- Books that you don't need for future reference. A few years ago I got rid of boxes and boxes of books because I can have a hoard of ebooks and it not take up any room in my house or need to be dusted. I only keep old reference genealogy books, some of my best collections and a few for when I need a book while taking a hot bath (don't want those tablets in the water). lf it's something that you can't get in ebook form, that's one thing but more and more books are being digitalize. Check out Google books for old books that have been digitilized and are free.
- Clothing that is in bad shape. If you are holding on to old tshirts, holey socks, picked polyester slacks.... don't. Give yourself permission to throw away clothing that is in bad shape. I keep a couple of junk outfits to wear when I'm cleaning house or working in the yard. But that's it. I don't keep stuff that will never be worn again because they are in such bad shape. I regularly throw away socks, underwear and clothes as I do the laundry and I notice stains, holes, picks, etc.
- Clothing that is out of style and you aren't going to wear them. Also any that are no longer your size. It's not necessary to keep clothes that are too big or too small for you. If you are positive that you are going to lose weight or gain your weight back (maybe you lost it due to illness) then store in plastic boxes or vacuum sealed plastic bags and clearly mark what size is in the container and store. But once it's a year old, get rid of the clothes. It means you aren't going to be that size any time soon if you haven't done it in a year. As far as styles... If you have the space to store some things then choose some representative pieces and store. It's fun to look back sometimes on the styles that came and went. And you might could use them for costumes in the future for you (if you are still that size) or your children. But don't try to save everything. And store in clearly marked containers with the style, what's included and the size. For instance, "1970's, platform sandals size 8, bell bottom jeans women's size 7, men's polyester slacks size 34x32" So one or two outfits, shoes, accessories from styles of the 70's, 80's , etc is all I would save and that only if you have storage space. Otherwise, it all goes.
- DVDs, VHS and music CDs. You can use YouTube, Netflix, Amazon for digital movies and music is better and easy to download digitally. There is no need to keep those old movie and music things. Even if you are a collector of movies, collect digitally.
- Old jewelry that you don't wear. If it's getting dusty, then that means you aren't wearing it. So donate it. And, in the future, limit your jewelry purchases to a few fashion pieces and then keep it to more simple sterling silver or gold pieces. Don't keep boxes full of junk jewelry. Now, you can keep a few pieces for little girls to play with. Add some fun costume pieces to a box in their dress up clothes. But not too many or they will just get tangled up and be ruined anyway.
- Out of date medicine
- Dried herbs and spices that are too old. It loses it's flavor after a year or so so toss it.
- Toys that your children have outgrown or no longer play with. Keeping piles of toys that they don't use is a pain. You are cleaning them, cleaning around them, constantly putting them away, trying to find more space to store it... it's not necessary. If you think you are going to have another child, then you might store some in plastic boxes out of the way. But if you are through having children, donate them and get them out of the house. If a child played all day long with their toys, and still haven't touched this or that or those.... then it's not necessary to keep them.
- Magazines. In fact, why are you even paying for magazine subscriptions? Really ask yourself why? I use Pinterest for my magazine addiction. And I pin stuff to multiple boards if I want to keep it. I have boards for recipes, home decor, adobe photoshop tips, genealogy, dogs, history, etc. You can make as many boards as you want and organize using them. For instance, for recipes, don't just have a recipe board but have Recipes-Beef dishes, Recipes-Poultry dishes, Recipes-Hors D'Oeuvres, Recipes-Halloween, Recipes-Christmas.... you see, you can have them any way that makes sense to you! Same with Home Decor. You could have boards for Home Decor-Entrance Halls, Home Decor-Children's Rooms, Home Decor-Garden Room, Porches, Patios, Home Decor-Modern, Home Decor-Shabby Chic, etc. Having said all this, do you really need magazines? If you do, do you need to keep them longer than a couple of months? Maybe it's time to get rid of them. You can donate them to a thrift store. Or you can donate them to your doctor's office, the hospital behavioral health floor, your hair dressers, a neighbor or family member, jail, any waiting room. Snip your address off and donate those old magazines that are taking up space, getting dusty and are not necessary.
- Paper clutter. Get a basket and go room to room and gather all junk paper. Junk mail, old bills and statements, leaflets, brochures, old cards, business cards, etc. If you can scan, photograph, or find it digitally (such as your bank statements, accessing a website or saved on Pinterest, credit card statements and such that are available on the Internet), then do it and get rid of the paper clutter. You don't have to keep old receipts, invoices, statements, etc if you can scan them. I keep a folder on my computer named "My Scans". Within that folder are subfolders by year. So there are folders for 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. Within those folders I have sub-subfolders named "Electric 2015", "Water 2015", "Home Mortgage 2015", "Insurance 2015", etc. Then I scan all bills and receipts and save to the correct folder. Now they are digitized and organized. Don't stop there, but regularly back this folder up to another hard drive or in the cloud so that you don't lose it. You may not even want to keep digital copies. I mean, once you've paid a bill you can just toss the statement. So just keep receipts and statements that affect your income taxes and toss the rest. If you have a shredder, shred. If not, put in boxes and go to a community shredding event. They are free. Take your boxes and let a professional shred in their industrial shredder in their truck. If I have a party invitation for one of my nieces or nephews and I want to keep it, I scan it as a jpg file and store it in their picture folder for the year. There is no need to keep old cards. If they mean that much to you, scan and then toss. With business cards, you can enter the contact information in your MS Outlook or Gmail contacts. Be sure to make a note about why you are saving the contact information and create categories for "Household Business", "Medical", "Business", "Church", etc. Then toss the card. Get rid of paper clutter!
- Do you have boxes in your attic full of past year's paper? (See #10) Don't save anything unless it's truly important. Save your mortgage papers from 10 years ago but don't save your grocery receipts from last year. Save your immunization records but don't save your VISA statements. Save your tax records and backup receipts but don't save your 2 year old bank statements. Take the important stuff out and then take the rest to be shredded (see #10).
- Anything broken. I broke the crock in one of my crockpots. That made me so mad but there is no use saving the working electrical part hoping I can find a replacement crock for it. I looked it up online and the cost of replacing it, with shipping and handling, made it cheaper to buy a new one and toss the old one. So if something is broken, toss it. Old watches, glasses you no longer use, dried out ink pins, if it doesn't work trash it!
- I have a large file drawer and file folders for all the stuff that comes with manuals and warranties. But every year or so I go through them and pull out the stuff for things I no longer have or use. The old camera that no longer works, the laptop that had to be thrown away, the dryer that quit and was replaced.
- Packaging. Yes, I get rid of all packaging as I bring the item in the house. If it's shipped in a box, I bring it inside, take it out of the box, do any cleaning and then put it where it needs to go. Then I recycle the box and any packaging. Same with toothpaste. I bring in the bags from the store, unpack, open all the packaging and put away items and put the packaging in the trash or recycling.bin. I never leave boxes or bags without putting things away. I unload my car, bring in the bags and unpack. I put things away. They don't sit around and get in my way. Everything is unpacked and put away and I get rid of the packaging. I recycle plastic bags and put all cardboard and plastic containers in recycling.
- Things that you don't like or don't like any more. Go room to room and see if there is anything that you don't like any more or maybe never liked it. It's OK to take it out and donate it or give to someone you know will like it or use it. Have you gone blind to pictures on the wall? You no longer see them or get joy from them, donate them. Why dust around knick knacks that you don't really like? Even if they were gifts, if you don't really like them, you can remove them and donate them.
- Old food. That's right, if there are things in the bottom of your freezer and it's too old, toss it. If there is an expiration date, throw it away. Clean out the moldy containers in your refrigerator. Toss out stale items. If you haven't used a can of such and such in a year, it means you probably won't so donate it. Don't let it sit there for 5 years and have to be thrown away. Food that is inedible is trash. It's good for nothing and only taking up your space.
- Coffee mugs that you don't use. It seems like companies like making coffee mugs with their logos and give them away. Before you know it, you have a cabinet full of junk mugs that you don't really like. You don't have to take them or keep them. I only keep the ones that match my dishes and that I really like. Donating those old coffee mugs that you don't like, empties a lot of space!
- Same with plastic cups. You don't have to save the plastic cups you get from the baseball game you went to or the giveaway cups from the beer festival. If you don't like to use them, you don't have to keep them. Recycle or donate. I had an aunt one time that had a cabinet full of those giveaway plastic cups and we all hated using them but she insisted. She could afford a set of matching glasses but she kept reusing those awful plastic cups. And my Grandmother would make us all save our styrofoam and plastic cups and she would spend her time handwashing them and making us reuse them. I can do that a time or two but not for months. I don't like them so I don't keep them and I certainly don't handwash them to be reused. They are for throwing away so I throw them away. The whole point of buying these cups are for the convenience of throwing away.
- Plastic shopping bags. I keep about 10 bags and those are only clean ones. If they have carried meet or dairy or something has leaked, I get rid of them. I don't save 50 or 100 bags. I only keep about 10. The rest I put in the recycle bin at the grocerie store. So keep a reasonable amount but recycle the rest.
- Kitchen utensils that you don't use or that don't work the way you thought they would. No use taking up space if they don't do what you want them to do. Donate those utensils you don't use.
- Small kitchen appliances that you don't use. Do you really use that bread maker? Do you really use that ice cream maker? Do you really need that hot chocolate maker or that espresso maker? I really use my crockpots and I have 3 sizes and I use all three of them. I really use my bread maker and my Kitchenaid mixer. But I don't use that iced tea maker or that shaved ice machine. Donate it and free up your space. I have a waffle iron that I need to donate since we haven't made waffles in 9 years.
- Do you save plastic food containers like butter bowls, sandwich meat containers, etc? You can save a couple to send home leftovers with but you don't have to keep too many, nor do you have to wash and reuse over and over again. It's time to throw away. Clean out any of those things and donate.
- Do you have any mismatched Tupperware or plastic food containers? Maybe some lids that don't fit anything else or bowls without lids? Pieces that you don't use after all? It's OK to donate the things you don't use. You need the real estate to store things you do use.
- Old vases from flower bouquets you got. Those cheapy flower vases can take up much needed space and there is no reason to save them. Donate them back to the flower shop or to a thrift store.
- Old linens. If you have old pillow cases, a flat sheet with no matching fitted sheet, a blanket with a hole in it. a stained tablecloth, frayed towels, then you can get rid of them. Old towels can be donated to a vet or groomer to be used with animals. Donate old sheets and loners (without a match). Throw away things that are too stained, or damaged.
Monday, November 02, 2015
Twenty Five Things You Can Lose Today And Declutter Without Missing It
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