Cardboard Food Boxes
Ditch the cardboard boxes and plastic bags that go with your cereal, snacks and dry goods. They’re ugly, take up lots of space and don’t keep your food fresh. Instead, opt for glass jars (like HGTV Magazine did here) or airtight food storage containers.
Mommie Dearest said it best: No more wire hangers! Ditch those dry cleaner hangers for matching plastic or wooden versions.
Your Dish Sponge
When was the last time you replaced the sponge in your kitchen sink? If it’s been more than a month, toss it. In between, sanitize it with a spin in the dishwasher.
Dirty Air Filters
It’s important to schedule a maintenance checkup for your HVAC system every spring and fall, but in the meantime, filters need to be checked once a month. When they’re dirty, change them; dirty filters shorten the lifespan of your system.
Get rid of any shoes that are broken beyond repair, worn out or missing a mate. Can’t remember the last time you wore a still-good pair? Donate to a thrift store.
Clothing You’ve Never Worn
Donate or sell any items of clothing you’ve had for more than a year without wearing.
Too-Small Kids’ Clothing
The same goes for clothing your children can no longer wear: Unless it’s an heirloom, donate or sell to free up the space.
Old Halloween Costumes
If they’ve moved on from ninjas to superheroes, go ahead and donate that old costume.
Filled Coloring Books
Display your child’s favorite works of art in a gallery wall or a photo album, then recycle the rest.
Socks Without a Mate
We all have that bag of socks without their, ahem, sole mate. If you’ve done a full round of laundry without finding their partner, it’s time to let them go.
How long have those cosmetics been lurking in your makeup bag? Mascara should be replaced every three months. Foundation and concealer are good for about a year, while lipstick, eye shadow and blush should be replaced every two years.
Give away anything you know you won’t use. That perfume you didn’t like would go great in a DIY spa gift for your loved one.
Expired or Unidentifiable Medication
Dispose of old prescriptions and anything you can’t identify — but — because meds are considered hazardous waste, it’s important that you follow the FDA’s guidelines. Also, check with your local pharmacy or law enforcement agencies, many offer year-round or seasonal drug take-back days so you can safely drop off unwanted meds for proper disposal.
Most ground spices should be replaced after 12 months. A simple test? Give each one a wiff. If there’s no scent, there will be no flavor. Go ahead and toss it!
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three months for maximum brushing power.
Last Year’s Holiday Cards
You’ve enjoyed them, now it’s time to let them go. Record any addresses to your phone or computer before chucking them into the recycling bin.
Last Year’s Gift Wrap
You probably refresh your wrapping paper supply while Christmas shopping, anyway, so go ahead and recycle the old stuff. If you can’t bear to part with it, try keeping it organized in a rolling mesh laundry basket. You can also turn last year’s leftovers into festive decor.
Last Year’s Calendar
Embrace the current year by recycling last year’s calendar. The same goes for a dated datebook.
Unidentified Frozen Objects
Toss any unidentifiable objects in the refrigerator or freezer.
Movies You Don’t Love
If you’d only give a film one thumb up or you wouldn’t watch it again, give it away or sell at a used electronics store. And those VHS tapes? If you don’t have a player, let those go, too.
Throw away any canned goods past their expiration date. If you discover still-good packaged food you didn’t like or won’t eat, donate to a local food pantry.
Cookbooks You Never Use
Give unused to your foodie friends who will get more use out of them.
You can typically find menus and numbers for all your go-tos online. Keep your favorites in one place by placing them in a plastic folder and adhering the folder to the inside of your kitchen cabinet — it also works well for recipes!
How many ketchup packets to you really need?
Most recycling centers have mixed metal bins you can toss old keys in. Make sure to remove any rubber coverings before you recycle.
Old Formal Wear
If you know you’ll never wear it after the event, sell it or donate it — there are several organizations that will take that old bridesmaid, prom dress or tux off your hands to give to someone in need.
Congrats, you just got promoted! And now you’ve got 300 unused business cards with your old title. Go ahead and recycle them.
The frustration a flimsy, broken umbrella brings is worth the cost of replacing it.
Old Chargers and Cables
A friend or relative might be able to use a spare USB cable or an old charger. Anything you can’t give away can usually be recycled in electronic stores or online. Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into “cubbies” with scraps of cardboard. Label each section, so you’ll never confuse the camera cord for the phone charger again, and give the boxes a bit of color by decorating the cardboard with scrapbook paper.
Between digital video recorders, DVD players and cable boxes, most homeowners have more remote controls than they know what to do with. Get rid of extras you don’t recognize anymore.
CD collection getting dusty? Organize the ones you really want to keep and sell or give away the rest.
Properly sealed (read: air-tight) paint can last for up to 10 years if kept at an even temperature and prevented from freezing. However if, like most of us, you store leftover paint in the garage or shed, the temperature swings will cause it to break down much quicker. If you have old paint cans with bulging lids, leaky seams or, once opened, a thick layer of dried paint on top, it’s time to give that can the toss. But, before tossing, research safe disposal steps by contacting your local household hazardous waste center. If the paint is still usable, you may even be able to donate it to a local charity, like Habitat for Humanity or even a local scout troop or school that could use the paint for crafts.
If you think you might return it or need to keep a reciept for a warranty, try scanning the receipts and keeping copies online instead of an old shoebox.
Books That Are Falling Apart
If your favorite read is falling apart, it may be time to buy a new copy.
Curtains From Your Old Place
You brought them thinking surely they’d fit a window in your new place — your new set of windows say otherwise. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, old window treatments can be altered to fit your new space.
Your Old License Plate
Most appliance manuals have an online version. Keep really important ones together in a folder.
If you’ve only used that fryer once since you bought it, give it away.
Unless you’re really dedicated to melting down the slivers into one mega-soap, toss them out.
From: Genevieve Gorder
Broken Picture Frames
An exception: If you love the frame but the glass is shattered, you can get a new piece cut to size at a local glass repair shop.
Bottles and Jars
Games With Missing Pieces
It’s not nearly as fun if you don’t have all the pieces.
Let your GPS do all the hard work. Try mounting keepsake maps as wall art.
Once the scent fades, potpourri quickly turns into a dust magnet.
Everyone’s still got a couple lying around. If you’ve still got some that you haven’t used, turn it into a game — hand them out to family and friends then get the pictures developed to see what you get!
Old Craft Supplies
Instruments No One’s Playing
Giving up on the flute lessons? Musical instruments can be donated and given a second life to someone who needs them.
Plastic Storage Containers
If it’s got a spaghetti stain that just won’t come out, let it go.
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