7 Things (Almost) Everyone Forgets to Declutter

It's easy to leave these items off your home organization list.

things-everyone-forgets-to-declutter: books in bookcase
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When was the last time you organized your liquor cabinet? Or sorted your jewelry box? We thought so. While some areas—like our cluttered closets and kitchen counters—quickly come to mind when we're on an organization spree, others are easy to forget. From the outdated media formats piled in the back of a cabinet (hello, CD stash) to the books overflowing the shelves, here are seven things almost no one remembers to declutter.

01 of 07

CDs, DVDs, 8-Track Tapes, and Records

stack of cds

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Depending upon what decade you grew up in, you may have a collection of CDs or vinyl records lying around. If you no longer own a CD or record player—or haven't dusted it off in years—it's probably time to get rid of this stash.

If the records aren't scratched and the tapes still play, some secondhand stores will accept them. Popular albums can be sold on eBay, Etsy, or other sites.

02 of 07


assortment of books

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For many, books are very personal belongings. So personal that even the mere mention of decluttering a book collection is enough to elicit an emotional response. But chances are, many of us are holding onto books we will never (ever) crack open again. Old college textbooks, tax how-to manuals before the advent of the internet, and that copy of Moby Dick you promise to finish one day fill the shelves.

Take a critical look and sort out anything you know you'll never read again. Donate books that are still relevant and in readable condition. Outdated materials, like that 2002 book on how to code, can be recycled.

03 of 07


two candles on table

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If you are gifted luxury candles on every birthday and switch out scents with the seasons, you may have more candles than you know what to do with.

Sort through your collection to find any candles with just a small amount of wax remaining. Follow our trick to remove the wax (hint: your freezer can help) and then repurpose or recycle the glass jar.

04 of 07

Liquor Cabinet

liquor cabinet

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Since many liquors are shelf-stable, it's easy for our liquor cabinets to forgo proper decluttering. Decades later, you might find that bottle of scotch you were gifted and never opened.

First, look for any bottles that may have gone bad. In general, cream liqueurs last less than two years, and opened vermouth lasts up to a couple of months (check the expiration dates to be sure). For shelf-stable distilled liquors like vodka, rum, or tequila, evaluate what you actually drink. If there are bottles you haven't touched in many years, consider giving them to someone who will enjoy them.

05 of 07

Jewelry Box

jewelry box

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While our clothing closets typically land on the top of our organizing to-dos, we often forget about jewelry and other accessories.

Sort through your collection to find pieces you no longer wear. Make sure heirlooms you'd like to pass down are properly stored and protected, while outdated costume jewelry can be donated or sold.

If you have valuable jewelry to sell, including diamond rings, check out Worthy. A team of gem experts will do all the work for you: Evaluate the piece, take beauty shots, and put the jewelry up for auction online.

06 of 07

Old Tech Devices

cracked iphones and ipads

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Maybe in the same cabinet as those dust-collecting DVDs, you'll find old flip phones, a VCR, and a hulking laptop that feels as sleek as a phone book. Part of the problem with tossing out these antiquated tech devices is knowing what to do with them. To recycle small devices like cell phones (as well as VHS tapes and CDs) safely and securely, check out GreenDisk.

Best Buy will recycle many devices for free, including laptops and TVs, but they have a donation limit of three items per household per day.

07 of 07

Travel-Sized Toiletries and Cosmetic Samples

travel size toiletries

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Whether collected from hotel stays or by wandering the cosmetic counters at the mall, it's easy to amass a large collection of teeny-tiny toiletries. Evaluate what to keep, recycle, or donate.

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