If you regularly receive flower deliveries, then you may have many extra vases; but, because you always receive a new vase with each bouquet, you don’t really need to hold onto all those extra vases.
If you feel like you should hold onto the vases, try keeping one each short, medium, and tall and you’ll be prepared for some spontaneous flower arranging.
Of course, if you frequently buy a bunch of flowers from the flower shop or grocery store, then you already know what size vase(s) you use and need.
If you rarely or never buy or receive a bouquet that doesn’t come with its own vase, you might decide that you don’t need to hold onto any vases. If you receive flowers and you don’t have a vase for them, you can always be creative and set the blooms in drinking glasses, jars, a pitcher, or a ceramic bowl.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate a snack that you are eating only because you are bored, or you need a break.
You may have received a gift basket, used the contents, and stored the basket for future use. Maybe you bought a basket for a particular decorative use. Baskets are bulky (and if they have handles, they may not stack neatly one inside the other) but they seem so useful … so, we hold onto them.
Use your 15-minutes of decluttering time today to gather as many baskets that you can find around your house. Do you have a tangled pile in the basement or out in the garage? How many of the baskets were you using intentionally (by which I mean that you purposefully put items in the basket as opposed to using it as a catch-all)?
You can use baskets if they meet your needs. (And if you bring one into use and find it doesn’t meet your needs, then stop using that basket.) If a basket isn’t moldy or dirty beyond what a simple cleaning will take care of, you can fill a basket with muffins and bring them into work, bring an assortment of small goodies to book club or a party, turn it back into a gift basket, or donate them.
If you have assorted cans of interior and exterior paint, look at the labels to see if you still have those colors in your home. If you don’t, would you use that color again?
If the paint is in good condition, your local recycling center might have an area where people can leave cans of paint for others to take home. If there isn’t much paint in the can, you can leave the cover off latex paint, let it dry, and then toss the can. Hardware stores also carry chemicals that you can mix in with the paint to dry it more quickly, so you can throw it away.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Delete three-to-five bookmarked pages on your smartphone or computer.
I know, you just need to replace the socket on that lamp or to get a new shade, so how long have you been telling yourself this? If you’ve moved the lamp to the basement, attic, or garage, do you really plan on fixing that lamp? Did you replace it?
Maybe the lamp isn’t broken, it just doesn’t suit the room or your use any longer. Why not donate the lamp to someone who can use it? You may have had the good intentions to use the lamp in another room or to fix it, but if that hasn’t happened, release it.
If this doesn’t apply to you: Toss three things from a junk drawer.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.