Orignally published on 2021-10-27 02:41:38 by www.esquire.com
Even though you might be a well-organized person, it’s so easy for clutter to take control of your home. Holding on to huge piles of old magazines, defective electronics, and unwanted clothing not only leads to stress — it can also take up the space you really need for the things that matter most to you.
If you’re finally ready to start organizing your space, we have you covered. Setting aside just a few hours to unload the items you no longer need can bring you the sense of calm and relief you’ve likely been craving. From useless kitchen utensils to impractical office products, consider this list of the top household items that are worth parting ways with. We promise that you’ll feel good about getting rid of all that junk once and for all.
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Sorry to break it to you, but you’ll probably never use your old cords again. Technology becomes dated so quickly these days, so it’s safe to say you can get rid of that cord you’re holding onto from your iPhone 3G.
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Have you actually used that plastic baggy holding all your coupons lately? Most of them are probably expired, and therefore unusable. Comb through your coupon book, or better yet — just throw it out and start over.
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As soon as it turns into a new year, it’s safe to say you won’t need your outdated calendar from last year. If you haven’t thrown out your old calendars or planners, now is a good time to get rid of them.
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Old Takeout Menus
Almost all delivery places have their menus online now, so there’s no need for the paper clutter of a takeout menu. Just toss them in recycling!
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Glasses With an Outdated Prescription
If the only thing wrong with your glasses is that they’re the wrong prescription, donate them! A person in need could be using them.
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Once you put the furniture together, there’s no need for the manual. You’ll never use them again, so toss any directions or manuals you have lying around.
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Last Year’s Sunscreen
Old sunscreen loses its ability to protect you from the sun’s rays over time, so it’s better to just get a new bottle if you don’t know how old it is.
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Unless it’s a tax-deductible purchase, you don’t need them. So you can definitely throw out those mile-long drugstore receipts.
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When you’re done moving, it’s time to get rid of the cardboard boxes. If you need long term storage, try some nicer storage boxes.
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Board Games You Don’t Play
It’s no fun to play a board game that has missing pieces, especially if you rarely play board games as is. Consider donating them to your local charity, hospital, or library instead!
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Everyone has a sock drawer with at least a handful of single socks that lost their partner somewhere along the way. Maybe the laundry gnomes got to them, or maybe it was the family pet. Either way, the only reason to hold onto single socks is to get crafty and repurpose them.
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Excess Hair Ties
Your hair deserves better than something that’s been on your floor for who knows how long.
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Whether you’ve stockpiled forks and knives from takeout food or you have a stash leftover from some party, it’s definitely time to ditch the plastic. The environment will thank you. Consider bamboo cutlery as an alternative.
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Alcohol doesn’t stay good forever … Who knew? Hard liquor has a longer shelf life of about two years before it starts to evaporate and change. Uncorked bottles of wine are a different story. Red wines should be drank within two weeks of opening a bottle. White wine should be used within three days. These rules may require a restocking of the liquor cabinet.
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Old Condiment Packets
Your favorite takeout place gives you enough packets for four people when you’re ordering for two, but you really don’t want the unfortunate surprise of opening up a drawer and finding one has sprung a leak. Make these homemade versions if you find yourself in need.
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This one might sting a little. People carefully curate their movie collection only to find the technology get phased out. You don’t need to abandon all of your favorites, but you could easily clear up some space in your house by dumping the movies that are available to stream.
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It might be time to toss your old knives, especially steak knives that were cheap to begin with and can’t easily be sharpened. They’re actually more harmful and dangerous than your sharpest knife. Donate old knives, but make sure you wrap the blade with cardboard beforehand (and label it!) for safety.
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Old Workout Gear
There’s no reason to get rid of perfectly good clothing or accessories, but athletic gear gets worn out faster. For example, sports bras worn consistently for several workouts per week should be replaced every six months. Running sneakers are good for about eight months. Things like yoga mats and water bottles can be used for several years before it’s time to upgrade.
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Former Best Sellers
Pass on your former favorite beach reads to friends by holding a book swap. Or, find a Little Free Library — these are mini-bookshelves that pop up anywhere filled with free books to take.
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Dated Reference Books
Outdated information won’t expand your horizons, so unless you use these for historical reference, pass them on. Many thrift stores say no to old reference books, so look for community groups who use them for crafting and collages.
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We tend to hold onto these for fear of making a mistake of throwing out new pills, rather than a temptation to hold onto these for future maladies. For peace of mind, follow the FDA’s advice by first checking to see if your old medication is on the list of those that should be flushed. If not, they recommend tossing medications by mixing it into coffee grounds or old kitty litter (key word: old), and blacking out any info on your prescription bottles.
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Unused Craft Supplies
You heard that knitting can be great for de-stressing, so you threw yourself into it, but haven’t touched your supplies in months. Either you knit, or you don’t. If you’re leaning toward “you don’t,” donate these excess supplies to a local senior center.
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Because at some point, it’s no longer cinnamon — it’s flavorless dust.
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There are arguments to be made for hanging onto these, but anything that you don’t love can go straight to a thrift store. Anything you do love? Take a day to upload it to your computer.
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You can cut them up to use them as rags, or you can donate them to local animal shelters, who always are in need of these for bedding.
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They’ve been washed so many times they’re practically translucent. Like old towels, many animal shelters need these for keeping pups and kitties warm.
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Plastic Grocery Bags
You know not to throw them out, so you hold on to them in an ever-increasing mass. Instead, round them up, then take them to a place that’ll recycle them for you. Better yet, start using reusable grocery bags instead!
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If you frequent eco-friendly marketplaces, yet always manage to forget a tote, you’ve likely developed quite a collection. But these aren’t eco-friendly if you’re not using them more than once. Donate the excess to a charity, or give them to friends the next time you head to a flea market.
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You probably won’t wear that random t-shirt you got free with a charity donation, so either donate it or DIY with it.
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