6 Organizing Professionals Reveal the Items You Can (and Should) Get Rid of Today

published Jan 8, 2021
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I understand logically that regular decluttering is a vital component to an organized home… but boy, do I love stuff. My heart hurts when it comes time to figuring out what to donate or throw out. I find advice from organizing professionals not only useful, but also motivating when I feel paralyzed about where to start. So I asked six designers and professional organizers to share the things that you can absolutely get rid of today because they’re no longer useful, current, relevant, or helpful. And bonus: all of the pros below have already participated in a house tour on Apartment Therapy or will have one publishing later this month!

Anything you haven’t used in the last year

“For example, if you have a toaster or a waffle maker that is taking up space and you haven’t used it in a year, re-home it. If you have a pair of shoes that you have never worn and it’s taking up place in your closet, get rid of it,” says Shamika of Maximizing Tiny. She shared her super organized home in a house tour earlier this week, a 750-square-foot rental apartment full of brilliant hidden storage.

Unwanted free swag

“Any item that was given to you and you didn’t specifically want but feel guilty of getting rid of, like giveaway merchandise from networking events and expos. I promise you no one will get mad at you if you donate that tumbler you got from a Bridal Expo way back in 2011,” says Katrina of Badass Homelife. (Look for a house tour of Katrina’s home on Apartment Therapy next week!)

Credit: Rashmi Patel

Anything expired

“I always ask, how often do you look into your pantry and have expired products and foods in there? That is the best part of organizing; you see exactly what you have and what you need. This way you are saving money buy not overbuying items you don’t need,” says Rashmi of Rush Me Home. (Look for a full house tour of Rashmi’s home on Apartment Therapy later this month.)

Old or mismatched things

“Old underwear and mismatched socks,” says Faith Roberson of Organize With Faith. (Look for a full house tour of Faith’s home on Apartment Therapy later this month.)

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Unvalued or unused things

“Everything they don’t value and use regularly,” says Vaishali Sahni of Tiny and Tidy. Apartment Therapy toured her tidy Toronto condo packed with organizing ideas last year.

This unhelpful belief

“The belief that an inability to be organized is a flaw or something to be embarrassed about.  Not everyone is born organized and that’s perfectly okay. It’s not about the stuff. External clutter is internal clutter on display. Your home is cluttered because your life is.  Decluttering is self-care. You have just prioritized other things over your self-care. It means you are not living an aligned life, not putting yourself first and we have all done that from time to time. But you can learn it. Everyone can learn to be tidy, shift their habits, and change their mindset and understand that putting themselves first is not selfish but fills you up so that you can perform at your best in the many roles you play everyday,” says Pia of Sweet Digs. (Look for a full house tour of Pia’s home on Apartment Therapy later this month.)

You can find great home tours and even greater organizing advice from this year’s fresh crop of inspiration (and catch up on last year’s professional organizer house tours) all on this one page: Professional Organizer Home Advice.