Declutter these 5 unnecessary items now – we promise you won't miss them

You won't even notice when these 5 items are gone

Three images in a header, one is a bookshelf, one is a pile of clothing donations and the other is a closet
(Image credit: Polly Eltes / Future / Westend61 via Getty Images / Roundhouse)

If you regularly find yourself overwhelmed by random items of clutter, this is a sign you need to press pause and reassess your possessions. 

There's a strong chance that you may not need all of the items cluttering up your living spaces. For instance, is your bookshelf filled with novels you haven't read in years? Do you have messy bedroom drawers in dire need of decluttering?

Below, we share 5 unnecessary items you can declutter now to free up your space and mind to tackle bigger, more important jobs around the home. 

5 items to declutter now 

We promise you won't miss these five unnecessary itemsespecially when you can sustainably declutter them or give them a new lease on life. 

1. Odds Socks & Worn Out Clothes

Vintage drawers used as bedside table

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors/Julie Soefer)

The mystery of the lone sock is an all too common occurrence in many households. Chances are, if a sock has been missing for longer than a month, you'll never see it again. So cut your losses and declutter odd socks to free up space in your bedroom drawers. 

Take these lonely items (along with any other items of clothing that have dutifully served their time) and recycle them at a textile recycling program. These valuable resources turn old fabrics into new products, such as industrial rags or insulation. Similarly, many clothing brands are starting to accept their old products for recycling (H&M and Patagonia, for example). 

After decluttering these items, use the freed-up space to organize your sock drawers.

2. Receipts

The slow build up of paper receipts is a subtle yet pervasive source of clutter. Tackle these unwanted items by sorting through them and setting aside those that are essential for financial tracking or warranty purposes. 

Place any 'keepers' in a receipt wallet or designated drawer in your home office. Better still, take photos and digitize them for ease of access when it's time to do your taxes. For the remaining scraps of paper, we recommend shredding and discarding them in the trash or recycling. 

3. Random Charging Cables

A home office setup with open shelving

(Image credit: Future)

We're willing to wager that every household in the US has an excessive of obsolete charging cables or plugs. Start by identifying which cables are no longer compatible with your devices and segregate them from those you use daily. 

We suggest labeling the keepers and storing them in one easy-to-locate place (perhaps in a decorative basket) for quick access. Find an electronic recycling program that is happy to take the rest. Not only will this free up plenty of space, but it also avoids unnecessary waste and contributes to a circular economy.

4. Plastic or Wire Hangers

Closet with grey doors

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

No one needs the visual disarray of mismatched plastic and wire hangers. Do your closet a favor and declutter these flimsy and unsightly hangers and replace them with a set of uniform wooden or velvet hangers. This not only enhances the aesthetic of your closet but also helps you take proper care of your garments. 

We like this Pack of 30 Natural Wood Durable Heavy Duty Coat Hangers from Wayfair, as they can instantly elevate the look of your wardrobe. Likewise, these highly-rated Velvet Clothes Hangers (50-pack) from Amazon are affordable and allow you to hang more clothes in your closet neatly. 

As for the old hangers, if they aren't broken, repurpose them through donations to local thrift shops, extending their lifecycle.

5. Old Reads

library with bay window seat and fitted bookshelves either side with view of gardend

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

While we all love the look of a well-curated bookshelf, these spaces are a magnet for clutter if you never let go of titles you've already read. If you know you're never going to reread a book, it can find new life elsewhere. Donate them to local libraries to spread the joy of reading or see if your children's school or college is accepting donations for old textbooks. Your neighborhood may even have a public bookcase; if so, see if there is space to drop off your unwanted books – you may even find your new favorite read in the process!

If you're on a decluttering roll, why stop now? These 8 items can be decluttered in under an hour for a visibly tidier home. 

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.