25 Things You Can Get Rid of Right Now
13. Expired food
Expired food can be very detrimental to your health. Toss anything moldy, anything past its expiration date, and any food you know you’re not going to eat by the expiration date. It’s just taking up space unnecessarily in your kitchen.
14. Spices you never use
Do you have a cabinet or drawer full of dozens of spices you never use? Get rid of them! If you don’t cook with them or season your food on a regular basis with them, it’s time to toss them.
Star Organizers Tip: Keeping just the few spices you use in your kitchen will help you more easily see the items you need to access regularly and give you more space in your cabinet.
15. Unidentifiable chargers and wires
If you don’t know what it’s for or you know what it’s for and you don’t own the item anymore, or the item is broken, get rid of the chargers and cords that go with it! Get rid of your Razr phone chargers and the cords to your digital camera that you don’t have anymore because you use your iPhone to take photos these days. If you can’t even remember what it’s for, it’s definitely time to let it go.
16. Perfumes you don’t wear anymore
If you don’t wear the fragrance, get rid of it! Most of us have just one or two scents we consistently wear. Sometimes people who don’t know you very well will buy you perfume as a gift. You probably don’t even like scent they gifted you and just have it in your cabinet or on your dresser taking up space. I used to collect perfumes when I was younger, despite their strong and awful smells, just because I thought the bottles were pretty. I had them all displayed on my dresser. Perfumes have a shelf life of 6 to 18 months, and sunlight and heat can shorten its shelf life. If you’ve had a perfume for over 6 months and don’t wear it regularly, it’s time to let it go. It was the best feeling when I tossed over a dozen putrid perfumes. It freed up so much space on my dresser and I could feel such an open flow in my bedroom.
You only need to keep a few. Unless you’re reusing shopping bags all the time to replace trash bags, they are just clutter filling up your home. Keep a couple in your suitcase for when you travel – they make great laundry bags and shoe bags, and they’ll protect your cosmetics from exploding on your clothes. However, you don’t need an entire cabinet or drawer full of hundreds of bags. I once had a client who had an entire linen closet full of shopping bags. Throwing out old shopping bags and nothing else allowed her to have an entire closet for towels, linens, purses, shoes, and more! It was amazing to have such a huge space open up with one simple task that took just a couple minutes.
Star Organizers Tip: Start bringing your own “green bags” to the grocery store to help prevent this from ever becoming an issue again.
18. Old makeup
Your makeup and lotions have expiration dates, and it’s really important not to use them past their expirations. Just like the food in your kitchen, make up can harbor bacteria that is not only counterproductive to the purpose of you using makeup, but can be detrimental to your health. While you might be trying to cover up breakouts, expired makeup can actually cause breakouts, skin irritations, and infections. The bottom of your makeup usually has a little symbol of a jar with an open lid with a number and a letter. The M is for month and the Y is for year. The number represents how long it will last after opened. If you think your makeup might be expired, stay on the safe side, and toss it.
19. Food storage containers with missing lids (and vice versa)
You don’t need to keep 20 plastic containers that your takeout food came in – especially if they’re missing matching lids. They’re useless. Say goodbye.
20. Old florists’ vases
Only hold onto things that you find beautiful and useful. The flowers you received were once upon a time beautiful. Now that they’ve withered, you no longer need to keep the vase if you don’t find it to be beautiful or useful. If you have other beautiful vases that you love to use to display your flowers, toss the cheap ones from the florist.
21. Broken appliances
Get rid of the extra toaster that doesn’t work, the blender that’s missing its blades, the ancient, broken coffee maker and old computers and printers that won’t even turn on. All of your broken and useless appliances are just taking up space causing clutter. These items typically tend to be on the larger side, as well. I promise getting rid of your 1996 desktop computer will feel like a great relief! If you’re worried about anyone ever getting the information that was on it once upon a time, just break the hard drive into pieces and your information will be destroyed. If you have files and documents on there that you need to keep, bring it to a computer expert who can pull them off your old machine for you. The files can be put on discs or a small external hard drive that will take up a hundredth of the space.
Do you even know who that person is anymore? Throw the old business cards out! We live in a digital world now. Save the information to your digital address book, CRM, or contact management software.
Star Organizers Tip: Use an app like Business Card Reader Pro to easily scan your contacts into your cell phone.
23. Empty boxes you’ve been saving
Do you have a closet full of boxes for old electronics that are past their warranty dates? Do you have half a dozen boxes that you’re saving for the next time you move? If you have dozens of shoeboxes that you keep but don’t even keep the shoes in them, it’s time to think out of the boxes and get rid of them.
Why are you holding onto those VHS tapes? If you still have a VCR, first of all, it’s 2014 – who are you? Second of all, have you ever heard of Netflix? Thirdly, if you don’t have a VCR, yet you still have VHS tapes, what are you doing keeping those? It’s time to toss or donate those VHS tapes, cassette tapes, dare I say 8-tracks, and your VCR player. If you didn’t get the memo yet, we use DVDs and Blu-rays now. And most of us just stream our movies online. Get with the decade. These outdated devices are taking up too much space in your home.
Star Organizers Tip: If you have home movies, wedding and bar-mitzvah videos, and dance recitals on VHS tapes, send them into a company who will transfer them to DVDs for you or give you the digital files. You’ll actually be able to watch and share them.
25. Old Newspapers and magazines
If you didn’t read number 24, just a little reminder – this is 2014. What are you saving old newspapers for? All of those articles can be accessed online. If you still like reading a physical paper each morning, as opposed to reading it on your smartphone or tablet, keep ordering the paper. Just toss it in the recycling bin after you read it – or after a couple days go by and you don’t read it.
If you are saving your old magazines to cut them up for a scrapbook or collage project and you don’t have a date on your calendar within the next week to do it, it’s time to let the boxes of magazines go. If you’re saving a handful of magazines for the day you’ll have the time to relax and read them, say goodbye. “Someday” never comes.
Did you miss Part I? Check it out here.