both take up enormous amounts of space. Do you really want a DVD rack as a living-room accent?
Decluttering tip: Save space without sacrificing ease of use by storing CDs and DVDs in a binder with clear sleeves.
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