Decluttering has always been about simplifying for me. I’m a busy mama, and I want everything in my home to make sense. That’s why, when it comes to decluttering, one of the rules I always emphasize is to get rid of duplicates.
This rule tends to find a lot of offenders, because most of us are accustomed to living with excess. It’s not because we chose it, necessarily, but because we’ve been taught that it’s smart to have extras. Of everything. Needless to say, extras mean fuller cabinets, confusion as to which one goes where, and lots of neglected seconds collecting dust while the favorites are chosen every time.
In order to help you on your decluttering journey, I’ve compiled a list of popular duplicates people often have in their home, along with some things to think about when determining which should go. And just for the record, items that have similar functions are considered duplicates in my book. So, here we go!
Measuring Cups: Most of us have two or more sets of measuring cups in our kitchen drawers and there’s always one with a broken handle. Keep the set that is complete and get rid of the rest. (Apply this rule to your teaspoon measuring sets, too!)
Straightener vs. Curling Iron: Most straighteners are now able to curl hair just as well as a curling iron or wand. While it may take a bit of practice, hair care can be simplified with just one tool.
Toaster vs. Toaster Oven vs. Microwave: These items have several overlapping abilities, namely toasting and re-heating food. They’re also appliances that typically sit on the counter which can quickly add to the clutter and make your kitchen space feel messier than need be. Choose the one (or two) item(s) you use the most and ditch the rest.
Hair Brushes/Combs: Let’s be real, you only need one of each. Free up that bathroom space!
Vases: If you’re like me, you may have kept every single vase from all the flower bouquets you’ve ever gotten (face palm). And, if you’re honest, you probably only have one bouquet of flowers in your home at a time, so do yourself a favor by keeping your favorite and donating the rest. (And if you happen to have more than one bouquet in the future, try using a simple mason jar in lieu of a vase).
Crockpots: By now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, there’s a lot of duplicates in the kitchen.” Aaaand, you’re right!! The kitchen happens to be a notorious hoarder. I, for one, had two crockpots for several years, thinking that one day I might need the 8 quart instead of the 6 quart, or maybe both at once for that matter. Needless to say, it never happened, so I donated one. While you might not have two crockpots, you might have other duplicate kitchen appliances; get rid of one!
Movies/DVDs: If you’re trying to reduce the number of DVDs in your home, consider categorizing them by genre or topic and then choosing your top 2-3 in each category. For example, we had a lot of war DVDs, ranging from fictitious tales of bravery to narratives based on true stories from World War II; we decided to keep our favorites and set aside the rest. The same went for Romantic Comedies, Sci-Fis, and Westerns.
Yard Shoes: Until a few weeks ago, I had two pairs of older tennis shoes that I used for mulching and such. If I’m honest, I don’t do enough yard work to justify keeping two pairs for this, so I threw one out. This same idea could apply to multiple pairs of black heels, boat shoes, boots, etc.
Wallets: Am I the only mama guilty of having both a small and large wallet in order to accomodate my activities that day? Inevitably, I’d forget the one rewards card or coupon I’d need in the opposite wallet and end up frustrated while out and about. I recently decided to find a middle of the road wallet that could easily fit everything I needed it to while also being (somewhat) small and compact in my diaper bag. You can check out my wallet here.
Bibles: Most people have a Bible that they gravitate towards, whether because of the translation or for sentimental reasons. I’ve chosen to keep my favorites, a journaling ESV and the Message, and donate the rest. (Often times people think they may want to compare different translations, but thankfully the YouVersion Bible App is free with more than 60 English versions at your fingertips! Check it out here.
For most of the items mentioned, err on the side of keeping your favorites. There’s always a reason why you continue to choose the ones you do rather than their duplicates, which can only mean the neglected items need to go.
My hope is that this list will serve as a reminder as you declutter your home or maybe even as you use various items throughout the week. If you see something you’re not using, don’t be afraid to set it aside. Items are only useful if they’re serving a purpose and collecting dust doesn’t happen to be one. So, make someone’s day by donating your brand new crockpot so that they can brag about how they bought it for $2 at Goodwill.
What duplicates have you found in your home lately?
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