If you’re working your way to a decluttered and organized life, getting rid of certain things should be a no-brainer. But, it’s not always that easy. Here are 25 things to get rid of today that you won’t even miss.
Over time, it seems that the random objects we collect or get given start to hold some kind of important meaning to us. Some things more than others.
Have you ever tried to purge your house and realized that you can’t dare give up your precious items? Maybe you decided to start with your old, falling apart clothes and realized that you are somewhat attached to those ratty clothes.
We get scared that if we get rid of something, even if we haven’t used it for months or years, we are suddenly going to need it the day after we get rid of it.
That used to be me. I didn’t care much for some of the things that had come into my husband’s and my possessions over the years, but as soon as I would try to get rid of it, suddenly it became something that held deep meaning to me. Do you know how hard it is to donate, sell, or throw away something that you feel attached to? If you’re here, I’m sure you can relate.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of 25 things to get rid of today that you won’t miss. You may convince yourself that you’re going to miss it, but I’m sure once the items are gone you will barely give them a second thought.
So go ahead, break off the ties that keep you feeling emotionally attached to your belongings. It’s time to start purging your house.
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25 THINGS TO GET RID OF TODAY THAT YOU WON’T MISS
Before you start, you will want to make sure you have three bins like these that you will take from room to room with you. One bin will become your “toss” bin, the next bin will become your “donate or sell” bin, and finally, the last bin will be your “keep” bin.
1. OLD MAGAZINES
Are you a magazine hoarder? I had so many magazines collected over the years, some that I read a time or two and some that I had never even opened up – but I saved them for a day when I would finally sit down and read them.
Years later, that day still hasn’t come.
Getting rid of your old magazines is a good place to start when purging your house. It’s a simple task and will free up a lot of extra space for you. If the magazines are torn, bent, ripped, or just overall in bad shape, you might want to toss them. But, if they are still in good shape you can donate the magazines so you know at least someone will be able to get some more use out of them.
If you have some magazines that you know you are going to read, use an organizer like this one to keep them organized and uncluttered.
2. OLD CLOTHES
I feel like I’m speaking directly to myself when I say this: it’s time to get rid of those clothes!
I was such a terrible clothing hoarder. Over the years, I have gotten countless hand-me-downs, and I always seemed to keep every piece of clothing that I got given. Even if they were several sizes too big or too small. I needed to keep those clothes just in case I ever lost or gained weight.
What resulted from years of collecting clothes and rarely getting rid of any, was a closet and dresser that was absolutely overflowing and bursting at the seems. And I had barely worn a quarter of all the clothing I had.
Yikes, when I realized that I was wasting so much space by holding on to these clothes, that was a real kick in the gut.
Take this lesson from me that I had to learn the hard way: just because you get given a lot of clothes doesn’t mean you have to, or even should, keep them all.
3. EXPIRED PANTRY STAPLES
If you have a pantry and/or fridge full of expired food items, it’s time to do a good cleaning in there and toss anything that is going bad.
Some things, like canned beans or dried pasta, stay good for many, many years and even often well past their expiration date. So don’t go tossing those just yet. But if you have any other things in your pantry or fridge that have clearly gone bad, it’s time to toss them.
4. SCRAP PAPER
You won’t want to get rid of all your scrap paper, as they make great places for jotting down notes and grocery lists, but if you have an overwhelming and overflowing pile of scrap paper that you keep adding to, it might be time to tone it down some.
While keeping some scrap paper is good, you don’t need more than you can handle. First, go around your house and collect all the scrap paper you have and place it all in a pile together. Then, get rid of the papers that are too small, too ripped, or just too damaged to even be used for notes or grocery lists. This should tone your scrap paper pile down significantly, but will still leave you with more than enough to use for jotting things down on.
5. EXPIRED COUPONS
If you have coupons that you didn’t get around to using before their expiration date, they can all be tossed. An expired coupon is doing you no good other than wasting space.
Tossing all your expired coupons will also free up space for you to store your new coupons. If you’re a regular couponer, keep all your coupons in order by date or item using one of these.
6. EXPIRED MAKEUP
Do you have some mascara that has been pushed to the back of your makeup drawer that is long past its expiration date? It might be time to toss it. Any makeup products that you have that have long expired and clearly aren’t good any longer should be tossed.
7. MINI TOILETRIES
You know all those cute little shampoo and conditioner bottles you get from hotels? If you aren’t using them and they’re just taking up space in your bathroom drawer, it’s time to toss them.
I always make sure I grab the hotel shampoo, conditioner, and hand lotion bottles before we leave a hotel, but then they end up coming home and sitting in our bathroom for years and years, just taking up space.
Really, the only thing I ever use is the hand lotion, but the real cheapskate in me comes out and just can’t bear to pass up a free bottle of shampoo and conditioner, even though they’re barely enough for one wash.
8. KNICK KNACKS
Do you hoard, er, collect, knick-knacks? Do you really need and/or use all the knick-knacks you have? If you have any knick knacks hanging around your house that you don’t necessarily like, or that just aren’t of much value to you, it might be time to donate them.
I’ve never been big on collecting knick-knacks, because I look at them and think of how hard it would be to dust around knick knacks all over a house, and that’s enough to turn me away from them.
If your house is cluttered with various knick-knacks, it might be time to start decluttering and getting rid of a few.
9. OLD MEDICINE
If you look in your medicine cupboard, unless you regularly clean it out, I’m guessing you will find at least one thing that is past its expiry date. It’s time to get rid of all your expired medication. This will help you clear up lots of extra space and will also take away any risk of someone in your family accidentally using medicine that has expired.
10. OLD KETCHUP PACKAGES
Do you collect those condiment packages that restaurants hand out? If so, it might be time to start getting rid of some. If you find that you’re always collecting them but never using them, toss them. If you do use them but have a few that are old or have expired, toss them.
11. BROKEN THINGS
Do you have stuff that is broken but you’re still keeping with hopes that one day you’ll get around to fixing it? Have you been saying you are going to get around to fixing it for the past year? If so, it’s probably time to toss it.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to fix itself. If you don’t have the time to set aside to fix something, it’s just wasting precious space.
12. OLD CELL PHONES
If your old cell phones are beyond repair but you keep holding on to them for no reason other than the fact that you can’t bear to get rid of them because they cost so much, it’s time to get rid of them.
If you have some old phones that are still in good working condition, you can even make some money off of them by selling them through Gazelle.
13. DECORATIONS THAT DON’T GET USED
Did you buy some cute home decorations thinking you would put them up in your house, only to realize that they really aren’t your style, and now they’re sitting tucked away in the back closet? If so, it’s time to get rid of them. The good news is if they’re still in good shape you should easily be able to make a bit of money off of them, and hopefully, that is all the encouragement you need to get rid of them now.
14. COMPLETED ACTIVITY BOOKS
Coloring books, word searches, and other mind-puzzle books that are filled out should all be tossed. You don’t need to keep them around any longer since they’re all filled out.
15. PLASTIC BAGS
If you collect those plastic shopping bags but find that you don’t use them as quickly as they accumulate, you can easily get rid of some.
Get rid of a couple good handfuls of plastic bags to tame the pile, and don’t worry, they will add up quickly again.
Keep your closets and floors uncluttered by properly storing your plastic bags, rather than just stuffing them in one another.
16. GADGETS YOU DON’T USE
Do you have gadgets or appliances laying around your house that you just don’t use? Maybe you used to use them but haven’t now in over a year. If they’re just sitting around wasting space, never to be used again, it’s time to get rid of them.
I have such a hard time writing this one because I love to hold onto things like cookbooks, especially because you never know when you’re going to want a certain recipe out of the book. But, if you have several cookbooks that sit on the shelf and don’t get used, you should pass them on to someone else that can use them.
I have a bad habit of keeping all the cookbooks I’ve gotten given over the years, even though I have barely opened them once. The only cookbook I regularly use in our house is this one, and it is just AMAZING. I can’t say enough good things about it. There are recipes in there for any night – even the nights when you have less than 15 minutes for dinner (or nights when you just don’t want to do dishes. Yup, she’s got that covered, too).
If you have some cookbooks that you use one or two recipes out of, just photocopy the specific recipe that you like out of the book for you to keep, then get rid of the cookbook.
18. SOCKS WITHOUT A MATCH
If you have socks laying around that have lost their match, or socks with holes in them, it’s time to say goodbye.
I always held onto socks that lost their match for the longest time, just in case another pair of socks ever loses a match, then I can put them together. While I still do this, I now only do it for so long, rather than holding onto the sock for years and years.
Now, I hold onto the odd sock for a couple months, and if the match doesn’t show up and I don’t need this sock to make a pair with any other socks, I get rid of it.
19. OLD STORAGE CONTAINERS
Storage containers, whether that be food storage or other storage, that are old, cracked, or missing their lids, can all be tossed.
20. OLD BIRTHDAY CARDS
Do you have a large collection of birthday/graduation/wedding/anniversary/holiday cards piling up? If so, how often do you really take the time to sit down and read through them all? Likely not very often.
If there is a card or two that is especially meaningful or sentimental to you, keep it as a keepsake, but don’t keep all the cards.
While I am big on keeping receipts, even just for a short amount of time in case something needs to be returned and so I can record our spending, if you have receipts that are years and years old, or receipts that you really don’t need to be hanging on to, they should be tossed.
You will want to be sure that you keep receipts for anything that has warranty on it, and it is even good to keep things like your grocery receipts for a certain amount of time, but if you have receipts that are from that time that you grabbed a coffee out (unless you are keeping your receipts to track your spending), you can get rid of them.
For the receipts that you do need to keep, you can keep them organized and all in one place with one of these.
22. PENS THAT NO LONGER WORK
If you’re a pen hoarder like I am, this can be a tough one. I love to collect pens, whether that be free pens from a trade show or a package of pens that I bought because they looked pretty. I collect pens and hate to get rid of them. Even when they stop working, I give every pen the benefit of the doubt that they will come back to life.
This just ends up winding up in an over-abundance of pens. We have way more pens than we could ever use, and often they stop working before we can even get around to using them – because we have so many other pens to use.
Can you relate, or is it just me?
Either way, go through your pen drawer and get rid of any of the ones that no longer work and/or you just don’t like to write with.
Unless you are going to be taking your appliances or bed apart and putting it back together a lot, or you need to keep your manuals for warranty reasons, they can be tossed.
It’s so easy to accumulate an unreasonable amount of manuals over the years, even for things that you no longer have.
Go through all your manuals and toss any of the ones that you no longer use or need. The ones that you do keep, you can keep them organized with a small file holder.
24. JARS AND CONTAINERS
While I am a strong believer in reusing your jars and containers, if you have too many you should consider getting rid of some. Keep a few to repurpose and use as food storage, soap, or other containers, but toss the rest.
25. GAMES WITH MISSING PIECES
It’s great to have a collection of games, but if the games are missing pieces, it’s time to let them go as you won’t be able to pay them anyway. Unless you can get your hands on some cheap or free game pieces to replace the ones that are broken or lost, the game is useless without them.
With these 25 things in mind, you can start purging your house and getting rid of some clutter today. Did I miss anything on the list of 25 things to get rid of today that you won’t miss? What are some things you struggle to get rid of?
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