Your Air Filter
It’s important to keep your HVAC system working properly and maintenance. Air filters are easy to forget, but they should be checked once a month.
Leaving a dirty air filter in the system can shorten the lifespan of your HVAC. Who has money to pay for a new one of those?!
Expired or Unidentifiable Medication
If you have medication lying around in the medication or junk drawer that can’t be identified, it should be taken to a medication takeback area.
It’s unsafe to take medicine when you aren’t sure what it is. Old prescription medication should also be tossed.
If your towels look like they’ve seen better days, it’s time to throw them out or donated to a local animal shelter.
You can always buy new ones, and they’ll probably be more absorbent than the old ones you’re holding onto.
Your Dish Sponge
Chances are, you’re not swapping out or cleaning your dish sponge enough. Our dish sponges can have more bacteria than the toilet, which means you’re not cleaning when you use an older sponge.
Instead, you’re spreading around bacteria on the countertop and dishes. Some experts suggest throwing away your sponges on a weekly basis for the sake of sanitation.
Wire hangers are notoriously bad for your clothing. They stretch out the neckline and shoulders. It’s better to use plastic or wooden versions that support the weight of your clothing.
If it’s on the heavier side, don’t be afraid to spend a little more to make sure the fabric has the support it needs.
Bowls Without Lids
Why can't lids and bowls stay together? Regardless, the bowls and lids are pretty useless once you lose its partner. Sure, you can use a bowl as a mixing bowl, but you only need so many of those.
Toss any bowls or lids you don’t need so you can make more room in your cabinets.
Do you have Christmas cards from three years ago? Or what about paychecks from two years ago? You probably won’t ever look at these items again, but they’re taking up space.
If you want to keep the cards, tear out the written portion and store it in a scrapbook. Everything else can be digitized if you want to keep it.
Cosmetics, shampoos, and other items have an expiration date. Most items last a maximum of 12 months before the product begins to break down.
Then, it can become dangerous. It could cause acne or even skin infections! That could give a whole new meaning to the term 'crater-face.'
We’re guilty of keeping our old shoes, too, but what good are they? We’re talking about the shoes that are broken beyond repair and the ones that have a missing mate.
You can’t wear them, so why keep them around? Nostalgia only goes so far.
Rarely Worn Clothing
Do you have clothes in your closet that you’ve never worn? Worse yet, do you have anything that still has the tag hanging on it? Donate it!
There’s no reason to keep something like this in your closet. If you haven’t worn it yet, you’re probably not going to.
If your pillow isn’t helping you, then get rid of it. A bad pillow can actually harm your neck and back in the long run.
You can test your pillow by folding it in half. If it springs back to shape, then it’s still good! If not, then you should get a new one ASAP.
Spices aren’t cheap, which can make throwing them out really tough. That being said, most spices don’t last longer than a year.
To test your spice, give them a sniff. If there isn’t a scent, there won’t be a flavor, and it’s time to replace it.
How often should you replace your toothbrushes? Most people replace them every six months, if at all.
However, the American Dental Associations recommends that you get a new one every three months.
Do you still have your first cellphone? Recycle it! That goes double for floppy disks and clunky laptops that haven’t been in working order for years.
Don’t toss it, though. It’s better to recycle old technology, but make sure to wipe any information that may be lingering on the device.
Halloween Costumes of Yesteryear
Unless you wear the same thing every year, or you plan on wearing the costume soon, donate it. Someone else could make use out of it, and it’s just taking up room in your closet.
If they’re anything like our costumes, they’re taking up a lot of space.
Socks Without a Mate
We all have these socks. We hold onto the lone survivor, hoping that we find the mate, but we probably won’t.
Instead, it’s time to toss the sock so that you can make room for new ones.
Cardboard Boxes of Food
Cardboard boxes take up extra space. If the item is individually wrapped, take it out of the cardboard box and put it on the shelf.
Alternatively, you can store food in glass jars or another airtight container. It looks more appealing, and you have less cardboard sitting around.
Foods that are freezer-burnt are beyond saving. The item won’t have the flavor it used to. In all honesty, it probably won’t have a very good flavor at all.
Most freezer-burnt items won’t even taste good in a soup! Throw it out and move on to new, better food.
When was the last time you went through your fridge and pantry? We’re not talking about milk. We mean the jelly that has been in the fridge for a year that no one has touched.
If it’s expired, it’s time to toss it out to avoid any food poisoning mishaps.
Calendars from Last Year
You know what we say: Out with the old and in with the new! Start off your decluttering journey by tossing out last year’s calendar. It isn’t doing any good now that it’s the new year.
The same goes for your old datebook and planner. Unless you still need the information from it, get rid of it.
Cookbooks You’ll Never Use
At some point in time, we all have a phase where we want to become a foodie, and we buy a dozen cookbooks. Then, they gather dust in the kitchen or bookshelf.
If you don’t get any use out of them, donate them to someone who will.
Nowadays, phone numbers are easy to find online. Most restaurants even have menus online, so you can decide what you want from there.
Keep your favorite takeout menus but toss any place you don’t visit on a regular basis.
Chances are if you haven’t figured out what the keys go to after a couple of years, they don’t matter.
You can recycle old keys at most recycling centers. Just make sure to remove any rubber coverings before tossing them in the bin.
You never know when your glasses might break, so you keep the old ones. Well, if the prescription changed, you should get rid of the old ones.
Old glasses can be donated and redistributed to people who can’t afford to buy their own.
Old Chargers and Cables
Over the years, we can amass tons and tons of cords. Usually, they pair up with devices we haven’t used in a decade, so why keep them?
Go through your old cords and throw out anything that you’re not currently using. If you want to store them better, you can keep them in little cubbies to cut down on tangles.
Properly-sealed, air-tight paint can last up to 10 years if stored at an even temperature. Basically, we’re saying that it’s pretty difficult keeping paint ready-to-use. If you have old paint with bulging lids, leaky seams, or a thick layer of dried paint on top, it’s time to toss it. Be sure to check local disposal rules before getting rid of it.
Unless you think you’re going to return it, throw it away. If you want to keep your old receipts, there are apps that allow you to scan them onto an app and store them on google drive rather than storing them in an old shoebox.
Old License Plates
You love your old license plate, but you can’t keep it forever—or rather, you shouldn’t keep it forever. You can turn your old license plates into refrigerator magnets.
Then, you can keep them forever without sacrificing the space.
We hold onto appliance manuals just in case, because we never know when we need a little troubleshooting! Well, the secret is that most manuals can be found online nowadays.
If you’re really worried, you can keep the important ones in a folder, but you don’t need to keep your $20 mixer manual.
Old Kid’s Clothing
Kids grow up fast, and before long, you have a ton of clothing that your kiddos don’t fit in anymore. Instead of hanging onto it, get rid of it.
The only exception is if it’s an heirloom or has sentimental value. Obviously, you should keep that.