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My name is Bernice and I am a mom of 4 grown children, and nana to 8. Read more...

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FYB 180

Clear some clutter– 10 things you can throw away today

Wanna clear some clutter? Here are 10 things you have probably been hanging onto, or they are laying around your house by default.

10 things you can throw away

1. Cans of old paint

We all have those cans of paint in the garage or basement. They’re great for touching up walls when they get chipped or scratched up. If you have repainted however, or you haven’t painted in several years, you could probably get rid of the old paint. Try patching a wall you painted years ago with the paint in the can, and you’ll see that it’s not a perfect match. The paint on the wall has faded. And if you repaint a wall, the chances of ever using that old paint color again are very slim. Keep newer paints for touch-up, but let the rest go. Visit Earth911.com to find a place that will safely dispose of the old paint for you.

2. Old bills, paychecks, and receipts

Who needs a filing cabinet full of old bills, paychecks, and receipts? If they are no longer needed, dump them. If you have receipts for tax purposes or warranties, they need to be stored somewhere ( many people these days are scanning them and saving on a hard drive). You should save paychecks from the past two years; throw the rest away (scan if you must). And bills, who needs them? If you can, sign up for electronic bills and paychecks to save the environment and your horizontal surfaces.

3. Old, expired medicines and vitamins

Not only does this save space, it could also be a life-saver. When drugs go past their expiration dates, they become less potent. So if you’re taking them for a certain illness, you may not be getting the correct dosage. Some people double up on the dosage to make up for that, which is dangerous. Drugs can also change in their chemical compositions over time, which means they could become dangerous and have serious side effects. Be safe. Throw them out.

4. Odd, assorted power cords

Who doesn’t have a drawer full of old power cords, data cords, and other various pieces of connective cables? Most of them are duplicates (I get a new USB cord every time I buy a new gadget). Some are for old devices that have long since departed the home. So go through them all, keep the ones for current gadgets in your house, and get rid of the rest.

5. Plastic containers

With the invention of the low-cost “disposable” plasticware, you no doubt have a fabulously mixed-up collection of plastic containers. They have missing lids, too many lids, stains, holes, and about nine of them are actually worth keeping. Go through your collection and be brutal. Most can be dumped today.

6. Audio and video tapes, and even DVDs and CDs

VHS and audio tapes are a no-brainer. Have you tried watching a VHS after watching Blu-Ray? It’s like being transported back in time to the land of sucky reception. But even some DVDs, CDs, and video games should be considered. If you haven’t listened to a CD in years, is it worth keeping? How about that movie you bought because it was on sale and cheaper to buy than rent? Or that video game you crushed and have no time for anymore? Out the door.

7.  Old panties, bras, and socks

Alas, sometimes we stretch out the time between washes a little longer than we should, and why? Because we see five pairs of undies or socks left in the drawer and know we’re OK. But we forget they’re the saddest items of clothing in the known universe, filled with holes, often glowing with a color that can only be described as “muddy gray.” Get rid of them. As for bras, we hang on to them until they are so stretched there is no support left. Or the wire is poking you. Clear them out. And check out this somewhat humorous post on investing in unmentionables from the Bizy Mommy.

8. Toys

Kids are spoiled these days, and that means an abundance of toys can be found all over the house. Get your kids to gather up all the toys, then sift through them together. Decide which ones they really want to keep, which ones can be donated, and which are no use to anyone. A jigsaw puzzle with 10 missing pieces is not fun. Dump the headless Barbies and broken cars.

9. Perfumes, colognes, and various scented body lotions

We all have them, lurking in the back of the medicine cabinet or closet, or sitting nicely altogether on your dresser, gathering dust. They’re the scents and body stuffs we were given as gifts, maybe by an ex, a clueless parent, or even something we bought for ourselves in a moment of uncommon sense. Now they sit in the dark, 99% full, waiting for the day you throw them away. Release them.

10. Your numerous fix-it-up projects

You know the ones I’m talking about. You bought a scrap piece of furniture or machinery at a garage sale three years ago, fully intending to sand it, prime it, paint it, and make it look like new again. Of course, the day after you bought it you stored it away in the basement or garage and it’s been there ever since. So, make a pact. Start to fix it up today, or get rid of it.

What are you gonna tackle first?

6 comments to Clear some clutter– 10 things you can throw away today

  • Great list! I worked as a professional organizer for 2 years, and all of these things were problems. Another suggestion – spices. They become useless fairly quickly, and all of them will have expiration dates on the bottles.

  • stacy O

    I just did the storage container throw away..so many with no lids and warped. I also recently did my pantry. I found old spices in the back that expired in 2006. Really! I try to declutterr every 6 months

  • CJ

    go thru your fridge is my #12 then, Salad dressing and sauces, and marinades, and pickles- yuck. we use these rarely and leave 1/2 a bottle in the fridge or in the dark recesses of the back or bottom shelves- TOSS em!

  • AMB

    Great ideas for de-cluttering….but, please don’t forget to mention that we also need to add ‘reuse and recycle’ to reduce. With school budgets constantly getting cut, please check with local pre-schools and art teachers…..they are often struggling to spend their own money to buy supplies such as these that you’re suggesting be tossed.

  • Love the list – I HATE clutter, but I too want to emphasize that we should do our best not to just toss things in the trash. Plastic container & bottles are easily recycle-able, as well as paper. Many organizations have shredding days, it you’re worried about privacy.

  • Many schools would be more than happy to receive any old board games!

    Heather
    Elementary Counselor