There comes a time in most of our lives, a couple of times a year, when we really, desperately, want to get rid of some clutter. It can be hard to know where to start, though, and maybe you’re worried you’ll miss one thing or another after it’s gone.
If you want some advice on what to ditch and when, here are 18 things experts say are good to go.
18. Old toys.
Go ahead and throw away anything that’s broken or missing pieces, and anything else that you think they don’t play with, put in a bag to give away and keep it for a few weeks.
If no one asks for it back, you’re safe to give it away – but you could also use the opportunity to explain to your kids about giving things away to those who have less than they do.
17. Old towels.
Keep a week’s worth of good towels, a few ratty ones for cleaning up after the dog or mopping up spills, and trash the rest. You’ll feel so good afterward!
16. Old technology.
Old computers, cords you’ll never need, old phones and chargers – you will never use any of it again.
I know they have sentimental value, but they’re taking up space in your drawers and you never wear them – keep some in a bin for memorabilia if you want, but if you don’t wear it, you don’t need it.
14. Bath things.
Things like bath salts, bath bombs, and bubble bath are popular gifts, but if you don’t personally take baths all that often, don’t feel bad about giving it away.
13. Specialty foods.
You might have been on a Thai kick, or maybe you made a special recipe for a date or a parent, and now those ingredients are languishing in your cabinet or fridge.
Just get rid of them. You’ll probably have to buy new bottles if you ever get around to making it again, anyway.
12. Dress bags.
If you buy a nice dress or a nice suit, it probably came in a bag – but unless you’re going to wrap it back up every single time, you don’t need to keep it.
Give yourself one bin to keep memorabilia in – or one bin per family member – take a deep breath, and ditch the rest. It will be hard for a minute, but the relief will be worth it!
Any that are broken, chipped, or “extra” can go straight into the trash.
9. Costume jewelry.
You might be able to get some money for those pieces you never, ever wear, from consignment shops or theaters, or even from artists who use it in their work.
8. The bottom of your purse.
Receipts, paper, melted lipsticks, ticket stubs, wrappers – you’ll feel like a new woman!
7. Cardboard boxes.
Keep a few (flattened) in the garage or basement, but you don’t need more than six or so, unless you’re moving.
If it no longer has a scent, it needs to be trashed and replaced. It has no purpose!
Get rid of the bags you never choose, any that are looking ratty or have torn lining, and any that need repair but are never going to get it.
If you say to yourself “but I might need it if…” donate it. You won’t.
4. Extra buttons.
I promise, if you ever actually need to sew on a new button, you can find one that matches.
If they’re broken, aren’t insulated, or are just plain gross, there’s no reason to hang onto them.
2. Chipped mugs.
You might hurt yourself, but also, you would never hand it to a guest (if we ever get to have guests again).
The next time you dust your shelves, consider whether or not you really love a thing that’s on your shelf. If you don’t, or it no longer suits your personality or decor, don’t forget to pass it on to someone who might see it with fresh eyes.
Definitely starting a list for the next time the urge hits me!
When you de-clutter, what do you go for first? Tell us your tips in the comments!