17 Things to Declutter in an Hour or Less

Clutter is inevitable, especially in busy households with kids and all of their various activities, but with increased clutter comes stress and frustration. Taking the time to declutter a space one by one could require your entire weekend, but decluttering doesn’t have to be a timely task.

When looking to clear some much-needed space in your storage areas or reduce the mismatched linens and broken toys, consider starting small. Here are 17 things you can declutter for a tidier home in an hour or less.

1. Expired Pantry Products

woman holding a bottle of ketchup from the pantry
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Making a grocery list every week can be tedious and mind-numbing, and when your pantry closet is cluttered and disorganized you risk buying items you don’t need. Consider taking an hour to clear out expired food that is taking up space in your pantry cabinet and take inventory of what you have. This is a perfect time to consolidate items and remember the first in first out rule.

2. Art Supplies

art supplies for painting, displayed on the table
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Whether it’s kids’ markers and crayons or hobbyists’ watercolors and scrapbook supplies, arts and crafts supplies can quickly get out of hand. With just an hour, you can toss all those dried-up markers and empty paint tubes that would otherwise crowd your creative space.

3. Cosmetics

woman organizing makeup in the drawer
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Is your bathroom vanity littered with cosmetics? How old is that “favorite” eyeliner pencil? Your cosmetics have a shelf life and using them past their expiration date can lead to breakouts and bacteria buildup. Take an hour or less to go through your cosmetics drawer and clear out the old or unused items.

4. Bookshelf

organized modern home library with an armchair
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Bookshelves can be the catch-all for clutter. Your favorite novels can be buried under old magazines, coupon inserts, and paperwork. Take 30 minutes to declutter your bookshelves once a month to keep a streamlined home library at your fingertips.

5. Dresser Drawers

woman storing folded clothes in a dresser drawer
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You should declutter your dresser drawers seasonally to keep mess to a minimum. With just an hour, you can organize your clothing to make getting ready each day simple and stress-free. At the change of the seasons pick a drawer and rotate your clothing for a limited-clutter lifestyle.

6. Refrigerator

woman looking at leftover food from the fridge to check expiry date
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Styrofoam takeout containers, half-empty drink cartons, and condiments galore will make your refrigerator look unattractive. In less than an hour, you can filter through the old and expired products to eat fresh daily.

7. Mail

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If you are like me, your kitchen counter is the dropping ground for the mail every day. After a week, that pile of mail can look more like a mountain. Spend a few minutes opening and sorting the mail and destroying and tossing anything junk.

8. Seasonings

Kitchen cabinet organization for spices
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My spice cabinet is vast, but I can admit a few containers are well past their prime. The best way to ensure well-flavored food is to have the best ingredients. Carve out a little time to go through your seasonings and throw out anything past its best-by date.

9. Tupperware Cabinet

organized Tupperware with colorful lids organized in a cabinet
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Anyone who cooks a good deal at home knows good Tupperware containers are important, but how do you keep that cabinet from looking cluttered and messy? With just an hour of your day, you can downsize and declutter mismatched containers and lids for a streamlined storage space.

10. Medicine Cabinet

blue medicine cabinet in the bathroom
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Whether in the bathroom or in a kitchen, the medicine cabinet is a necessary home pharmacy for everything from flu to allergy season. Keep the clutter to a minimum by spending a few minutes monthly clearing out expired and empty bottles. Learn how to organize a medicine cabinet here.

11. Mismatched Bed Linens

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Let’s face it good sheets are expensive, but whether through stains, tears, or shrinkage, those bed linens can get a bit haphazard. Take some time to go through the linen closet to downsize on mismatched sheets. As a bonus they make great options for dog cages and drop cloths.

12. Ratty Towels

worn out multicolored towels in a box on a brown background floor
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Bath towels become true multipurpose items in a house with small children and pets. All those tattered towels and stained washcloths will do a number on your linen closet’s organization. Take a few minutes to toss those old ratty towels, and you’ll have an excuse to purchase some soft new ones.

13. The Entry Closet

messy coat closet
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Your entry closet might be used for shoes and coats or backpacks and basketballs, but a disorganized closet can lead to a disorganized household. Take an hour and clear the clutter to quickly have more space for the things you need.

14. Shoes

woman organizing her shoes in her shoe closet and plastic holders
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As a woman, I love shoes, but they can get a bit out of hand pretty easily. In a household with kids, shoes seem to be too small before they even get to wear them. Take some time to go through your shoes every few months to keep your closets and entry clear of clutter that you might otherwise be stumbling over.

15. Under the Kitchen Sink

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All of my cleaning supplies are kept conveniently under the kitchen sink, but the nearly empty bottles of glass cleaner and boxes of trash bags make the area look less than clean. Spending less than an hour decluttering cleaning supplies will keep your necessary supplies easy to access.

16. Socks

large pile of mismatched socks inside drawer
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Matching socks becomes increasingly frustrating every week. With every missing toddler sock and the ever-appearing holes, the looking-for-a-match pile gets a bit bigger. The best time to declutter socks is now. Spend an hour going through your sock drawer and tossing any that don’t have a match today.

17. Small Appliances

Different household appliances on table in kitchen
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Whether through a housewarming present, hand-me-down, or influenced social media post, small appliances can pile up. Take an hour to go through everything from blenders and toasters to air fryers and waffle makers, and donate anything that you haven’t used. A decluttered kitchen is a happy kitchen.

100 Things to Declutter From Your Home Right Now

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Is clutter taking over your home? Tackle that clutter and get rid of that stuff room by room now with these 100 things to declutter from your home. See the list here.

30 Things to Get Rid of in the Next 30 Days

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We’re challenging you to declutter one thing a day for 30 days. Easy peasy! Here are 30 things to declutter in 30 days to get you started. See them here.

12 Practical Tips for Decluttering Clothes

Woman holding two blouses while decluttering clothes.
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The never-ending cycle of trends in fashion can leave our closets bursting at the seams.┬áDon’t get bogged down by all the clothes. Decluttering clothes is easy with these practical steps. See them here.

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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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