Once you start working on your cluttered home, you will find that a large portion of the clutter is things that need to be thrown away. Pieces of paper with old grocery lists, wrappers and packaging, broken items and things that cannot be used all need to be tossed in the garbage.

Bring a large garbage bag into the area you are addressing. In rooms where the floor is covered with things like children’s rooms or playrooms, sweep everything into a big pile in the middle of the room so you can see and get to everything. Go through the pile and pull out anything that is garbage and put it in the garbage bag.

How To Know What Goes In The Trash

In bathrooms, throw away expired medication, makeup and skincare products, used cotton balls and cotton swabs, empty shampoo, conditioner and body wash containers and empty toilet rolls.

In bedrooms, you can toss empty tissue boxes, chargers that no longer work, magazines that you have finished reading and clothing that is stained, has holes or is intimate wear.

In entryways and foyers, get rid of accumulated junk mail.

In the kitchen, go through your refrigerator, freezer and pantry and throw away food that has expired, rotted or has been used up including any packaging. Most families have a “junk drawer” that has dried up pens, miscellaneous restaurant menus and other items that can safely be thrown away. You can also go through your pots, pans and containers and throw away or recycle any that are broken or missing a top.

In the living room or family room, throw away any old magazines or mail and any broken toys.

While a lot of your belongings might be destined for the trash, you don’t need to throw away everything you no longer need.

Consider these additional tips:

  • Take advantage of storage spaces in your home, especially when you have a small home. Underbed storage, the foot of the bed, above the doors, under the stairs, below the coffee table, the windowsill…all of these spaces can be used in different ways to store things you want to keep.
  • Use clear storage bins. This way, you can keep track of what you put in them and store them correctly. Labels can also be helpful.
  • Make an inventory. By creating an inventory you can choose what you want to keep and toss or donate. It’s more efficient and can help you organize.

Next, let’s tackle how to determine what trash can be another person’s treasure.