Yesterday was the first official day of summer. One of the things I love doing at the start of every season is a little decluttering. I find it gives me a fresh start. But the question I always run into is: what to declutter? I don’t necessarily want to do a whole house declutter, but I want to do enough that I make a dent.
Since I love lists, it only made sense to make a list of what to declutter for the season. And I wanted to share the list with you in case you were inspired to join me.
What to declutter this summer?
Start with these 10 categories. If you feel up for it, expand and declutter more. But these areas are the perfect places to begin.
1. Worn out loungewear
The time has come. Offices are opening back up and employees are returning to work. Whether you’re happy about that or not, one area you can declutter is your loungewear.
Most of us lived in sweatpants and leggings during the pandemic. No bras. Oversized sweaters and tees. We’d never been more comfortable. But I’m sure some of them are starting to look a little tattered. Spend a day or a few hours sorting through your loungewear. Recycle any that can’t be repaired. Donate or sell duplicate pieces.
The pandemic saw an increase in online shopping for obvious reasons. While some people ordered fitness equipment or bread-making materials, I ordered books.
If you’re like me and books were your online shopping item of choice, it’s time to see what ones no longer serve a purpose. Scan your shelves. Are there any titles you read and can give away? Do you plan on reading them again? Were there any you brought that you know you’re never going to read?
There are so many great ways to declutter unwanted books. Gift them to a friend or family member. Sell them to a used book store. Donate them to your local library or Free Little Library if your town has one. You can also reach out to schools if you have a lot of children’s books.
3. Streaming services
When movie theaters closed, streaming services had their shining moment. More so than they already do. Some like Disney+ and HBO Max released new films you could watch from the comfort of your own home. They were also the only places we could see new movies.
But now that theaters are opening back up, do you really need all those streaming services? If you have Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and more, consider which ones you don’t watch all that often.
Cancel any you haven’t opened in 3+ months. Ask a friend or family member for their password. While the services say they’re cracking down on password sharing, it’s still available. Until the time comes when it’s not, do a family share plan. Have one member pay for one service and one for another. This way you get access to all without breaking your bank account.
4. Subscription boxes
Subscription boxes have become an addiction for some people. And because there’s a subscription box for everyone, they’re hard to resist. If you’re a coffee lover, there’s one for you. Book lovers have several to choose from. Then there are compilation ones like Fab Fit Fun and Causebox that send you a plethora of goodies.
But too many subscription boxes can add up. If you subscribe to three or more, you could be spending up to $500 a month!
Make a list of all the subscription boxes you get. Are there any you can cancel? If you haven’t loved what one of them has been sending you lately, opt-out. If you have FOMO, check out their websites. Sometimes they’ll sell items individually if they have leftovers. This way you can get the one thing you want instead of six things you don’t.
5. Old or worn-out masks
As states lift their mask mandates, the need for them is starting to dwindle. Public transportation like planes, trains, and subways still require them. And many doctor offices and hospitals are also keeping them mandatory.
Take this time to declutter any masks that are worn out. If the ear loops are too stretched out, recycle them. If the material is too loose on your face, recycle them. It’s a good idea to hang on to a few masks. Aim to have at least three for every member of your household. Since you don’t know what places are going to require them and what places won’t, it’s better to be prepared.
I plan to always have one in my bag wherever I go because you just never know. I also believe we’re going to see masks in overcrowded places like airports and train stations. If it makes you feel safe, continue to wear one and ignore what people say.
6. Work/professional clothes
Are you wondering why I’m asking you to declutter work clothes if you’re heading back into the office? The point is not to declutter your entire work wardrobe. You’re meant to declutter the pieces that no longer fit or match your personal style.
Most of these clothes have been shoved to the back of our closets since the pandemic. They could use a little love. Check to see if any need to be repaired. Try everything on and get rid of items that are no longer comfortable. Make a note of what you need to replace.
It’s just as important to replenish your work wardrobe as it is to declutter it. But don’t go overboard. Only replace the items you need.
7. Office supplies
Since many of us were working from home, we needed certain office supplies. But now that offices are reopening, it’s time to bring them back to the office or declutter them. Have an excess of paper clips? Bring them to the office. You don’t have to keep them at your desk. If you have a communal supply closet add them to that.
Most office supplies can be shared amongst co-workers. So if you have a ton of sticky notes, push-pins, staplers, or any other common office supply, bring it to the office. Obviously, toss anything that’s broken, and don’t bring in sticky notes if there are two left on the stack.
8. Medicine cabinet
Decluttering your medicine cabinet should be done every three months. By making this a quarterly habit, you’ll be keeping a well-stocked kit. No one wants to take expired medication. It’s gross enough without it being outdated.
Take some time to sort through the space you store these medications. What to declutter depends on what you usually need. Have allergy sufferers in the family? Make sure you’re stocked up on Allegra or Xyzal. Get a lot of headaches? Make sure your pain relievers aren’t expired.
It’s important to dispose of medications properly. This article from Good Rx shows you how.
9. Fitness equipment/workout clothes
During the height of lockdown, common stomping grounds were closed. This included gyms. Due to this, online vendors saw an increase in purchases such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight lifting equipment. People made a makeshift gym at home.
But now that gyms are open, how many times have you touched those items? If it’s been a while considering selling them. If you do, make sure you wipe everything down thoroughly.
Use the same method you used when decluttering loungewear and work clothes. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is uncomfortable, or damaged beyond repair. Workout clothes can get grungy after some time so it’s important to recycle any that don’t look too good anymore.
10. Niche cooking equipment
People picked up many new hobbies during the pandemic. Some took up knitting while others took up painting. But the most popular — per all the Instagram posts — was bread-making. There wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t see someone posting about the banana bread they made or the sourdough bread they baked.
Some of these cooking hobbies meant specialty equipment. If you purchased any and haven’t touched them in a while, sell them. It doesn’t just have to be bread-related. It can be any niche cooking item. Pasta makers, Instant Pots, etc. If you have bulky equipment you haven’t used in a while, declutter it. It’s not serving you by sitting in your cabinet collecting dust.
When thinking about what to declutter this summer, this list is a great place to start. It’ll give you a starting point. Hopefully, you’ll gain momentum along the way and want to declutter other areas of your home. If you don’t, that’s fine. At least declutter these 10 areas for now.
Decluttering can be a simple process if done at your own pace. If you’ve been looking to declutter your closet but don’t know where to start, my FREE Ultimate Wardrobe Decluttering Checklist is the perfect guide for you. Click here to get the checklist.
If you want to learn how to stay ahead of clutter, check out this blog post. I offer up six simple steps to do so your home stays clutter-free.
And make sure you’re following me on Instagram where I share more inspiration about what to declutter as well as simple living tips.