Everybody does it. We hold on tight to the items we think we might need someday. Whether they’re tucked away in junk drawers, the garage or the craft room, almost everyone has a secret stockpile of things that are just that …”things.” The simple act of tossing many of these “things” will free up much needed storage, and give you more room for the belongings that matter. Here are 10 “things” to get rid of today.
- Old Cables and Electronics
Somewhere in the back of your guest room closet, maybe tucked in a shoebox or plastic bin, is a pile of cables and connectors, old electronics and Internet modems. Odds are you won’t need that digital camera you bought in 2002 (and have since upgraded … twice), or those decades-old Ethernet cables. To dispose of outdated electronics in an earth-friendly manner, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of e-cyclers.
- Wire Hangers
We’re all about reusing items, but those wire hangers from the dry cleaner? They’re not doing you or your clothes any favors. Wire hangers aren’t strong enough to support most fabrics over the long haul. Plus they can stretch out the shoulders of your shirts and blouses. Toss them and treat yourself to a new set of felt or wooden hangers.
- Clothes That Still Have Tags
While you’re in the closet, round up all the clothes that still have tags on them. Chances are if you haven’t worn them yet, you never will. Donate them to a local organization or host a clothing swap.
- Expired Medicines
Clear the bathroom cabinets of any expired prescription and over the counter medicines. As you’re rummaging through the shelves, also toss any toiletries you haven’t used in the past six months.
- Old Makeup
In addition to toiletries and medicines, you also want to free your cosmetic collection of any old makeup. As the solutions break down they lose their effectiveness and can start to harbor germs and bacteria.
- Solo Socks
Make sure all your socks and stockings have a match and say goodbye once and for all to any that don’t. Now’s also a good time to inspect your pantyhose collection. Any tights that have runs are rubbish.
You subscribed with the best intentions, but now that already-read piles of Better Homes and Gardens, National Geographic and Prevention is just collecting dust. Feed them to the recycling bin.
- Old Spices
Unlike other food items, that how-long-has-it-been-in-there shaker of Lowry’s Seasoned Salt likely won’t make you sick. But if it’s been in your spice arsenal for one year or more, it’s probably lost its potency and we recommend replacing it. If you’re unsure of how long your spices have been sitting on the shelf, pour a little of each out for a closer inspection. If they’ve lost their color and smell, they’ve likely lost their flavor as well.
- Your Popcorn Maker
They’re hiding in your cabinets and under your sink: single-purpose kitchen appliances that only take up space. Call them “crepe makers”, “potato mashers” or “baby food machines”, we call them clutter. Think about the appliances you use regularly and make room only for them.
- Receipts and Old Paperwork
Give your accountant a call before tossing your tax returns, but many CPAs say you don’t need to hold on to most paperwork beyond seven years. And that pile of receipts in the junk drawer? We bet most of those items are past their return date. Free yourself and toss them!
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