Let's be real — you don't have to be a serious hoarder to hold on to things for longer than you should. In fact, there are certain items in our lives that we should all probably throw away right now. And trust me when I say that I know this can be really, really hard. I'm one of those people that has a tendency to hold onto something for years in the off chance I might need it some day, convinced that as soon as I get rid of it I'll finally need it. I also get extremely attached to inanimate objects and project a lot of emotional meaning onto small items and trinkets — especially if they were gifts from loved ones or remind me of something from the past.
Basically, I am by no stretch of the imagination a clutter-free, minimalist master. But that doesn't mean there definitely aren't a few items that, if I'm being totally honest, shouldn't get tossed. If you're like me and have trouble letting go, here are 11 things that you should consider getting rid of, not ifs, ands or, buts.
1. Old Makeup
A compilation piece on the MSN Lifestyle section reminded us to get rid of expired makeup or makeup that we just never use any more. Seriously, take an honest assessment of your makeup drawer and figure out what you haven't worn in years. You'll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.
2. Clothes You Don't Wear
In an article for Apartment Therapy, site editor Janel Laban said to, "Turn around all the hangers in your closet so the hooks are pointing towards you (wrong way round). When you wear something, put it back with the hook the normal way. In six months, any hanger still facing the wrong way is holding an item you haven't worn, ready for the donation bag."
3. Any Socks Or Underwear With Holes
That same MSN piece also recommended getting rid of any and all socks and underwear with holes in it. These are both so incredibly easy to replace —and come in so many different price points for a variety of budgets — so there is just no excuse!
4. The Magazines You "Just Haven't Gotten To Yet"
This is a personal tip. Paper clutter is one of those things that can get so bad because we stop really noticing it. I've personally been guilty of keeping entire stacks of magazines and catalogues in my living room without even being totally conscious of the clutter. If you've kept a magazine more than a couple weeks, just get rid of it — there's likely nothing in there you can't find online if you really want to.
5. Mail Clutter
Like magazine clutter, mail is another form of paper clutter that can get totally out of control super quickly. I recommend sorting mail as soon as you get it — recycling junk, and putting important bills or invitations in a specially designated follow up box.
6. Expired Medicine
GetRidofThings.com, a site completely devoted to purging your life of unnecessary items, reminded us to toss expired medicine and lotions. They also noted that when you're throwing away old prescriptions or medications that could be dangerous if taken by others, you should mix them with old coffee grinds or cat litter before throwing them away to make sure they don't get into the wrong hands.
7. Old Electronics
If you're like me, you have a drawer somewhere of old electronics and wires that you literally never look at and are holding on to because you just aren't sure what to do with them. The good news is there are a ton of websites that tell you exactly how you can donate or recycle specific electronics, so schedule some time on a weekend and finally rid yourself of these items!
8. Those Plastic Bags Under Your Sink
If you're like me, you also have a penchant for storing plastic shopping bags under your sink because you eventually want to recycle them in the appropriate way. Don't wait a second longer! Find the closest plastic bag recycling service near you and just do it (for example, Whole Foods provides the closest service by me). You'll be SO glad you did, and it seriously won't take long at all.
9. Old Plastic Containers
Limited Tupperware Mega Modular Mates, $78.50, Ebay.com
Health.com stressed the importance of going through all the plastic containers and tupperware in your home and tossing anything that is made of clear, rigid plastic and has a stamp with "7" or "pc." This means they could contain BPA, which is harmful to your health.
10. Worn Out Running Shoes
In the same Health.com piece, exercise physiologist Jason Karp, MD, noted the importance of getting rid of running shoes that are clearly worn out. When shoes wear out, they lose their cushioning and are less able to absorb shock and impact, which ultimately can lead to joint damage and injury.
11. DVDs You Never Watch
A piece for HGTV on things you should throw away suggested getting rid of DVDs you just never watch. You'll be amazed at how much space you make by working on this one seemingly minor detail of your home.
Don't let your home get over taken by stuff you never use or don't really need. And if you have trouble parting ways with your belongings, at least start with the above definitive list. You'll be glad that you did!
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