When you went to find all of your holiday decorations, was it as easy as reaching for the remote, or, grabbing your car keys off the rack near the back door? Or, did you have to sift through layers of stuff to find what you were looking for? Stopping to pause at some items because you didn’t remember that you owned them, or, opening up unlabeled boxes with genuine curiosity as to what laid beneath the flaps? We all have clutter. It collects when we’re not paying attention and busy with the outward-facing parts of our lives; it’s easy to let the inward-facing parts (like what’s in that closet under the stairs…) fall to the side.


With a new year and a new decade swiftly approaching in a few short weeks, it’s time to reclaim your clutter! The act of purging, donating, sorting, and organizing can be physically exhausting, but the mental benefits can be life-altering. The majority of people strive to be more organized, and sometimes that means owning less stuff and simplifying your life. 


Here is a helpful list of things to get rid of before 2020. This list was compiled and published originally on www.bobvila.com, a blog-style website with ‘Tried, True, and Trustworthy Home Advice.’  While some items on this list might seem minor in the grand scheme of clutter, think of each as baby steps to the ultimate goal: a simplified and organized home! 


  1. Expired Pantry Goods: check the dates, but also check your tastes. If you haven’t used the whole wheat flour since that time you attempted home-made bread 5 years ago…time to go!
  2. Tablecloths with stains:… if you are entertaining, you most likely won’t use a dirty tablecloth…donate them to an animal shelter or cut them up for rags and buy a new one!
  3. Mismatched food containers… an orphan lid is worthless.
  4. Mugs: an ever-so popular gift item and collector’s dream; but how many do you really need?
  5. Piles of Magazines: Rip out the recipes you want to save, cut out pictures for your inspiration book, and recycle the rest.
  6. Expired Make-up: unused nail polish and other products that touch your face are probably gross inside and need to go.
  7. Old Electronics: find your nearest recycling center and properly dispose of that cell phone from 7 years ago.
  8. Books: this one can be time consuming and take more emotional energy than tossing expired can goods. Consider gifting your books or donating them to a local nursing home or shelter.
  9. Emails: curl up by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa and start hitting ‘delete’ or, for important e-mails, create folders to organize them out of your inbox.
  10. Gift Wrapping Supplies: Spare ribbon, scattered gift tags, rolls of wrapping paper that are out-dated or unused… trim it all down and attempt to fit it into one tidy box.
  11. Kitchen Utensil Drawers: remove duplicates, add some dividers, and you will instantly be more efficient in your cooking space.
  12. Mystery Frozen Items: unrecognizable food products, whether it be store bought or homemade, should be tossed! Freezer burn is a firm sign of spoilage- clean out that freezer!


When you start small and seek to better your living environment, your end results will be so satisfying. As you start to purge and organize, you will begin to see your living space with new eyes. Drawers, closets, wall-space, and perhaps entire rooms might begin to have a different purpose and meaning. Maybe you will uncover an architectural feature of your home that you want to improve upon? Maybe you will discover that your organizational efforts require a different layout to your space entirely? 

Distinct Construction, Northern Kentucky’s Distinct Remodeling Business, specializing in Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Basements, knows that all goals have ‘baby-step’ details involved. If you are ready to take your living space into 2020 with a new and revitalized look, contact www.distinctconstruction.com for a consultation. For now, start small and tackle one drawer, one closet, on box at a time!