I clean a lot, and I purge belongings a lot, which should mean that my home doesn’t really have any shit left in it at this point that is excessive and unnecessary. But somehow, I can’t shake the feeling lately that I’m drowning in clutter.
It may be because of the layout of my apartment versus the one I used to live in (which was much more open — this one is bigger, but the rooms are more closed-in) and the fact that I haven’t found a way to rearrange all of our furniture and belongings in the most aesthetically-pleasing, space-efficient way.
It may be because I just have too much stuff, but I’m so stressed by the prospect of combing through the clutter that I’ve convinced myself I need it all.
I’ve pretty much exhausted all possibilities in my own brain of what portions of my apartment I should sit down at and go through to clean out the “extra” stuff. But every time I open a drawer and pull all its contents out, I close it a few minutes later without removing more than maybe one item and tossing it into a “garbage” or “donate” pile.
But as usual, I’ve taken to the internet to ask around and find out who is tossing what during their Fall Clean-Out™ to see if I could catch any ideas about what I could get rid of in my own home.
Together, we will create the ultimate Fall Cleaning Master List. I asked 11 people what they’re getting rid of during their seasonal clear-out. This is what they had to say.
(Happy cleaning, y’all!)
1. “Old medicines, vitamins, supplements, etc. I went through an Instagram Fitspo phase where I was constantly trying to get healthy and fit, and I bought a bunch of vitamins that a blogger I loved raved about. But I found that I’m just not the type of girl who wants to take BCAAs in the morning. Vitamins taste disgusting, they didn’t really feel like they did anything for me, and the big expensive bottles just kind of sit here mocking me. I suggest if you have anything like that, or even just expired medication/antibiotics that are for some reason still lingering in your bathroom, you can probably just throw them away. They’re really not doing any good lying in a medicine cabinet, and if you try to take them in a few months they’ll taste like dust.” –Caroline
2. “I’m really needing to get rid of all of my electronics that are obsolete or broken. I literally have an itouch — who has those anymore? I don’t use it at all, in fact I’m not even sure it is capable of being used. Ready to toss all of my things like that. Plus, my desk is so small and cluttered. In general, my workspace needs a lot cleared out of it.” — Abby
3. “Organizational items that I don’t use for organizational purposes and actually just hoard as aspirational clutter. I am one of those people who gets weirdly aroused by school supplies, and I buy so many desk/organizational items that I really just never need to use. Like I don’t need another pair of rose-gold scissors or another set of marble/trendy colored filing dividers.” — Morgan
4. “Old checks/paperwork with sensitive info. This is an obvious part of being a functional adult human, but it is worth reminding myself that these items should definitely not stay in your desk drawer, and I should probably invest in that paper shredder. I have like 100 checks in the top of my desk, and a few stacks of tax documents that have my social security number on them literally sitting on my windowsill.” — Ben
5. “Filled notebooks. I write poetry, and always have, so I saved basically all of my notebooks/scrap papers from middle school til’ post-college just in case there is a gem written somewhere inside. But like, it is stupid for me to hoard a hundred old notebooks imagining that someday I’ll find my ticket to poet-fame or the cure for cancer on one of the pages inside. I’m trying to type up all of the actually-complete poems, or the ones that mean something to me and are actually good and save them on my computer or a hard drive so I can keep them without lugging around boxes full of notebooks every time I move. As for the ones I’ll keep, essentially unless they contain information that I know I’ll need to use someday, I’m getting rid of them.” — Evan
6. “I’m trying to clear out all of my bags/purses with irreparable damage on the inside. Obviously you throw away accessories and clothing that are visibly ruined, but I get away with keeping bags that are nearly destroyed just because all of the damage is on the inside. But I actually lose things in ripped bag lining and get sticky substances on my phone when I toss it into old, filthy bags. I just need to get rid of like all of them and buy one or two nice, new ones.” — Caitlin
7. “I have I think 1000 kitchen utensils for various purposes but I’m going to get rid of all of them except a few spatulas and serving spoons because I really use like 2% of these utensils.” — Peter
8. “This isn’t anything revolutionary, but I always collected fun mugs at Home Goods and random thrift shops, and now that I live in a small place with a partner I feel like I need to have like, just a set of a few matching ones. There’s no space for like 27 mugs, especially because we essentially just rotate 2-4 of them every day.” — Delaney
9. “I like to save different small pieces of memorabilia from my life just to help me remember special moments, but I have a few boxes full and even with the tokens from these times I still don’t really remember why I kept some of them and what their significance is. I’m giving myself a new rule: if it can’t be remembered without a token, it probably isn’t important enough to be trying to remember. Also, less boxes of random crap would do me good, like an emotional cleanse of the past.” — Rebecca
10. “I’m a hoarder of makeup and hair goop and products I spent a fortune on in general to try and perfect my ~look~. I’ve gotten to a beauty routine I really love that doesn’t use too many products, but I keep all of the products I’ve basically ever tried as backup just in case. But I think I’m getting to the point where I want to just keep what is working right now, and if it ever stops working, I’ll start from scratch. Obviously, I stopped using all of those products for a reason, and keeping them lying around has me convinced my skin or hair will suddenly love them even though they’ve never worked for me before.” — Kyla
11. “I just want to get rid of all my clothes and start fresh. Lol, this isn’t reality, I have to keep a good majority of them, but I feel so uninspired and blah in my clothes, and want a wardrobe that fits the way I feel more. I lost a lot of weight, I graduated college, I started my career, I got engaged, all of this big stuff happened that has really shaped me — and I’m still wearing the same Forever 21 blouses I wore a few years back when I had no idea who I was. Realistically, I’ll do a solid purge of the ones I really don’t want and keep the essentials, then slowly build the wardrobe back up.” — Meghan
Image via Unsplash