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50 things you should get rid of immediately

1. Minimalism is gaining traction in households across the globe, and for good reason. Less really is more and ridding (responsibly) your house of unwanted and unneeded clutter will make your living space brighter, cleaner, and healthier.

2. If those jeans haven’t fit since high school, and that sweater is even too ugly for an ugly Christmas sweater party, throw it out. Clothes are one of the easiest items to purge because many thrift stores will collect right on-site, offer curbside pickup, or have donation boxes dotted around cities.

Outgrown and unworn clothes

3. Throw out or donate any costume jewelry that isn’t being used, and throw out any broken necklaces or earrings that have no worth. Broken pieces that are valuable can be sold at many jewelry stores as well. Freeing up space in the jewelry box will make it much easier to find the right piece next time.

Broken jewelry

4. Go right ahead and just toss them out! Maybe there’s a drawer full of lonely socks without their partner, or there’s a basket full of them in your laundry room. It’s time to collect them up and throw them out.

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5. Keep one in your suitcase or travel bag just in case, but toss the rest. How many sewing emergencies on the go can one person have?

Travel sewing kits

6. Old makeup can hide a plethora of bacteria, mold, and yeast. It’s best to toss mascara after three months, liquid foundation after six, and lipstick after two years.

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7. Replacing wire clothes hangers with sturdy plastic or wood ones will freshen up your closet space. They’re better for your clothes too!

Wire hangers

8. If the shoe doesn’t fit—throw it away! Old smelly shoes cluttering a closet are the opposite of zen. Donate ones that are in good shape, trash the rest, and enjoy more closet space for shoes you actually like!

Old shoes

9. Last year’s Halloween costume will never be worn again and it’s just sitting taking up room. Donate it to a local thrift store for someone else’s trick-or-treating fun.

Old Halloween costumes

10. It was expensive, you had to buy it, and you only wore it once. That bridesmaid dress, or two or three of them, are stashed in the back of a closet just collecting dust and taking up precious real estate. If the idea of ditching it in a bin is unappealing, look to see if your community has a Prom dress donation program set up for disadvantaged teens.

Bridesmaids dresses

11. Maybe the prescription is wrong, maybe they’re crooked or broken, or maybe they’re horribly out of fashion—bid that box of old glasses goodbye. Donate to charities that ship used eyeglasses to developing countries or recycle them safely.

Old eyeglasses

12. Moth-bitten scarves, a lone mitten, and frayed belts have no room in a minimalist home. Box them up or toss them and save room for the items you actually wear!

Accessories you never wear

13. It seems that almost every blouse, jacket, or pair of pants comes with extra buttons. If it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to mend a button back on, get rid of them. It’s possible you don’t even own the item of clothing those buttons belong to anymore!

Extra buttons

14. Holey towels and stained sheets are a definite must-get-rid-of item. If the thought of tossing them in the garbage seems wasteful, many animal shelters love to receive old towels and sheets to use as bedding.

Threadbare towels and tired bed linens

15. If your sunscreen bottle is looking dusty, make sure you check the expiry date before you use it! Some sunscreens last up to three years, but they do all expire. If your bottle is old, toss it in the trash.

Last year’s sunblock

16. Is your medicine cabinet cluttered and unorganized? Then it’s time to clear out the old and unidentifiable drugs taking up all that space. Not only is it unsafe, but old medicine also is just not that effective. Make sure you dispose of the medication, read the label, or look for a drug disposal program in your city.

Expired or unidentifiable medication

17. While you’re purging old cosmetics and medications, look in your shower for old soap scraps. Unless you’re a dedicated DIY’er, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get around to melting those scraps down into one bar. Just throw it out!

Soap scraps

18. Gather up all those small sample bottles and hotel bottles of shampoos, conditioners, and lotions and just throw them out. It can be a good idea to keep one or two around of your favorites for travel purposes, but really, when are you going to use that ancient bottle of lotion from a discount motel?

Sample shampoos and lotions

19. Tired old novels, textbooks with outdated information, and kids’ books your kids are way too old for these are all items in your house taking up valuable space. Thrift stores used bookstores, and even some libraries love to be on the receiving end of this type of household purge.

Books you’ll never read again

20. The batteries are long since dead and those rattles and dolls are just collecting dust. Having kids comes with a lot of junk—toys being one of the worst offenders. Fight back by collecting and donating old un-played-with toys.

Old toys

21. There’s nothing much more frustrating than getting a puzzle almost done only to find a hole where a piece should be. And what’s Monopoly without the top hat? There’s really no salvaging these games and jigsaws once pieces are gone forever. Toss them and don’t look back.

Games and puzzles with missing pieces

22. Every Christmas, cards are lovingly signed and sent to friends and family all over the world. But once Christmas is long gone, what’s the point of hanging on to them? Save ones with heartfelt messages and recycle the rest.

Cards from Christmas pasts

23. Purses are full of them, drawers are overflowing with them, and they jam up filing cabinets: receipts are necessary until they’re not. Definitely keep receipts that are needed for tax filing purposes and for big purchases, but bundles of papers that prove how much that latte cost can be ditched.


24. Colouring books can be a saving grace for parents of young kids, but when the books get filled up or ripped, it’s time to throw them in the recycling bin.

Filled and ripped coloring books

25. Is there a box (or two) full to the brim with old newspapers and magazines stored away in a closet somewhere? Not only do they take up space, but they also get musty and really serve no purpose. If there’s a sentimental reason for keeping the papers, just clip out the important articles and make a scrapbook!

Old newspapers and magazines

26. If the craft corner looks more like a disaster corner, it’s time to get ruthless. Throw out any broken crayons, dried-out paints, and markers missing lids. That corner is going to be much more functional and look a lot nicer!

Broken crayons and dried out paints and markers

27. Those little Picassos come home with a multitude of art projects on a weekly (if not daily) basis. While some are treasured items destined for a memory box, it’s impossible to save every painting, drawing, or pipe cleaner creation. Pick a time when the kids are away and get to purging that creative clutter.

Kid’s artwork

28. DVDs in good shape can be sold or donated. If the discs are scratched or damaged, just throw them in the garbage.

Movies you’ll never watch again

29. Friedrich Nietzsche said that without music, life would be a mistake. However, keeping old scratched CDs in a music collection is also a mistake. Throw out broken and ruined CDs and donate any that are no longer on a must-play list.

Scratched CDs

30. With recipes online, there’s really no need to keep hard copies of cookbooks in the kitchen. Save the old recipe cards and books passed down from generation to generation, but get rid of the other ones. Your Pinterest-worthy meals will still be a hit without them!


31. Most households are hiding old and expired food in the back of pantries, cupboards, and fridges. You’re never going to eat that dusty can of peas, and keeping expired food around can be not only unhealthy but dangerous. Most canned goods will last up to two years.

Expired food

32. Most spices should be replaced every six to twelve months. Ditch the stale stuff and opt for fresh flavor in the kitchen.

Old spices

33. Menus for most take-out and delivery restaurants are online and ubiquitous food delivery services have taken off in most large cities. There is no need to have a kitchen drawer full of paper menus. Throw them in the recycling and just click to order next time.

Take-out menus

34. If the days of dorm room fridges and late-night hamburger runs are a distant memory, it’s time to throw out those mini condiment packages filling up the fridge. Buy a normal-size bottle of ketchup and make a vow to stop collecting the small ones at fast food joints.

Condiment packets from fast food restaurants

35. A kitchen with less clutter is easier to work in and just looks better. If your kitchen drawers are full of plastic cutlery, this is the time to ditch them in favor of a nice silverware set.

Plastic cutlery

36. Missing lids, stained, and broken: plastic food containers can only serve a purpose when in good working order. It’s time to clear out all the old Tupperware, empty yogurt containers, and miscellaneous plastic crowding the kitchen.

Old plastic containers

37. That massive breadmaker seemed like a good idea at the time, but if it’s just collecting dust and not making dough, it’s time to donate it. The same goes for that hand mixer that’s never been used, the broken crockpot, and the blender with no lid.

Appliances you never use

38. Broken electronics should be recycled properly. Most municipalities have depots and centers dedicated to disposing of electronics safely. If those old electronics work just fine but are no longer wanted, most Goodwills will take them.

Broken electronics

39. Tangled cords are not only an eyesore, but they take up space in closets and drawers. Get rid of them and don’t look back.

Phone chargers without a phone

40. They could unlock a door in another city, maybe they start a car that now lives in a junkyard, but no one will ever know. If the junk drawer jangles every time it’s opened, those unidentified keys need to be tossed.

Mystery keys

41. If that home renovation has been finished for years, it’s time to get rid of those old cans of paint in the garage or basement. While most latex and acrylic-based paints will last up to 10 years if the color won’t be used again and it’s just taking up shelf space, throw it out. Just make sure to dispose of it properly.

Old paint

42. The curtains that fit the window in the old house might not look right in the new one. Instead of storing them indefinitely, donate them to a thrift store.

Curtains that don’t fit

43. While rubber bands do have their use, there’s no need to keep a pile of them. Just throw them out.

Rubber bands

44. It’s a frustrating feeling when there’s an important note to write down only to find the pen is dry. Do everyone a favor and throw out old pens that no longer work.

Pens with no ink

45. There’s no savings with old coupons. If the coupon drawer is looking a bit stale, toss them into the recycling bin.

Expired coupons

46. Even if the nineties are making a comeback, the cellphones from that era are definitely not. Old cellphones can be dropped off at recycling depots in most cities.

Old cell phones

47. Purge that junk drawer and throw out those old dead batteries. Depending on the type of battery, they can be thrown in the trash or taken to a local recycling depot.

Dead batteries

48. If Santa is looking rather faded, and several of the reindeer’s antlers have fallen off, it might be time to rid the house of outdated and broken decorations. If any of the holiday d├ęcors is in good shape, donate it to a thrift store, otherwise, junk it.

Outdated decorations

49. One of the easiest ways to purge a household of unneeded items is to sort out all the duplicates. All extra tools in the garage and utensils in the kitchen can just go in a box for donation.

Duplicate tools or utensils

50. Antique cameras can bring in good money from collectors, and many camera stores offer a buyback option, so there’s no excuse for keeping them in a box somewhere.

Old cameras

51. A sense of guilt might be holding you back from throwing out that particular gift, but if you don’t like it or have no use for it, just get rid of it.

Gifts you never liked in the first place

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