111 (or 1111, 11:11) signifies new beginnings, and it’s the perfect place to start!
Now when I say throw away I don’t necessarily mean that all these things have to go in the garbage. When you’re decluttering, you should designate bins/bags for things that you want to keep, sell, donate, and throw away.
Really only things that are broken, in poor condition, or just trash should be thrown away. If it’s mendable, consider trying or giving it to someone who can salvage it. Donate things that are in good condition, especially clothes. High value items can be sold for lumps of pocket money.
Minimalist Trash List: Top 111 Things to Throw Away
If you’re keeping anything on this list for sentimental value, you should really consider how the token makes you feel. Does it bring you joy and good memories? Or the opposite? Is it mentally and emotionally healthy for you to keep around?
Don’t hang onto something because you feel like you should, because it was gifted to you, or because you might not come across it again. What the item contributes to your life and happiness should determine its value.
Right now we’re prioritizing what’s best for you—keep that in mind. If it’s a valuable you’d like to keep, put it in a small box along with other sentimentals and put it away. Frugality and minimalism go hand in hand, but try not to be driven by the need to make some garage sale cash from your purge too.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 111 items to consider throwing away the next time (or first time) you declutter your home!
- Old magazines/newspapers
- Old product boxes (For toys and electronics.)
- Old receipts
- Books (Ones that you aren’t currently reading.)
- Take out menus (If it’s a restaurant you frequent, store the number in your phone or take a picture of it.)
- Outdated documents
- Old posters
- Damaged/stray pieces of paper (Recycle!)
- Half-used notebooks (Recycle.)
- Uncherished photos (Take a picture of it on your phone if you’d like to save the visual.)
- Old greeting/holiday cards
- Expired coupons
- Old love letters
- Junk mail
- Stray paper clips (If there’s a designated place for them, put them away.)
- Stray thumbtacks (Same as for paper clips.)
- Nearly finished rolls of tape
- Markers without tops
- Pens without tops
- Post-It notes (Dried, damaged, and stray ones.)
- Business cards (Consider switching over to electronic business cards.)
- Dried bottles/sticks of glue
- Extra scissors (They all do the same thing, do you need more than one?)
- Dry erase boards without their markers (Unless you plan to buy some soon.)
- Rusted tools
- Stray screws, bolts, nails, etc
- Desk-toppers (That ceramic flower or bobble head on your desk can be a distraction.)
- Outdated calendars and planners
- Stray Q-tips/cotton balls/cotton pads
- Expired/unused hair products
- Broken or unneeded cleaning supplies
- Misshapen hair ties
- Old, yucky soap
- Stray bobby pins
- Stray safety pins
- Expired face washes/masks
- Old health supplements
- Dried out nail polish
- Rusting razors
- Damaged and frayed towels
- Worn toothbrushes
- Hand towels (They’re more of a “for show” item—you’ll get the same result from drying your hands on a regular towel.)
- Sample/travel-size hygiene products
- Shirts and pants (Ones that don’t fit, are damaged, haven’t been worn in over 12 months, or that you don’t feel good in.)
- Anything with a broken zipper
- Old maternity clothes
- Necklaces/bracelets that are losing their color
- Frayed and cracked belts
- Earrings without a match
- Shoes without a match (Or in bad condition.)
- Old makeup
- Socks without a match
- Handbags (Ones that aren’t functional or used.)
- Uncomfortable bras and underwear
- Stray buttons/ribbons/laces
- Disposable hangers (Such as those from the store.)
- Gloves without a match
- Extra sunglasses (One pair will keep the sun out of your eyes just fine.)
- Unoccupied flower pots
- Old radios
- Wilted flowers/dead plants
- Souvenirs (Even if they were given to you, you’re surely not expected to keep them for the rest of your life? If it is something especially dear to you, place it in a small box and put it away.)
- Unoccupied vases
- Melted candles
- Nonfunctional decor
- Extra eating utensils/dishes (Only as many as you need for yourself and the members of your household.)
- Extra cooking utensils (Two ladles?)
- Broken, unused appliances (That includes anything that’s missing pieces.)
- Non-functional refrigerator magnets
- Plastic water bottles (Stick to reusable water bottles or get a purifying water pitcher.)
- Toaster (You can toast bread in the oven.)
- Coffee maker (Try instant coffee instead.)
- Rice cooker (Just a pot and water works too!)
- Fryers (Fried foods don’t have any health benefits.)
- Plastic bags (Unless you genuinely use them regularly for dog business or dirty diapers. If not, recycle them.)
- Cookbooks (Ones that aren’t used regularly.)
- Stray condiment and sauce packets
- All expired food items
- Appliance manuals (You’ve been using it this whole time, you know how it works!)
- Tupperware without a matching top or bottom
- Scratched nonstick pans
- Alarm clock (Just use your phone.)
- Television (If there’s one in the living room, you don’t necessarily need one in the bedroom too.)
- Expired medications
- Flat, misshapen pillows
- Excess, frayed, and uncomfortable bed sheets
- Old cell phones
- Cords (If you don’t have the corresponding device for the cord, toss it away.)
- Phone cases you’re not currently using
- Any duplicate devices
- CDs/DVD (I almost guarantee you can find that song or movie somewhere online.)
- DVD player (Sneak a peek back at the parenthetical above.)
- Extra or tangled strings of headphones
- Stray batteries (If they’re not dead, put them away.)
- Broken toys
- Toys with missing parts
- Board games that are missing pieces
- Old baby devices (Walkers, playmats, cribs, swings, etc. Consider renting a small compartment at a storage facility for these if you plan to welcome more children in the future.)
- Things they’re too big for now (kiddie table and chairs, clothes, kiddie plate and utensils, step stool, etc.)
- Broken crayons and pencils
- Finished coloring books
- Unused video games
- Unused exercise/sports equipment
- Holiday/seasonal decorations (Consider renting a small storage locker for reusable things like faux Christmas trees or lights.)
- Remote controls with no device
- Tools/equipment from a past hobby
- Old trophies (I’m stoked that you won the Spelling Bee in high school, but do you really need a daily reminder of it?)
- Old prescription glasses
- Pet toys (Ones that are clearly past their prime.)
- Collars and leashes that are broken/don’t fit
- Unoccupied fish bowls or pet cages
Things to Consider
There’s always little bits and pieces to throw away. Most of the bigger conveniences that we’ve come to know reside in the kitchen. The kitchen is full of things that we don’t necessarily need, but make the everyday event of whipping up a meal smoother.
Hopefully you’ve gotten a better idea of the kind of decluttering and cleaning you should be doing. A few closing tips: If you’re low on socks and can’t afford to throw singles away, nobody’s going to police you for putting two of the same color/type together.
You can mix-and-match them too, especially if they’re ankle socks and no one will see them anyway. The goal of throwing away unmatched items is to achieve order so if you can, then do! Also, utilize food storage containers so you can throw away all those boxes and bags in your pantry.
Going reusable always cuts down on the amount of things hanging around the house. Straws, chopsticks, and herb jars can be exchanged for reusable versions.
Devices can be used constructively to minimize a lot of these things. There’s plenty of apps for calendars and planners. You can research recipes instead of referring to a cookbook.
If you’re a binge-watcher and prefer streaming over cable (which most people do nowadays) ditch the T.V.s entirely for a smaller device like an iPad. Newspapers and books can follow suit. If there’s a visual you’d like to save, take a picture of it.
One thing’s for certain though, you’ll definitely have to get into the nooks and crannies and discard pesky little bits. Bobby pins, cotton swabs, safety pins, hair ties, all sorts of stray specks can hide between and underneath appliances, in corners, and in between furniture.
Who knows, you might find a ring or two. If you do discover something while decluttering, that doesn’t make it exempt from the culling process. Decide if you need it and if it’s good for you then deal with it accordingly.
Lastly, always remember that this isn’t a list that’s meant to be completely checked off in one sweep (unless you really want to). Refer back to this minimalist trash list as time goes along and you’re craving more “less”.