As Americans, we seem to face a common problem: too much stuff and not enough space. Having a cluttered home is not only bad for your health, it is bad for your mind. Even if you don’t have OCD, being in a messy environment can be extremely stressful. Not sure what to get rid of first? Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of 60 things you should throw out right now and the best ways to get rid of them.
Throw out your old bills. If you aren’t recording any of the information on a tax return, you don’t need to save it. Even medical bills that are already paid off by your insurance company can go. Be sure to shred your papers before throwing them in the recycle bin; otherwise, someone might be able to get ahold of your personal information.
2. Single Earrings
It is always sad to lose one of a pair, but holding on to that one earring forever won’t do you any good. It is time to let go. You can repurpose old earrings by cutting off the stem and adding a pin backing or magnet.
3. Unnecessary Receipts
If you purchased a large item that is still on warranty, you should definitely keep your receipt. Otherwise, toss it. If a receipt has your signature or credit card number on it, you should shred it before recycling. Think of all the mess you’ll be rid of!
You definitely don’t need your used envelopes. As strange as it may seem, some places don’t allow you to recycle window envelopes. You may have to remove the plastic part before throwing it out.
5. Scratched CDs
We all love to reminisce about our favorite music, but your scratched CDs have got to go! You can recycle them or even donate them. If you insist on keeping them, rub toothpaste on the non-labelled side from the center outward.
6. Old Crayons
There are so many wonderful crafts you can make using old crayons. If you just want to ditch them, however, that is okay, too. Look into recycling centers like Crazy Crayons that can repurpose your old art supplies into something stellar.
7. Old Cell Phones
Are you really going to use that old flip phone for anything? It’s time to get rid of it, but don’t throw it away: e-waste can be very harmful when it is not disposed of properly. Trade your phone in at a cell phone company, or sell it online for a little extra cash. You can even sell the accessories.
8. Greeting Cards
Most greeting cards can’t be tossed in the recycle bin as-is. According to Recycle Nation, these cards must be stripped of their plastic, glitter, ribbon, and foil. Once you have whittled it down to just the paper, you can recycle it wherever you wish.
Do you have old spices way in the back of your cupboard? I know I do. These spices actually do expire, so if it’s past the date get rid of it. Most spices only last for around 12 months. Throw the spice away, but keep the bottle. You never know what you might want to use it for.
10. Expired Makeup
You DO NOT want to put expired makeup on your face – it will cause more problems than it solves. Eye makeup should actually be replaced every few months, and other makeup should be replaced at least once a year. To dispose of your beauty products, dump the product in the trash and recycle the container.
11. Appliance Manuals
If there is a copy of the manual online, you don’t actually need to have the hard copy. It will just be one more thing to lose and track down. Since these manuals are usually made of paper, you can simply recycle them.
12. Broken Hangers
They aren’t doing you any good, but they might help someone. You can donate old hangers to dry cleaning businesses, even if they are bent. These organizations could always use more hangers.
13. Old Wires
If you no longer own/use the device that the cable goes to, it doesn’t make any sense to keep the cable. Your home will be much less cluttered without all the extra wires. They need to be brought to special facilities in order to be recycled, but usually big businesses like Best Buy will be able to help.
14. Old Undergarments
Are your bras so worn that you would never wear them again? You might as well get rid of them. You can donate them to women’s shelters or even recycle them. Companies like The Bra Recyclers would be happy to help.
15. Undamaged Clothes
We all like to keep up with the latest trends, which means that our clothes go out of style fairly quickly. If you aren’t going to wear your old clothing again, donate it to a shelter. If the fabric is damaged, drop it in a textile recycling bin so the fibers can be remade into something else.
16. Old Knives
A knife without a handle is pretty useless. Unfortunately, broken knives can be pretty hard to repair. Depending on the state of your knives, bring them to a thrift shop or small appliance recycling center.
17. Kitchen Appliances
If you’re trading out your tools for the latest and greatest technology, donate your old ones. You can give them to a charity, sell them online, or bring them to a recycling center. Nothing takes up space like old appliances.
18. Hair Accessories
Like clothing, accessory styles are ever-changing. Those scrunchies from when you were a kid probably aren’t so cute anymore. Disinfect your accessories before you donate them – a little white vinegar can take out a lot of rust.
19. Old Batteries
Take care when recycling your batteries; battery acid is no joke. Resources like Call2Recycle can help you to get rid of your batteries in an environmentally-friendly way. Now you won’t have to wonder which batteries actually work.
20. Outdated Calendars
Photo calendars can be so cute, but once the year is over they are useless. There are a lot of great ways to repurpose old calendars, like making candle holders. Whatever you do, DEFINITELY take your outdated calendars off the wall.
21. Shorted-Out Lights
We’ve all had holiday lights short out on us. As frustrating as it might be, you just have to let them go. Look to chain stores like Home Depot to get rid of your broken lights responsibly.
22. Old Hairbrushes
Hairbrushes that are missing a few teeth still make great brushes for dolls. Clean yours out and give them to a doll-lover in your life. Or if the brush is really soft, consider using it on your pet.
23. Old Electronics
Some people still have cassette players. Yes, really. Get rid of those things! You could try selling them online, but you might have better luck bringing them to a small appliances recycling center.
24. Games With Missing Pieces
If the game still has enough pieces to work, of course you should keep it. But if you find yourself looking for a new makeshift piece every time you play, you might as well move on.
25. Worn-Out Shoes
Every shoe reaches a point where it has to go. Nonprofits like Soles4Souls would love to take your shoes and give them to those in need. Founded in 2006, this organization helps people all over the world.
26. Broken Porcelain Products
Porcelain, ceramic, and Pyrex can’t be recycled like glass. The good news is that you can repurpose these products into amazing new trinkets. From jewelry to home decorations, you’re sure to find a craft you love.
27. Old Books
Are you the type to re-read a book? I know I’m not. Try having a book sale. If you really want to make someone’s day, donate your old books to a school, hospital, or library.
28. Damaged Books
Seeing a ripped page in a book can be so frustrating. There are, however, dozens of crafts that use old books and pages. Some of these ideas are totally adorable.
29. Old Couches
Buying a new couch is the best. But I don’t have to tell you how much space an old couch takes. Consider reupholstering your couch to freshen it back up. If your heart is set on getting rid of it, look into websites like Freecycle.
30. Dead Pens
When a pen runs out of ink, it’s like it has lost its meaning. TerraCycle is a recycling organization that makes use of old writing instruments. Send all of your old pens in together, or if you only have a few get your friends to donate, too.
31. Playing Cards
If some of your cards are bent or missing, you should get a new deck anyways. But some old playing cards can be worth a lot of money. Check websites like Art of Play to see if your cards qualify as collectors’ items.
32. Ripped Curtains
If you’re thinking about replacing your old curtains, you can use this opportunity to repurpose your old ones. Cut and dye them to transform them into tablecloths. If the fabric is really worn-out, look for a textile recycling facility near you.
33. Stained Rugs
Stains are THE WORST! If your rugs are stained, donate them to an animal shelter. They could be turned into a cage liner, a cat scratcher, or anything else that makes the animals’ lives more comfortable.
34. Single Socks
Where do the socks go when we wash them?! You have a few options here. First, you could let go of the need to match your socks. Be fine with non-matching colors, or only buy one color of sock. Otherwise, you’ll have to get rid of the single sock. Repurpose it into a puppet and make your child’s day.
35. Expired Frozen or Canned Food
These foods aren’t as good as fresh options to start with. Once your preserved food expires, it’s time to get rid of it. For canned food, throw out the food and recycle the can. If it is frozen, thaw it completely before disposing of it – or your garbage will be a wet, disgusting mess.
36. Exercise Equipment
Remember when you thought you were going to use that treadmill every day? Well, that was years ago. Sell your old equipment on a site like 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment.
37. Expired Medicine
The EPA recommends removing pills from their containers and dissolving them in lukewarm water. Pour the solution into a bag of coffee grounds or kitty litter so the medicine will not be consumed by children or pets.
38. Broken Glasses
Glasses and sunglasses have parts that are made from many different materials, so it isn’t very easy to recycle them. That being said, it is possible to get glasses fixed. Have them repaired for yourself, or donate them to an organization like the Lions Club.
39. Broken Jewelry
It is always sad when a piece of jewelry breaks. Luckily, there are dozens of crafts that repurpose old jewelry. You may even be able to donate broken pieces to a bead or craft shop.
40. Fabric Scraps
Crochet yarn scraps into friendship bracelets, or cut fabric pieces into squares stuffed with lavender to help you sleep at night. You could even use the scraps to teach someone how to knit or sew.
41. Chipped Picture Frames
Sand down your wooden frames and repaint them to give them a polished look. Or you could leave them rugged and get a different look entirely. If nothing else, they will always make great kindling.
42. Old Cleaning Supplies
If a cleaning chemical didn’t work the way you wanted, ditch it. Slowly dilute the substance with water, then send it down the drain. Rinse and recycle the containers, and you’re all set.
43. Dead Plants
When a plant dies, it’s like a piece of you dies with it. Mix the dirt in with new dirt for your next flowerbed. You can even add the old plant into a compost.
44. Old Magazines
There are so many great crafts that use old magazines. If you are looking to get rid of the magazines, donate them to a local hospital.
45. Broken Lamps
The fluorescent lightbulbs of today actually contain a small amount of mercury, so they must be disposed of properly. Check out LampRecycle for advice on what to do with your lamp.
46. Ripped Towels
The best thing to do with old towels is turn them into cleaning rags. You can also place them under leaks until they get fixed. If you really want them out, look for a textile recycling facility.
47. Broken Watches
Old watches can be turned into some seriously cool art. Give your broken watches to a pal with a craft shop, or head to a watch repair shop. Sometimes they will keep old watches for parts.
48. Half-Burned Candles
If your candles come in a glass container, you may be left halfway through the candle with no way to light it. Melt down all the wax and recycle the glass container. You can even make new candles out of the old ones.
49. Dried Paint
Paint can be toxic, so use care when disposing of it. Oil paint must be disposed of at the recycling center, while latex-paint can be made safe by mixing it with cat litter.
50. Old Paint Brushes
You might as well get rid of the brushes while you’re at it. Donate your paint brushes to a community center or a day care center. If your brush is beyond use, you may have to throw it out.
51. Extra Buttons
Every outfit seems to come with extra buttons, but have you ever used them? If you still have the buttons but not the shirt, it’s time to stop storing them. Rework old outfits by adding them in, or simply send them on their way.
If your containers are missing their lids, and you don’t have multiple of the same one, you should probably get rid of it. After all, where is this missing lid going to come from? Time to recycle.
53. Freebies From Conferences
Those old lanyards and name tags aren’t going to do you any good. Why do you still have them, anyway? Old tote bags are a different story. They can totally be reused as grocery bags.
54. Address Labels
If you’ve moved and still have address labels for your old place, it’s time to get rid of them. Consider shredding them, since they do have personal information on them.
55. Dry Nail Polish
Nail polish does expire, and it always happens at the worst time. Unfortunately, adding water won’t bring your favorite color back to life. Try to get the polish out and recycle the container.
56. Spare Furniture Parts
If you bought a piece of furniture from IKEA and still have the spare screws and nails, good for you. You are organized. But if the furniture is long gone, those spare parts should be, too.
57. Expired Coupons
You didn’t use them, and now your time is up. Donate them to the military. Military members overseas can use coupons for up to six months after they expire.
58. Stretched-Out Hair Elastics
Once these babies reach their maximum amount of stretchiness, they will never be quite as useful. If you don’t want to wind up in a crazy hair situation, get rid of them before they have a chance to let you down. Or keep them and use them for something else, like to hold bread packages shut.
59. Take-Out Menus
Between Yelp and restaurants posting their menus online, it is a wonder this is still a thing. Get rid of those take-out menus. If they are not laminated, recycle them like ordinary paper.
60. Old Travel Brochures
Sure, it’s nice to revel in the memories. But you took pictures while you were there, didn’t you? You don’t need the brochure to remember the good times.
There are A LOT of things you could throw out right now, and your house would be that much more clutter free. So what are you waiting for? Recycle something already.
Source: Live Strong