6 things that can waste space in your home

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At first glance, you may not see all the items that are wasting space in your home. Maybe they are hidden or behind closed doors.

Many years ago, a TV program called McGyver portrayed a man who always had what he needed in every situation. He was a special agent and a creative troubleshooter. He seemed to have the right things at the right time or a way to make the right thing at the right nail-biting moment in the show.

We aren’t McGyver; however, some people feel they need everything to ensure they are prepared for whatever situation arises. Some are tender-hearted and have difficulty letting go because something has meaning or a memory they can’t imagine letting go of. Others want to make sure they won’t go without. These are valid reasons. However, what if having everything we needed didn’t have to mean having everything but knowing that we had enough?

What if having everything we needed didn’t mean having everything, but knowing that we had enough?

When we look for something we need in a closet, cabinet, or other space, and we have an abundance of items stored there, we may:

  • Waste time digging through items and looking for what we need
  • Give up and buy a new item, adding to the already existing clutter
  • Be frustrated and go without what we need

Even in these scenarios, some items take up space; for some, it’s very valuable, if not limited. Here are six things, or categories, that can waste space in your home and solutions to help declutter and make more space.

1. Kitchen gadgets and containers

Have you ever struggled trying to open or close a drawer? All the cooking spoons and stacked gadgets get stuck, and you must maneuver around trying to unjam the drawer. Or do you have a cabinet that is so full in the kitchen items tumble out or are hard to pair container and lid?


  • Set time aside, like 30 minutes, to focus on one drawer or cabinet at a time.
  • Empty the drawer or cabinet on the kitchen table or counter so you can see everything you are storing.
  • Look and inspect each item and honestly ask yourself:
    • When did I use this last? In the past year?
    • Does this work well? Is it old or broken?
    • Does this make cooking or baking easier?
  • Once you have asked the question, your gut will tell you the answer. The second thought may be your mind trying to challenge your decision or the goal you are trying to accomplish. Don’t talk yourself out of what your gut shares with you. If unsure, you can have a separate box for the unknowns. This box can be labeled in storage if needed; you can get it—otherwise, empty items after six months to a year.
  • Having solutions to divide your drawer or cabinet can help you better use your space.

2. Bathroom toiletries

There are so many to try when it comes to lotions and potions! And because there are so many to try, our bathroom cabinets can get stuffed! Holding onto these items, which we have only partially tried, doesn’t help you feel better about the purchase. They are just a reminder of what you bought and aren’t using.


Empty one drawer or cabinet at a time, then counter and ask yourself:

  •  Do I like how this looks, smells, and works? Does this product do what it said it would do?
  • Is it expired or old? Is it dried up or no good?
  • Do I have more than I need?

Sorting your items into keep, trash, and giveaway will open up your space and help you keep the toiletries you love using and make you feel good or are essential to caring for yourself.

It’s okay to have open space; not every shelf has to be full. Every month, scan the bathroom and ask yourself the same questions, but it will go faster each time you do this process. 

I know some bathroom counters and cabinets are limited, so you can use counter valets, cabinet shelf inserts, and small drawer organizers if you lack space.

Making the space that we care for ourselves functional and inviting makes getting ready for the day relaxing and stress-free. No more searching or digging through stuff!

3. clothes and shoes

Clothes and shoes can take up lots of space. Closets can turn into a black hole if we don’t regularly sort through what we own or what has accumulated and make decisions. We can’t see all we have to choose from when we have stuffed closets or drawers. We end up wearing only a few of the same things. 

Imagine if you only stored all the items you LOVE wearing and feel good in RIGHT NOW. 


Just like the kitchen, focus on one area at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed unloading everything from your closet, drawers, or wardrobe. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does this fit me well?
  • Do I feel comfortable in this?
  • When was the last time I wore it?
  • Do I love this?

When you have sorted everything, the items you love will return to the closet, and you can organize by type to make it easy to find what you need. Remove those items you don’t love or fit as soon as possible. Don’t give yourself the time to second guess your decision.

4. collectables

These are all the unique things we have acquired through our lives, our kid’s lives, our parent’s lives, and so on.


  • Take photos of items to document them and still have a memory, but take up less space.
  • Don’t keep items out of guilt; if you don’t care for it, it’s okay to let it go.
  • Choose to keep only the sentimental items that make your heart truly happy, and that you have the space for. 
  • Enjoy the memories, and make space for future memories.

5. books

Books are incredible! There are many things we learn, journeys we take and get lost in words, and beautiful pictures to enjoy; I understand why people love acquiring and collecting books.

However, books take up a lot of space!


Sort books and separate ones you:

  • Know you will NEVER read
  • Know you will never read it a second time
  • Damaged

Just because a book is in good shape or you bought it doesn’t mean it needs to continue taking up space. Give them to your local library, book bank, rest home, etc. So many people would love to read what you are willing to gift them.

6. furniture

Furniture takes up lots of space, and some have more than they need. Do you need multiple bookshelves? Do you need multiple couches or chairs? Do you have to do some gymnastics to move through a room? Do you spend time dusting because of all the surfaces?


Ask yourself:

  • Does every piece of furniture serve a purpose?
  • Does this function well, or is it damaged or broken?
  • Can I move through my space well?

Letting go of furniture can change the way your space feels and functions. Even completely transform the look! So many can’t afford to buy new furniture; you will be a hero sharing what you have with others.


Decluttering these items can open new space, letting you know what you have, make better use of what you keep, save money, and save time, eliminating having to search through the abundance of items in your cabinets, closets, and home.

You will find things easier and faster by eliminating too many items and using what you have more. A less cluttered space gives us peace of mind.


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