When it comes to decluttering, we can decide to let go of anything that doesn’t serve us in our lives. It can be anything! But I find that there are certain areas in our homes that most people forget to declutter.
Of course, you don’t have to declutter every area in your home!
You decide what you want to keep, and what you want to go through to let go of some of your unwanted things.
But if you want to create a clutter-free and peaceful home, you should remember to declutter certain places that tend to attract mess and junk!
It’s important to go through these clutter-catchers and reassess our belongings in there.
That way, you aren’t accumulating excess things, and you will reap all the benefits of living minimally!
Here is a list of 18 areas most people forget to declutter when trying to apply minimalism in their homes!
18 areas most people forget to declutter
1 – Purses, wallets, and coat pockets
Purses, wallets, and coat pockets are used daily and many things can get hidden in those!
Whenever we leave the house, we use them as a way to carry our most important things. Credit cards, cash, phone, keys, and other small knick-knacks!
If we forget about decluttering them regularly, we may find many irrelevant things in them.
This includes trash we may be carrying around uselessly! I’m thinking about receipts, wrappers, papers, or even some nasty things!
Go through your coat pockets, wallets, and purses and only keep useful things in them!
2 – Used notebooks and journals
The goal of having a notebook or a journal is to write our thoughts and ideas in them.
We can also use them to take notes for a class we are taking or to plan our days.
But once they’re full, we often put notebooks and journals away in a drawer and never look back at them.
Take those you never use and recycle them!
You may also prefer to scan the most important pages and get rid of useless and irrelevant ones.
3 – Above the fridge
I don’t know for you, but as I do not have a lot of storage space in my kitchen, I always end up having to put things above my fridge.
Generally, I only put my bowl of fruits and my teas. I use them every day so it doesn’t bother me.
But I know that some people place things above their fridge and completely forget about them.
If that’s you, consider checking what’s on your fridge and get rid of anything unnecessary.
Having too many things on your fridge adds to visual clutter!
4 – Medication
As medication has an expiration date, remember to regularly go through your medicine cabinet and declutter any medication that has expired.
I bet you do not want to take expired medicine next time you’re sick!
At best, it will not be working as it should; at worst, it can be dangerous for you!
Recycle those expired medications as best as you can: see if your pharmacy takes them back because you shouldn’t be putting them in the trash!
5 – The toolbox
A toolbox is a very practical thing to have in an apartment or a house.
But the tricky thing is that whenever we need to repair something, we sometimes need to buy tools to meet our needs.
And some tools we only need once and never again!
That’s why it’s great to go through your tools and think about whether you see yourself using each of your tools.
You may also have duplicate items or broken ones. These are great candidates to let go of.
6 – The pantry
Like medication, food has an expiration date.
Food items like canned or dry food can last for a long time, but we still need to remember to declutter any expired ones.
While some foods can be eaten after their “best by” date, be careful with doing that and never eat expired animal products!
Do not forget to check your condiments and spices as well!
The best thing to do is to regularly go through your pantry and donate food you don’t intend to eat before it expires.
You will reduce food waste, which is an amazing way to be more sustainable in the kitchen!
7 – Storage spaces
As we say: when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind!
While storage spaces are often necessary to have, most people put things in there and do not look at them for years and, sometimes, decades.
Doing so, things pile up and the quantity can go out of hand after a while.
You might not even be able to find the things you’re looking for anymore.
So schedule an afternoon or a weekend and go through the things in your attic, basement, crawl space, and shed.
You might be surprised by what you’ll find and you may realize you own things you didn’t even know you had!
8 – Plastic and paper bags
Somehow, plastic and paper bags are so easy to accumulate!
If you ever order take-out, you always receive one of these!
But if you have way too many, now may be the right time to let them go.
Recycle the paper bags that are not in good condition and reuse the plastic ones as trash bags.
9 – Under the bed
This is one of the most common areas people forget to declutter!
If you store things under your bed, you might not go through these storage bins very often.
As they’re out of sight, they’re so easy to skip!
I personally do not like having things under my bed; it makes the room look a lot more cluttered.
Try to remove anything that is under your bed, and you’ll find it will be a lot easier to clean there!
10 – The filing cabinet
The thing with filing cabinets is that, once you’ve stored your papers, you might not think about revisiting them later.
You probably need to keep some papers for years such as tax documents or other important administrative papers.
But other papers do get outdated so there’s no reason in keeping them any longer.
Go through your filing cabinet and recycle documents that aren’t relevant anymore!
11 – The email inbox
We can receive dozens of emails each day and if we do not delete them regularly, our email inbox can go out of hand!
My boyfriend has thousands of emails in his inbox and he always tells me he wants to declutter them one day, but he never does.
That’s too big of a task!
If your email inbox is as full as his, take it step-by-step: delete ten emails a day and archive the most important ones.
It might take a long time to finish the task but it won’t be overwhelming tackling this bit by bit.
Once it’s done, commit to regularly declutter your emails. I like to do this once a week!
Doing this is a great way to apply digital minimalism to your life!
12 – Pens
Pens and office supplies are things that quickly pile up!
Either that is because you get pens as freebies and these are hard to decline. Or because you most of the time buy them in larger quantities.
While it might be practical to have a certain quantity of pens at home, pens dry out at some point.
Go through them from time to time to check if they’re all working so you are not storing them unnecessarily!
13 – In the car
As cars are either parked outside or in the garage, it is very common that we do not think about decluttering this area in our lives.
And there are many places in cars where we can store things! In the glove box, on seats, on the floor, in the trunk…
I personally like to have nothing except the bare necessities that we need to have in our cars.
To have a clutter-free car, take everything with you whenever you leave your car and leave no trash behind!
14 – Photos
If you’re like me and love taking pictures, you might have thousands of pictures on your phone and computer!
These are amazing to look back on memories, places you’ve visited, and happy moments you spent with people you love!
But I find that the more I have pictures, the less I look at them, which is not my initial intention.
Try to downsize the number of digital pictures you store on your devices and declutter duplicate and blurry ones.
Keep the best ones!
This tip also applies to printed photos of course!
15 – The garden or balcony
Outdoor spaces can also accumulate many things if we do not take care of them.
Toys for your children and pets, sports equipment, gardening tools…
Get rid of the things that are cluttering up your lawn, patio area, or balcony. You will probably end up letting go of some of them!
What about those things you were meaning to bring to the dump?
Do not leave them in your garden indefinitely, they do not look good! Finally, take them where they need to go and get rid of them!
16 – Seasonal items
If you store away seasonal items in closets or storage rooms, do not forget to go through them next time you start decluttering your home!
These are things you do not use all year round, whether that is seasonal clothes or decorations.
If your style and preferences have changed, chances are you will not be enjoying some of these seasonal things anymore.
Especially after several months not using them!
So go through your closets and storage rooms, and declutter seasonal items you do not love anymore!
17 – The downloads folder on your computer and phone
If you use your phone and computer a lot, check your downloads folder! I bet you have many useless documents and pictures in it!
I always tend to forget to declutter this area and I regret it every time!
These downloaded files accumulate SO easily without us even knowing!
Check which files you need to keep and delete all the irrelevant ones.
The great thing about this category is that it is so much easier to delete a digital file than it is to declutter a physical item!
You do not have to deal with it once it’s deleted!
18 – Cardboard boxes
I find that this area is not mentioned often enough!
If you order things online, you probably have cardboard boxes laying around your home.
And if you intend to reuse them, that’s amazing!
Cardboard boxes are useful to store and organize things and to ship and move stuff.
But if you have too many, with no use for them, consider recycling a few because they take up a lot of space!
There you have it!
I hope that this list of 18 areas most people forget to declutter in their homes was helpful to you!
It should give you ideas about where you might want to be decluttering next!
Of course, you don’t have to go through the belongings in all these categories.
But reassessing what you own in at least some of them will help you simplify your space a lot!
For more specific ideas about what to let go of in your home, check out the following articles:
- 70 things to get rid of for a minimalist home
- 11 things to declutter in your living room
- 99 oddly specific things to declutter right now
Which areas have you forgotten to declutter last time you went through your stuff? Which is next on your to-do list?