Decluttering Into 2019 : 5 Things to Declutter at the start of a New Year

Hello! Welcome Back! How has 2019 been treating you so far? If you are anything like me, you get this sudden urge to purge everything you own when the new year rolls around. Obviously it’s not realistic to throw out everything you own but, decluttering your living spaces and belongings is obtainable and if you ask me highly recommended. Today I am going to give you five areas from places in your home to your electronics that you can declutter at the start of a new year. Decluttering these 5 areas will help you start the year off more organized, and set you up for better success on achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.


We’ve all been there, you look at your phone when you first wake up and realize you have 30 new emails with only about 5 of them being something that you actually need. Then at lunch time you check your email again and there’s another 30 emails…dinner time, EVEN MORE EMAILS. Majority of them being from these company’s that the only reason you signed up for emails was so you could get 20% off on buying some Christmas present. If you’re like me then you just view the emails super quick knowing you don’t actually care about what sale Ulta is having, you just want to get rid of that annoying little notification badge. Before you know it, you have thousands of emails that you don’t actually need just sitting in your inbox taking up space on your phone. It’s a daunting task, which is why we all push it off but the start of the new year is the perfect time to sort through your emails. When you’re sitting on the train or just mindlessly scrolling on your phone in bed, take 20-30 minutes and clear out any emails that you can. If you want to get really fancy, you can then take it a step further and separate the emails you are keeping into different folders i.e. promotions, blog opportunities, medical reminders, bill payment confirmations. Whatever categories you feel will help you best sort out your emails. You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you’ll have more free space for the next bunch of emails to inevitably pile up.


This is another task that usually gets away from us and you never realize how necessary it is, until after you do it. I have always been pretty good about keeping my photo album on my phone under control, but I have friends who have thousands upon thousands of photos in their phones from yeaaars back. I understand the importance of photos, they capture a memory. I’m not saying you need to get rid of them completely. However, most of us aren’t going to be posting pictures on Instagram from five years ago. I recommend transferring them onto an external hard drive. This way, you still have all these memories but again like with the emails they aren’t taking up a lot of space on your cell phone.

Makeup Storage

This may not be something all of you can relate to, but my fellow makeup lovers you know how easily things can get out of control. Whether you’re a beauty blogger, a makeup artist or just really love makeup the beginning of the year is a great time to sort out your makeup storage. Expiration dates on cosmetics is something a lot of people overlook, but for certain products can be extremely important. Products that you use on your eyes, like mascara or eyeliner should be thrown away every three months to prevent infection. However I do get it, life gets busy and cleaning out our makeup is never first on our list. Take an evening at the start of the year and go through all the products you have. Throw away that one foundation that you absolutely love and are trying to get every last drop out of. Go through and make a donation pile of products that you either didn’t like, or have no use for anymore. Donate the products to your local woman’s shelter and help someone else feel beautiful with products that would just be collecting dust in your collection.

Paper Mail

With how much happens online these days, it’s surprising how much your physical paper mail can pile up. Most of the time for me, it’s not even mail that piles up. It’s silly stuff like receipts or magazines, and the worst of them all my pay stubs. It’s 2019, most of us who get a paycheck have direct deposit set up because who has time to take their check to the bank and deposit it themselves. However, employers still legally have to give you a pay stub even though the only one that matters is the last one of the year. Keep that one for tax purposes, the rest of them get rid of. I can’t tell you how far back I had pay stubs going and they were just sitting taking up space in my desk. I’m sure you have a bigger stack than you realize of paper mail that you don’t need. My biggest reminder with this though is, shred anything that may have personal information and make sure all that you toss ends up in the recycle and not the trash.

Fridge & Freezer

Decluttering isn’t always pretty, sometimes it’s gross and even has mold on it. We just left the holiday season, meaning you probably still have some left over mashed potatoes from Christmas day in the back of your fridge. If one of your goals for the new year is to eat healthier, first off good for you that’s an amazing goal. Secondly, use that goal as an opportunity to sort out your fridge and freezer. It happens to all of us, we forget what we have in there because it’s genuinely not a fun task. Then before you know it you’ve got no room is your fridge and no clean Tupperware because it’s all holding three week old pasta in the back your fridge. Start the year off clean and fresh, there’s nothing worse then coming home from a good trip to the grocery store with all your new healthy options to find that you have no space for them. Just try not to think about how much money and food you’re wasting because, yeah..that kind of hurts a bit.

There you have it, five things you can declutter at the start of your year. I love to declutter, even if it’s not always super fun like decluttering my clothes. All five of these areas are things that get away from us, but once we tackle them we feel so much better and more organized. I always like to think that if your space is somewhat organized it allows your mind to be more organized. Which, at the start of a new year it’s always nice to go into it with a organized mind. What do you like to declutter at the start of a new year? Did I miss anything that you think are crucial? Let me know down in the comments! Thanks for stopping by…until next time,

Be Nice. Be Good.

Mich. x


Simply Michelle

Hi! I’m Mich. I’m a 26 year old young woman trying to navigate adulthood and all the challenges it brings. On Simply Michelle you will find genuine posts about a wide range of topics from mental health & faith to makeup & baking. This is my safe place to be vulnerable and hopefully you'll feel that you can do the same. I hope you stick around!

Be Nice. Be Good. x

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  1. I made it a point not to check/link my email up to my phone – so I have to log in via a real computer to read and respond to them. Same for my work emails. I find it goes a long way in keeping notifications on my phone at a minimum!

    1. that’s such a smart idea, i recently got a new phone and my emails take longer to show up in my notifications and i’ve noticed myself completely forgetting how many emails i get!

  2. I always declutter my inbox, bedroom and laptop before the start of a new year. And multiple times throughout the year actually, my life never really becomes cluttered because of that. A New Year is a great time to have a literal clean slate x

    1. you’re honestly the queen of organization. i really need to be more on top of clearing things out, honestly helps my anxiety when i do have a clear out x

  3. Mandi Schneck says:

    I just did KonMari on my clothes, but I know I have many other areas to declutter! Email is 100% the one I know I need to do but always put off. My makeup drawer is also pretty bad. Maybe I’ll actually get to them this year!

    1. i’ve got some makeup items that i need to replace so i’m hoping it’ll also force me to do a clear out of my makeup drawer!

  4. These are great things to do to declutter, I so can relate to the emails! I always just swipe the notification away and then next thing I know I have over 1000 emails and I just think why didn’t I sort these out sooner.. I still need to get on top of this! I actually went through my make-up at the end of last year and threw away all the old stuff as for Christmas I got a make-up organiser, I got so into it when I got back to my flat and made sure everything was put onto this organiser neatly haha – wonder how long it’ll stay like that..!

    Chloe xx

    1. i actually want to do a post on how i organize my makeup but…i’ll have to sort it out first because it’s gotten a bit out of hand lol!

  5. I’m loving de-cluttering. Been sorting through work emails and documents today. I sorted through some clothes at the weekend and took some to a clothes bank. The lady was so grateful and told me that she was expecting a homeless person in later who would make good use of some coats and tops that I left! X

    1. that’s so wonderful james! that’s my favorite thing about decluttering, you can help those in need with what you no longer have use for xx

  6. great post! i knew it was time to do an email purge when i woke up the morning of black friday and had 200 emails and they were all junk. i spent that weekend going through and unsubscribing from newsletters and unnecessary email lists. i still need to go back and organize my inbox but that’s for a rainy day lol my next chore is organizing my pics on my phone! i’m great about organizing them on my flashdrive on my computer but on my phone? that’s another story lol

    1. oh how i need to unsubscribe from so many email lists! i think this weekend while i get my hair done i’ll go through and sort out my emails!

  7. Mashibaby says:

    I often review a lot of products so I usually give them to my mom or sister to use after I test it out.

    1. that’s such a smart thing to do, i’m sure they are super grateful for it as well! xx

  8. kelsey says:

    These are all great points. I also made an effort this year to unsubscribe from any email mailing lists to try and cut down on the overwhelming amount I receive.

    1. thank you! i need to look into if there is a way you can unsubscribe from a large amount of email lists at once instead of individually! lol xx

  9. Francisca Rockey says:

    I love decluttering and I usually leave it until Spring but it would be even better to go into Spring with clear surroundings. Next time I have a day off, this is exactly what I’m going to spend the day doing, decluttering every aspect of my life. Starting with emails, they’re getting a bit out of hand

    Fran |

    1. it’s crazy how often we need to declutter, or how often I need to at least. i don’t know WHERE all this stuff comes from! 🙇🏼‍♀️🙈

  10. I’ve just recently had a big clear out and it feels so good to be organised! I think January is the perfect time as it starts the year a fresh without 2018’s clutter. Using different folders to keep your inbox tidy is a really good tip, e-mails can add up so quickly! I think I am going to spend some time unsubscribing from e-mails as I get so many random ones. These are great tips Mich, thank you for sharing <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. so glad you enjoyed bexa! it’s absolutely insane how quickly emails can pile up! xx

  11. nicprks says:

    Yes! I 100% agree, I spent new year’s Day deleting what felt like a million emails from my inbox and now I’m left with fifty important ones – never again! Thanks for the great tips ❤️

    1. lol! i do this all the time and then the next time i go have a mass delete it’s always thousands even though i delete a bunch daily! it’s really just never ending!

  12. I had a HUGE clear out of my email accounts the other day and it felt so good! I have one left to do which I’m not looking forward to but I feel fresher already. I got new makeup/ storage twice last year and did clear outs both times so my collection isn’t too out of control right now but I should really do it again because I usually do in January. I don’t need to do my fridge/ freezer but I do want to go through my pantry! I’m loving the fresh vibes everyone has at this time of year x


    1. i love them as well! i need to figure out a better makeup storage system, i’ve gotten rid of everything I wanted but it’s still out of control!

  13. SUCH a relatable post! I decluttered my emails and apps on my phone just before the New Year, but I reaaaaaally need to do photos. I’ve been putting it off because I know what a hard task it’s going to be!

    Jas xx |

    1. i never realized how easy it is for photos to pile up, i had to stay on top of them because i only had a 16gb phone for year..i now have a 128gb phone so i have to stay accountable to keep my photos under control!

  14. I like to declutter everything one by one just so it feels like a fresh new start. My closet is a big one! 🙂

    1. isn’t organizing your closet such a fun task! i love color coordinating everything! lol xx

  15. Cake & Coast says:

    Such a great inspirational post.

    I’m trying my best to declutter and have already made small changes like massively downsizing my wardrobe and getting rid of a lot of junk I had lying around in boxes. Next stop is the kitchen and cupboard space.

    Although, my emails are all over the place at the moment and you’ve reminded me to get organised in that perspective too.I have 3 email addresses ( I don’t know why) and they are all a mess.

    Thanks for sharing and helping me get organised.

    Kate |

    1. don’t worry I have 3 email addresses as well, I don’t even think i remember all their passwords lol! I hope you have a great organized new year xx

  16. I’ve just done a huge makeup declutter and I’ve wrote a post which is coming soon on my blog! I really need to sort out my emails too and I want to do my wardrobe too, I love having a good clothing clear out!

    Jess //

    1. yes! I need to do my clothes as well. make room to buy new clothes right!?! 😂🤷🏼‍♀️

      1. Yes exactly!x

  17. Love this post! There’s nothing I love more than a good declutter because who doesn’t love to start the year with a decluttered life! Will definitely take your advice and have a clear out of photos as they do definitely stack up and I must have 40 pictures of the same thing!


    1. gosh I know i’m the exact same! struggles of using your phone to take blog pictures, 50 pictures of about the same thing with just a slightly different angle or lighting lol! x

  18. Oh my gosh reading this made me anxious haha I still have all of this to do and so much of it!! I have about 30 emails currently that I have been meaning to read since about September and I just keep putting them off! Makeup is a huge one, I do it quite regularly actually so I don’t end up with any weird mouldy lipsticks. Photos is one I really need to prioritise as my phone memory is full to the brim and I have over 14,000 photos saved on it… Maybe I’ll sit and do that tonight, haha! De-cluttering really does help, though. Makes you focus so much better when you know things are in order!
    Alice Xx

    1. I have to go through my emails as well! i’ve never had a problem with photos bc my phone storage was so small but now I have 128gb on my phone so I can understand how pictures just pile up. I catch myself just letting them go and then I have over 1200 photos of silly things!

  19. Hey Michelle hope your holidays were great! Happy New Year to you and your family. So I totally need to clean out my emails, they’re so backed up, it’s actually overwhelming and I feel like I’m missing out on opportunities because emails are becoming too old. Going to start implementing the folder method and delete or store as I go instead of waiting for everything to pile up. Thanks for sharing this post!

    About to follow you on Instagram too!! <3

    Natonya |

  20. Lisa's Notebook says:

    Happy New Year, Mich! I loved reading this post, there are so many helpful tips in here. I started a huge declutter over the holidays (it’s still very much a work in progress) and the amount of paper that I shredded was unreal. I know what you mean about emails too, I’ve been unsubscribing to lots and I’m slowly beginning to just get ones I want to reply to now (except for offers of SEO audits and unsolicited guest posts, haha). Good luck with the rest of your decluttering this year! xx

    Lisa |

    1. happy new year lisa! thank you! and I totally know what you mean about shredding paper, I had pay stubs going back to 2017!! my desk feels so much less overwhelming now that I shorted out my overload of paper! xx

  21. I love decluttering, though I need to do more, having a break while I recover from surgery, but I’ll soon be back at it

    1. absolutely, decluttering can wait until you have recovered. hope recovery is going well for you debbie xx

      1. Thank you, it’s going pretty well so far xx

  22. I had a bit of a clear-out of random odds and ends last weekend which felt really good and cleared some space. But I never quite considered how good it would be to do the same for things like emails – my inbox is a mess! Great post, I’m definitely going to have to do this!

    1. thank you! i need to do a clear out of my emails as well! x

  23. My camera roll could do with a declutter, I’ve got so many photos that are taking up phone storage that I should really move to an external hard drive. Also, need to declutter my emails, they’re all in organising into different folders but those folders need decluttering, I’m sure there are emails dating back to 2016 that I’ve chucked in there, “out of sight, out of mind” sorta thing

    Fran |

    1. I’m the same with my photos, now that I have more space on my phone I’m so bad at deleting them!

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