Spring is coming fast, and that means homeowners across the country are going to be cleaning, de-cluttering, and simplifying their lives. While there are obvious items we clean and throw out every year, there are other items calling your garbage’s name.
1. Old Shoes
We are going to start in the clothes department. Many of us store too many shoes for our closets. While we tell ourselves we will wear all 37 pairs in our closets, deep down, we know that 2007 pair of running shoes is never seeing the light of day.
Go through all your shoes and decide once and for all which pairs you will actually wear in the next two years. For those you won’t, introduce them to your garbage or the nearest shelter.
2. Unmatched and Outgrown Clothes
Much of what we wear comes in pairs. That includes socks, shoes, full outfits, gloves, and more. Sadly, whether through laundry or honest misplacement, we lose one here and there. Stop holding out hope and throw away its partner.
The same goes for clothes too small for your children. If you don’t plan on having any more kids, throw our or donate the clothes they have outgrown. Better yet, give it to a family member who has younger children. They will greatly appreciate the nice gesture and owe you one.
3. Coat Hangers
If you are like me, you have gathered an infinite amount of coat hangers from the dry cleaners. As such, the closet looks more like hanger storage than an actual closet. Extra coat hangers are an eyesore. Bring wire coat hangers back to the cleaners and get creative with extra wood hangers. Use them as cool coat hooks, necklace holders, or towel rods.
4. Plastic Tupperware
We all like to save a buck or two, and that is why we save our leftovers and pack them for lunch, our children’s lunch, or save for tomorrow’s dinner. However, plastic Tupperware can wear over the years, especially if you use it in the microwave or dishwasher. This breakdown can release dangerous chemicals into your food. For a safer bet, switch to glass containers or throw out your plastic containers after a few runs in the dishwasher.
5. Old Mattress and Pillows
Mattresses are expensive, but they also wear out over time. In fact, most mattresses stay good for five to seven years. After that, they lose support, which can lead to insufficient sleep or back issues. Likewise, pillows older than two years should be replaced. They can lose their stuffing, become thin and essentially lose their purpose. There’s a quick test to see if your pillows have seen their last nap. Fold your pillows in half. If they stay folded, it’s time to toss.
6. Old Rugs
Many rugs have sentimental value, but as times change, more and more homeowners are going with contemporary or modern designs that do not include area rugs. Likewise, other homeowners are hanging onto their rugs for dear life because it’s been with them since they bought the house. If your rug has any yellow spots, holes, or is clearly dating the room, it’s time to throw it out and get a new rug.
7. Dated Technology
De-cluttering means throwing away old technology as well. We all have those old cords lying in the back of the closet, a dated printer we hope works again or a compute that barely runs. While no technology is cheap and browsing old phones can be entertaining, it’s time to clean the home and get rid of your old gadgets.
Tip: Try bringing your old tech to an electronics store in town. You may get a credit.
8. Unnecessary Paperwork
There are those papers around the house that we think we need, but really, don’t. Sure, it’s necessary to keep bank-related or tax-related papers for a certain period of time, but that does not mean to the end of eternity. Oftentimes, we hold onto unnecessary papers in fear of accidentally throwing out something important. Likewise, as most information is available online nowadays, there is no need to keep old bills or bank statements if you feel comfortable using the computer.
9. Old Makeup
As a man, I do not understand the connection many women have with their makeup, but I do know many keep makeup for far too long, resulting in massive clutter around the bathroom. In fact, makeup, just as food, can expire. Cream products typically expire within six months to a year after purchase, according to dermatologists, mascara often only lasts three months before becoming a bacteria threat. Keep an eye out for those expiration dates or makeup that has changed colors. If have to hold onto your makeup but have little space, please see 9 Small Bathroom Storage Ideas You Can’t Afford To Overlook.
10. Garage Clutter
Garages are great for storage, but can turn into a nightmare if you haven’t cleaned it for years on end. Whether it’s old clothes, ice skates, expired cleaning supplies or extra toys, it’s time for spring cleaning—and that means de-cluttering your garage.
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