The No-Brainer Purge: 20 Things to Get Rid of Right Now Without a Second Thought

Lifestyle

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

Check out Why Keeping Only the Clothes that “Spark Joy” is Magical.

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.

Read more: How To: Donate and Recycle Common Household Items

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

Check out Cell Phones for SoldiersEcoATM’s kiosk finder and the FTC’s guidelines for making sure your personal information is wiped clean.

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.

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