101 Physical Things That Can Be Reduced In Your Home

“One can furnish a home very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” —Francis Jourdain

Many people will miss the joys of minimalism because they are afraid to begin. Often, they fear if they remove an item from their home, they will regret it in the future if they need it again. While that rarely happens (you need so much less than you think), if this fear is preventing you from getting started, try this alternative method instead.

Begin by simply reducing the excess things in your home. For example, your family needs towels so you will never remove them completely—but you could simplify your life by reducing the number of towels you own. This approach removes all risk.

Once you take that first step, you will start to experience the benefits of owning less. You will enjoy the refreshing feeling of a less-cluttered linen closet or bathroom drawer. Soon, you will notice countless other things that can be reduced in your home. Before you know it, you will have made significant progress in your journey towards a more simplified life.

To better understand the potential of this simple, risk-free step, I compiled a list of 101 Things That Can Easily Be Reduced In Your Home.

This list is not meant to overwhelm or frustrate you, it’s simply meant to give you an idea of how significant a step this can be–just choosing 10 things on this list to start with would result in a noticeable difference in your home.

  1. Glassware
  2. Cookbooks
  3. Kitchen gadgets
  4. Kitchen appliances
  5. Pots / pans
  6. Mixing bowls
  7. Tupperware
  8. Water pitchers
  9. Magazines
  10. Newspapers
  11. Books
  12. Over-the-counter medicine
  13. Make-up
  14. Barretts / hair clips / ponytail holders
  15. Cleaning supplies
  16. Personal beauty appliances (hair dryer/curlers, electric razors)
  17. Bottles of shampoo/conditioner
  18. Photos
  19. Photography supplies
  20. Sewing supplies
  21. Craft supplies
  22. Scrap-booking supplies
  23. CD’s
  24. DVD’s
  25. Decorative items
  26. Candles
  27. Figurines
  28. Crystal
  29. Vases
  30. Audio/visual components
  31. Audio/visual cables
  32. Computer equipment
  33. MP3 players
  34. Furniture
  35. Video game systems
  36. Vdeo games
  37. Video game accessories
  38. Shirts / shorts
  39. Pants
  40. Coats
  41. Dresses
  42. Hats
  43. Clothes hangers
  44. Shoes
  45. Winter gear
  46. Jewelry
  47. Purses
  48. Coins
  49. Pillows
  50. Towels
  51. Linen sets
  52. Candle Holders
  53. Televisions
  54. Items on your bulletin board
  55. Magnets
  56. Artwork
  57. Mirrors
  58. Home office supplies
  59. Pens/pencils
  60. Old batteries
  61. Tools
  62. Hardware
  63. Rolls of duct tape
  64. Coolers
  65. Manuals
  66. Phone books
  67. Coupons
  68. Sporting good supplies
  69. Sports memorabilia
  70. Aluminum cans
  71. Glass bottles
  72. Automobile fluids
  73. Automobiles
  74. Scrap pieces of lumber
  75. Brooms
  76. Rakes
  77. Shovels
  78. Garden tools
  79. Plant containers
  80. Empty cardboard boxes
  81. Board games
  82. Puzzles
  83. Decks of cards
  84. Unused wedding gifts
  85. Baby clothes
  86. Baby supplies
  87. Old schoolbooks/papers
  88. Army men
  89. Bath toys
  90. Toy balls
  91. Toy cars/trucks
  92. Toy musical instruments
  93. Stuffed animals
  94. Plastic toys
  95. Childrens’ old school papers
  96. Suitcases
  97. Soda
  98. Alcohol
  99. Processed foods
  100. Christmas / seasonal decorations
  101. Cable channels

Go ahead. Give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose.


If you are just beginning your own personal journey towards simplicity, I recommend our book: Simplify. 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life. In it, you will find principles of simplicity that are encouraging, uplifting, and completely within your reach.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Katie says

    Josh I love your philosophy, truly inspiring. I know the power of an organized home on our lives…its proven when I feel the mood change in our home in those weeks when all the laundry is done and house is tidy, only to see the moods change again in a negative way as we fall off cleaning wagon. I have no doubt your principles are effective.

    • Uzma says

      Very well said. I feel depressed when my home is not organized or unclean and when it’s all tidy, even a cup of tea is so enjoyable.

  2. says

    Great list of reducibles – born of experience I can tell. As I read your list my mind jumps from room to room and says yup, yup!

  3. says


    Thank you, this is just the sort of information I was after. I have been slowly reducing my stuff as I am planning on moving to the other side of the world, my wife to follow. As you can imagine this is a daunting task. Everything has to be either moved, stored, thrown out or sold. Less stuff = less decisions.

    I can just see myself eventually with a few bicycles, my photography stuff (which I am aiming to fit within one bag), my clothes, a few books, and the bare essentials such as the bed, desk lamp, and a few keepsakes. I think it’s nice to have some art hanging on the walls, but that too can take over your space.

    Since moving to Spain, we can’t afford all these silly kitchen appliances so that definitely helps. For example we only have three saucepans in the house but only really use one of them. I thought we had very few possessions. But reading your list I’m still amazed at what we have in our house that is on there:

    – a couple of bottles of alcohol sitting there a few years
    – unread books that I’ll likely never ever read but feel ‘guilty’ if I throw them out
    – a few stupid stuffed little animal toys I don’t even like (I am just keeping the cute ones hahaha)
    – old batteries
    – coins which aren’t worth anything at all
    – old pots

    Seems to me a lot faster/cheaper to just throw all this clutter out. A few valuable things I have sold on ebay. Generally you know if something is worth selling or thowing out…

    • Laura says

      Please dont just throw.. Donate if the stuff is still useful or pretty new. Cleaning doesnt mean wasting. All that things needs to be re-use. If they we already bought is necessary for us to think how to give them more life before just throwing it away. And that way, you’ll definetly feel less “guilty” That’s what I always do.

      • Liz says

        You are so right Laura…

        Also, don’t forget to donate any towels, sheets,
        and bedspreads to your local animal shelter! :)

        • lessy says

          Ah ha! You are a genius. I’ve always wondered what to do with old towels and have ended up throwning them out! This despite getting all our cats (at least) from shelters. Such a dimwit. I shall keep that in mind when we need to replace the current ones. Thank you.

        • Vanessa says

          Donating to an animal shelter is an excellent idea, but if you are in an area that doesn’t have this as an option you could always ask your local mechanic if they would like some rags. We have people bringing us bags of old pillowcases, teatowels etc to use and it is always appreciated. (Yep, I’m a mechanics wife and believe me, having them wipe their hands on rags instead of their clothes is sooo appreciated!!)

      • Fiona Cee says

        I aim to donate most of what needs to go. i don’t hold on to garbage/trash [tho i dare say my siblings might disagree]. i thrown out what needs to be thrown out, i just don’t donate
        as much as i should, tho i have started by giving my new nieces my old long hair accessories for which they were very grateful.

      • Carol says

        People should NOT feel guilty about throwing things out. The problem with that is that people with clutter need to let go of that donate it step. It just creates more clutter. Nobody else “needs” your clutter. Seriously people just put it off b/c of the guilt of needing to donate it. It just needs to be gone. It may work for you but not for someone who has issues with clutter.

        • Veronica says

          Yes. This. The idea that “I will donate that” is often what prevents progress. Because some people get to a point where 60% (or more) of their possessions need to be donated which WILL NEVER HAPPEN. So the clutter just sits, waiting for that magical day called “someday” when its owner gets around to hauling it to the various donation places.

          It is better to “donate” to the garbage man once and for all and make some visual, quantifiable progress, than to be hung up on the need to donate to the point where you never see the forest through the trees.

          Know thyself. “Will I REALLY ever get around to donating/selling/fixing/refurbishing this?” If not, let it go.

    • Uzma says

      Thanks for sharing your blog Carly. I think I am going to start doing the same. I know I will struggle but I will still give it a go.

  4. Dianne says

    I love this article. Just love it. And I love the cleansing feeling of removing items that I don’t need but I’m far from being minimalist. I’d love to see photos of a house from some who is truly living the minimalist life.

  5. Ally says

    I’ve been doing the 2014 for 2014 Challenge with Slow your home. I am at just about 900 items, but my momentum is slowing. This was exactly what I needed.

  6. Katie says

    We are a family of 4 that live in a small tOwnhouse. We had a house fire in 2012 that completely wiped us out. Prior to that we were filled to the brim with toys, household items, and childhood memories. While we struggled with rebuilding and replacing I realized how much of that “stuff” that we had which we never really needed. It’s nice to, now that we are back home, live simply and be free from the clutter.

  7. says

    I have been doing this challenge for the last 35 days getting rid of one of the categories a day! Some of them don’t apply because I have already purged, but many of them do! This article has really made me explore what I keep, and most importantly why. I am excited to keep trucking through and see how much more I can rid of!

  8. Kris says

    Other than Photos, Photography Supplies, and Artwork – I am quickly taking this article to heart and revamping my entire home!!
    Thank you!

    • Amber says

      Probably to scan your photos onto a computer then save in a hard drive. Otherwise maybe have a family night where you take stock and each select certain # of photos to discard for good? It’s a tough answer for me too

  9. Amber says

    Where does one donate old bottles of shampoo or lotions and things that are stil half full?? I feel bad throwing these out but dunno what charity would take them. Suggestions?
    Same goes for condiments or vitamins that were opened once and not used, still within expiration date…

    • Anne-Marie says

      Throw them out. I know you don’t want to waste them but it’s similar to giving someone a half-eaten sandwich. I know I sure would not want any of those items once they’ve been opened/used.

    • Stephanie says

      I know this may sound odd but I for shampoos, lotions, and the like I’ve had people pay .50-1.00 for those at yard sales. I didn’t think anyone would buy them but they did.

      • sara says

        Or put out a “free” box (at lawn sale…or a friend or family members lawn sale). People will use it!

    • Sherry says

      Shampoo, hair products, body washes etc… donate to shelters. Women & children will pick what they need & its a plus for the shelter.

    • dee says

      use them to clean the stool. I got the idea from the flylady. I used the ones I became allergic to.

  10. Jack says

    What I’ve been doing for this month is that on the 1st I give away, sell or throw out 1 item. On the 2nd; 2 items. On the 3rd; 3 items, and so on until the end of the month. By the 31st I’ll have gotten rid of 495 things. I started identifying Items the last week of the previous month so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed on any day. I also post my daily purge on my facebook page just so I honour my commitment and also I find that it holds me accountable.

  11. Kim says

    I have been de cluttering my home for 6 months .
    17 car loads to donate to savers and goodwill .
    Some tips I have , stuffed animals can be donated to the fire station . They give them to kids that have been in accidents or fires .
    Also getting your kids involved in cleaning out their rooms .

    • Laura says

      Kim, that is a great idea! My Goodwill told me that they are overflowing with stuffed animals and would probably be discarded. I love the idea that they can go somewhere to bring joy to a child especially in a traumatic situation. Thanks!

  12. Barb says

    I loved how in the midst of reading therunning list of things that can be reduced, I came across “army men”. Made me smile.

  13. Carole says

    Craft supplies? Are you mad? lol

    Seriously, I’m an artist, so reducing my craft supplies isn’t a priority. ;) That said, I have been cleaning out to try and become more focused on what I do.

    Good list.

    • sofia y dolores says

      I had the same idea. I would never get rid off craft supplies, nor books. The rest I totally agree. You can add (plastic) bags!

  14. ralf says

    My soup pot is my stock pot is my crock pot is my mixing bowl.
    The tupperware we have is used for freezing, taking lunch to work and storing leftovers. If it doesn’t fulfill its intended purpose it goes.
    Old batteries are collected and disposed of in the supermarket.
    We don’t own a car.
    Last year I just replaced all my 10 year old underwear with new ones. 3old for 1new.
    We don’t have any medicines.

    Others can go after we are dead.

  15. says

    Love this list one so many levels. We’re moving in a few months so all the more incentive for us to rid of things we don’t need and only bring purposeful items we love and need in our new space.

    • Jfran says

      Just donated 125 cookbooks!! The purge was uplifting and now I’m inspired to do more. Any ideas for motivating a not-so-enthusiastic partner?

  16. Regina says

    wow! Thought I had gotten rid of a lot but I still have a ways to go. Except that the sewing supplies stay. I am a quilter. I did however cut my hair short and wear no makeup. All I need in the bathroom is my soap, shampoo, hairbrush, and a bit of hairspray. And of course my toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. No need for more. Even just wearing my hair super short and natural has been freeing!

    • says

      That was posted too quickly, and I apologize. Please replace onde-owning with “on de-owning” and “waffel” with “waffle.”

  17. christine says

    I see glassware is on your list. You must have more glass than most people have plastic. I would encourage people to remove as much plastic in their lives as possible I have done this and replace with glass, but you can accumulate too much of anything. I find it’s easier to scale down in the kitchen than anywhere else.

  18. says

    The audio video equipment and cables is the ongoing struggle in these parts. Every time I move I cringe at having to reconnect miles of cables. I can’t wait to upgrade and have one simple system rather than a huge kit of parts from the 90s. It is amazing how streamlined it is becoming at relatively decent price points. I don’t frequent the electronics department much, so I am probably behind the curve on this topic. Now if only there was a constructive way to ditch the tube TV.

  19. Lana says

    I have become a huge fan of trying to keep the number of possessions I have to a dull roar. I have 2 children– boys ages 5 and 7– and I am teaching them to purge and organize on a regular basis. And they’re so happy about it! They’re not overwhelmed or anxious when I ask them to put their toys away because they have designated spots for their things to go. When I ask them to get dressed or put their laundry away they know exactly where things go and there is actually room for things in their drawers.

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