If you’re anything like me, decluttering is downright exhilarating. But knowing where to start can be a major mental roadblock. If you’ve got the urge to get some stuff out of the house, start with this list of items you can say goodbye to right now with little thought and no impunity.
1. Expired coupons
I like to put coupons I might use in Evernote, with a “delete” tag and deadline reminder so I can eliminate this paper clutter altogether.
2. Old magazines
If you’re keeping them to look back at later, you won’t. If you’re keeping them for your kids to use for collages, keep three, max.
3. Expired pantry items (canned goods, spices, etc.)
Check your local food bank for donation guidelines.
4. Old clothes
Read more: 5 Questions: Deciding to Keep or Purge
5. Old, extra, or excessive wrapping paper and supplies
If your stash tends to grow and sit, paring it down leaves you with less decision fatigue when it’s time to wrap.
6. Excessive plastic and paper bags
They’ll multiply again, trust me.
7. Broken things you’ve been meaning to repair
If you haven’t gotten around to fixing it in more than a year, take that pressure off yourself and breathe easier.
8. Old, extra, stained, or torn linens
Chances are you never reach for those anyway. Pass them on to an animal shelter or another place that could make use of the fabric.
9. Chipped dishes and mugs
They’re feng shui energy stealers.
10. DVDs you know you’ll never watch again
You won’t waste your time on them; don’t waste space on them either. (Do you even have a DVD player anymore?)
11. Duplicate kitchen tools
Keep only the ones you reach for when you have a choice.
12. Accessories you haven’t worn in a year or more
It means you don’t actually like them.
13. Take-out menus
They’re all online. Recycle all that paper and free up that junk drawer real estate.
14. Extra boxes and empty storage containers
Professional organizers say you should buy containers specifically for what you know you need to store, not the other way around
15. Refills for items you no longer use
Examples include regular light bulbs after you’ve switched to LEDs, coffee filters for a pot you no longer own or use, or toothbrush head replacements for an electric toothbrush that kicked the bucket a long time ago.
16. Expired or compromised bike helmets
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that helmets should be replaced every five years or if they have been involved in any impact.
17. Expired medication
Use these FDA guidelines for proper disposal.
18. Expired cosmetics
Components separate, ingredients lose their effectiveness, and fragrances can turn rancid. Don’t put them on your body.
19. Old cell phones and other electronics
20. Books that don’t move you or that you haven’t used for reference in three or more years
Editing your collection leaves you with an autobiographical shelf that’s a distilled literary portrait of you—and makes room for new favorites.