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18 Common Items That Everyone Has Too Much Of

You think you’ve got it all under control. Your home looks tidy, maybe even organized. But deep down you know you’re drowning in stuff. Everyone is.

It’s easy enough to do. You need these things every day. However, the volume quietly sneaks in and takes over your space. 

But it’s time to be honest, face the clutter, and reclaim your home. Let’s talk about the common culprits and figure out how to get rid of the excess.

Clothes

Woman sorting clothes in labelled boxes.
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People often accumulate more clothes than they need due to frequent shopping and changing fashion trends. Wardrobes become cluttered with items rarely worn.

To avoid this, practice seasonal closet clean-outs. Every season change look to donate or sell clothes you haven’t worn in the past year. And consider letting go of clothes you haven’t worn at all. The odds are you’ll want a new outfit for your next big event or vacation anyways. 

So, be honest with yourself: how much extra clothing are you keeping around for no good reason that’s ultimately leading to clutter?

Shoes

Stand with female shoes in interior of hall.
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Just like clothes, shoes can quickly multiply, especially if you have a love for footwear fashion. I get it, I love shoes too.

You might hold onto old pairs, thinking you’ll wear them again. However, you need to assess your collection regularly. Keep only those that are comfortable and match your current style, and donate or discard the rest. And to be honest, if you didn’t know you had a pair of shoes hidden in the back of the closet, you probably won’t miss them if you let it go. 

Books

Stack of books on floating wooden bookshelf. Education and knowledge concept. Pile of books to read. House interior decoration.
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Books are easy to hoard, especially if you love to read or think you’ll get around to reading them someday. Maybe you will. But just maybe you won’t.

It’s easy for shelves to overflow with books, and when space runs out, clutter sneaks in. Limit your collection to books you truly love or plan to read soon. Donate or sell those you’re done with. Or better yet, share those books with someone else that you know.

Kitchen Gadgets

Different household appliances on table in kitchen
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Kitchen gadgets promise convenience, but often end up unused, taking up space. It’s tempting to buy the latest tool, but they can become clutter. You really don’t need those things to make you a good cook.

Instead, take time to learn to cook. Be sure to evaluate your gadgets regularly. Keep only those you use frequently and donate or sell the rest. A few chef tips and tricks are better and less cluttering than the latest gadget anyways.

Towels

Close-up of hands putting stack of fresh white bath towels on the bed sheet.
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Towels accumulate over the years from purchases, gifts, or forgotten ones from guests. They take up a lot of space in your linen closet.

Old, unused towels don’t quite work the same. So, keep a reasonable number based on your household size. Donate old or excess towels to animal shelters or recycle them.

Makeup

Make-up table, decorative cosmetics for professional and home makeup. Close-up view of brushes, eyeshadow palates in white sunny salon. Beauty Artists hands choosing color of base. Copy space.
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Makeup is fun to buy but easy to forget about. You end up with more products than you can use before they expire.

Regularly declutter your makeup stash. Only keep what you use regularly and discard expired products to avoid clutter and skin issues.

Tupperware

The Tupperware Lie.
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Tupperware is practical, but it multiplies quickly, often with mismatched lids and containers. They end up taking over your kitchen cabinets.

Take a moment to match containers with lids and discard extras. Keep only what you regularly use for meal prep and storage. How much left overs are you really saving on a regular basis?

DVDs/Blu-Rays

Rastatt, Germany - April 10, 2021 Close up of a series of DVD films (focus on the Finding Nemo DVD).
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With the rise of streaming services, DVDs and Blu-rays often go unwatched. They take up valuable shelf space. And I doubt they’re going to make you a bunch of extra money in 5 to 10 years.

Transition to digital libraries for your favorite movies and shows. Sell or donate physical copies to make room in your home.

Magazines

Cologne, NRW, Germany- March 21, 2021: various of fashion magazines on the table.
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Magazines stack up because you think you’ll read them later or keep them for reference. They become clutter quickly.

Limit your subscriptions and recycle issues regularly. Consider digital subscriptions to enjoy your favorite reads without the physical bulk.

Stationery

Different stationery in open organized desk drawer indoors.
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How many pads of paper do you need? Stationery items like notebooks, pens, and sticky notes accumulate from sales or impulse buys. They clutter up your desk and drawers.

Keep only what you use regularly and donate excess supplies to schools or community centers.

Cleaning Supplies

woman holding basket of cleaning supplies
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Cleaning supplies are essential, but it’s easy to end up with duplicates or unused products. They take up space under sinks and in closets.

Having multiple cleaning products doesn’t miraculously make your house clean. Instead, adopt a regular cleaning schedule and stick to multipurpose cleaners. Use up what you have before buying more and dispose of old products safely. 

Toys

Picking up bath toys in soapy water.
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If you have kids, toys can overrun your home. They accumulate from gifts, purchases, and fast-growing interests.

Regularly sort through toys with your children. Donate or pass on those they’ve outgrown or no longer play with to keep play areas manageable. This will also teach your kids good habits.

Pillows

Pillows stacked together on a couch.
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Pillows are cozy but can pile up on beds and couches. Over time, they lose their shape and comfort.

Keep a reasonable number based on your household’s needs and style preferences. Donate or recycle old pillows to free up space. Consider one large basket to house extra pillows and letting go of anything that doesn’t fit.

Blankets

woman in pajamas neatly putting folded linens into cupboard vertical storage system use Marie Kondo method.
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Blankets provide comfort, but too many can overwhelm your storage space. They come as gifts or impulse buys, leading to cluttered closets.

Keep a few favorites and donate or recycle the rest. Rotate them seasonally to keep your space fresh and organized. Just don’t put them in a storage bin. They’ll never be seen again and end up with a unique smell that’s hard to get out.

Office Supplies

Messy and cluttered desk.
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Office supplies like paper, binders, and clips accumulate from work or school needs. They end up cluttering your workspace.

Keep a well-organized system for essentials and regularly sort through supplies. Donate extras to schools or community programs.

Souvenirs

London, England. May 10, 2021. Souvenirs of London hanging at the gift store. London is the most populous city in the UK with 13 million people.
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Souvenirs hold memories but can quickly become clutter. They fill shelves and drawers, often forgotten over time.

Choose a few meaningful items to display and store or donate the rest. In the future, consider taking photos of souvenirs to preserve memories without the physical bulk. You’ll enjoy the cost savings too.

Jewelry

declutter drawer.
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Jewelry is easy to accumulate, especially if you enjoy accessorizing. Pieces can become tangled and forgotten in drawers.

Regularly sort through your collection. Keep pieces you wear often and store them neatly. Sell or donate items you no longer use.

Tools

Man making draft plan using pencil on the table with tools.
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Tools are handy, but having too many, especially duplicates, can overwhelm your garage or toolbox. They accumulate from various projects and DIY aspirations. But it’s time to be realistic about why you have so many.

Keep only the tools you use regularly and donate or sell extras. Organize your tools for easy access and efficiency.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.