20 Simple Things to Declutter in the Winter

Need a little decluttering inspiration? This article will help you to find a nice collection of things to declutter in the winter.

The more tips you can collect on how to declutter more easily, the more your house will transform into a place you love to be in. Keep what you love let go of what you don’t and create a home you love and deserve.

20 Simple Things to Declutter in the Winter

Not much seems to happen in the winter. Well, at least they don’t here. I tend to hibernate during the colder months, and in some ways, that is a good thing.

Having a chance to put my feet up by a cozy warm fire is always nice, but I also get lazy if I do this too much, and suddenly things in my house start to slip.

That is when winter can become detrimental to our home clutter health.

Maybe you are not in the mood for a full decluttering project, and that is completely understood. So as a backup plan, here is a quick action, super effective, low-stress clutter checklist that might just be what the doctor ordered.

The good news is, I love to make checklists, and I have a few of these spread out on my site. These are great to add to your Decluttering Planner Binder that you can grab and use again and again.

a cozy winter room with a candle and pillows

20 Simple Things to Declutter in the Winter

This is a list of 20 things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do more! If you get inspired as you work your way through this list, go for it. The more you remove the less you have to organize later on.

#1. Winter Gear

If you are like me, then I am sure you have a pretty healthy collection of winter gear.

Things like gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, boots, and earmuffs. It’s amazing how they can multiply year after year. But do you need all those things?

Take some time to gather up your complete collection and go through what you have. I like to keep a few gloves in each size just in case the kids come home for a visit and offer to work outside.

Once you have set aside what you plan to keep, it can be easier to identify what is left.

Winter gear you can declutter.

  • Gloves or mittens without a mate. Toss these in the trash.
  • Hats that no longer fit anyone in the home. These are great to donate to a homeless shelter.
  • Scarves. You really only need to keep a casual and dress option for each person. The rest can be donated to charity.
  • Boots that no longer fit can be donated. Boots that have holes or tears can be tossed.

Clutter-free side effect: Make it easier for your family members to find what they need. This will keep your closet or mudroom in a neater state.

#2. Candles 

If you have empty or almost empty candles ask your friends if they are interested. More often than not, you might just find a taker. If not, you can ask your local donation center if they take them before dropping them off.

Clutter-free side effect: Free up room for new candles, such as spring scents to bring the thought of spring into your home while the temperatures outside are still too cold to enjoy.

#3. Kids Clothes

Many folks tend to start new budgets in the new year, take advantage of that and sell clothes your kids no longer fit into. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell full bags of clothes in one quick and easy sale.

Clutter-free side effect: Free up room in your kid’s dressers and closets allowing them to more easily keep their clothes neater.

#4. Books

This is a great time to go through your reading material and take your collection down to a more reasonable one.

What is reasonable? Well, how much room do you have available? If your bookshelf is full causing you to have stacks of books on end tables and counters, this is a good sign that you need to clean things out.

You can donate books to your local library, elementary school, or even daycare if you have children’s books to pass on.

#5. Magazines 

Next up are your magazines. The thing about magazines is they keep on coming.

If we do not keep up with reading them, they can stack up rather quickly. Pull out as many as possible and pass them on where they will get used often. A doctor’s office is a great option as is any business with a waiting room.

Another idea is a nursing home. Many times they will gladly take in new or old magazines for their residents to enjoy.

#6. Winter Clothes

The best time to go through your winter clothes is while you are wearing them. I am a bit proponent of only having clothes I love to wear. That means if I don’t like the feel or the look of it…I am not going to keep it.

Decluttering clothes in a closet is super easy if you use the hanger trick. Here is how it works. Go into your clothes and turn all of your hangers around so they are backward.

As you wear something correct the hanger so it is facing the right way. At the end of the month, you can easily see what pieces you are wearing and which ones you are ignoring.

Those are the clothes you want to go through and declutter.

orange sweater on a hanger

Clutter-free side effect: When you free up space in your closet and dresser the clothes you are keeping will have room to breathe. This means those clothes you love will last much longer, so you can wear them much longer.

More Closet Resources:

#7. Sunglasses

You might just be a bit surprised to see this on the winter decluttering list, but most people tend to wear sunglasses more in the winter than in the summer. Why? Because snow is bright.

Take some time to gather up all the sunglasses you have and remove any that are broken. Then take out any you no longer wear and send them off to donation.

#8. Email Subscriptions

Next time you are sitting down enjoying some quiet time next to the fireplace, why not spend a few minutes unsubscribing from any emails or newsletters you no longer read.

You can find the unsubscribe buttons at the very bottom of the email, usually in tiny print. Click the word and follow the steps all the way to the end to ensure it takes.

Please note that it can take up to 2 weeks to get your email removed from the list.

#9. Holiday Decorations

The best time to declutter holiday decorations is while you are putting them away. Be sure to put things into empty totes and only put in the pieces you know you will continue to use to decorate your home. For anything, you no longer love you have two choices.

First, you can send them off to the donation center, or second, you can set up decoration totes for your kids to use when they move onto a home of their own.

Christmas Decorations and Gift Box Isolated on White

Set up a small tote and label one for each family member. When they move out, you can gift them their tote and start a holiday collection with a few family tokens they will love to have.

#10. Winter Blankets

Take the time now to go through your winter blanket collection. Collect anything that is torn or faded and send them to the local animal shelter.

Collect anything that is in good shape that you no longer want and send them off to the homeless shelter. Make a note of anything you need to replace and add it to your shopping list.

#11. Bed Linens

While you are there take a look at the sheets that you have. Remove any that have lost their elastic. You can donate these to the animal shelter.

Clutter-free side effect: When you remove the linens that you no longer use it will allow you to create an organized linen closet. This will make it easier for you to make beds, stock bathrooms, and more.

#12. Papers

At the start of the year, many think of tax prep. This is a great reason to clean out the papers you collected over the last 12 months. Gather up all the papers you have and sort them into 3 piles.

Toss, Shred, File. 

Once you have your remaining papers filed in their proper area, you can then start to do your taxes for the year.

But don’t stop there. Take the time to set up a system to keep papers filed as the year goes on, so next year you can skip over this project knowing everything is up to date where it needs to be.

More Paper Clutter Resources:

#13 Movies

When it’s cold we tend to spend more time indoors watching movies. Those movies used to be ones we owned, meaning many of us had huge collections. Now most of us prefer to stream movies rather than take up space in our homes owning them.

If you are a streamer this is a great time to declutter old movie collections.

Clutter-free side effect: Free up space to hold other things allowing you to declutter even more as you do. There is nothing quite as motivating as letting go of things you no longer need.

a woman holding a stack of dvd movies in a family room next to a collection of dvds.

#14 Pantry Items

People don’t always realize that food can become clutter. Why not remove items that you know your family will not eat and pass them on to people that could really use them. Canned goods are great and always welcome at the food pantry.

Clutter-free side effect: When you free up space in your food pantry it will allow you to streamline that area in a more organized way.

When your food storage is organized, you will find yourself buying less and using up more before it goes bad. This is going to save you a pretty impressive amount of money.

labeled bins in an organized pantry

#15 Pots and Pans

Speaking of food, take the time to go through your cooking gear. Remove any pots and pans that are scratched up or the Teflon is flaking off.

Be sure to toss these items as they are not good to donate. make sure to add to your shopping list any pieces that you know need to be replaced.

#16 Dishes and Glasses

Did you know that cracked or chipped dishes or glasses can house bacteria? Take some time to toss any that you find.

If you are short on pieces, you can find single plates, bowls, and glasses for less than $1 each at Walmart.

#17. Empty Boxes

If you are like me, then you are an online shopper. That means you might just have a rather large collection of cardboard boxes lying around.

It’s true that you can use these boxes for donations, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep them all. Take some time to break down extra boxes into piles you can then take to the recycling center.

stack of empty boxes

#18. Makeup

I always seem to have more makeup than I need. The thing is makeup does expire. This can be anywhere from 3 months to a few years.

Take some time to go through your makeup and toss any that is out of date. Don’t forget to add to your shopping list anything you are out of.

Clutter-free side effect: Now you will know that you are only using good makeup that is not expired.

#19. Medicine

Winter and colds usually go hand in hand. Be sure the medicine you have is current and not expired. This is a good habit to have and one you can add to your seasonal schedule.

Remember to dispose of medicines in an appropriate and safe way. If you are not sure, you can call your local pharmacist and ask for tips or advice.

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#20. Slippers

Go through your family’s slippers and toss any that are without a pair or torn or worn out. If you come across a pair that is in good shape you can donate them to someone that could use them.

This is a great way to see who needs new slippers and come up with a great gift idea.

Decluttering seasonal items is a great way to go through and remove excess items. This will help you to free up space and remove a bit more clutter at the same time. The more you can remove that you do not need or use the more space you will free up for loving and enjoying your home.

Work on this list of 20 things to declutter in the winter and take another step closer to creating a home you love and deserve.

Organizing Resources for Your Home:


  1. My whole house needs de-cluttering, but with these 20 tips I will be able to get started de-cluttering my house. I see 2 already that I can start on today.

  2. I’m with Rose, my house needs decluttering everywhere too. I’ve been slowly doing one room at a time or working on one drawer or kitchen cabinet. And with tax time here I will for sure be getting rid of extra paper.

  3. This is a helpful post. I recently did some heavy remodeling to my home, and because of that I’m living like a beginning hoarder! I had to rent a storage unit for breakables (cookie jar collectin < why oh why didn't I choose spoons!), and push all of my furniture up against all the inside walls…. Working non-stop through covid (mail carrier) and age 67…with diabetes, so no energy. Splitting chores up into small areas/times, is something I can do.
    On another note: I realize that decluttering is difficult for those who hold onto things, but I am NOT going to give up my books or my dvd collection! WHEN the SHTF, I will have entertainment. Those without power, if it is weather or grid down situation, I have 3 portable dvd players.. and large battery banks. Those who only have access to reading or movies through their computer will be SOL. Relying on only ONE option is never a good idea…if THAT ONE thing goes away, you will have nothing!
    I realize I'm in the minority here, but at my age, I just can't give up those books or movies that I have in hand.
    Thank you for these helpful posts that break up an unpleasant and difficult emotional chore into doable chunks of time and effort.

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