Do you ever look around your home and think, “surely I don’t need all of these things.” If this thought has never crossed your mind, it’s likely your home is full of countless items it no longer needs. There’s no time like the present to go through your stuff and get rid of those items that are just taking up precious space. Your home will feel fresher and lighter after getting rid of these unnecessary things.
Unnecessary Paper Items
1. Old Magazines and Newspapers
Is your coffee table starting to resemble a doctor’s office stacked with back issues of magazines you only flip through? Then it’s time to clear the clutter and recycle. While your magazines and newspapers might be full of great articles and recipes, it’s very likely they exist online. If they don’t, you can always clip them out and add them to a binder or scan and save them on your computer. The bottom line is there’s no need to crowd your space with items you’re not using.
2. Paper Lists
Do you still write out all your grocery lists on a piece of paper? Do you find that you often lose or misplace these lists and then stare blankly at the aisles trying to remember what was on your list? Make the switch to paperless lists and use your cell phone instead. Not only will you never misplace your list again (unless you lose your phone) but you’ll be able to save and modify lists, making the time you spend writing shorter. There are many great apps designed specifically for list making or you can always use the notes app that comes with almost every phone these days. Either way, throw out your old lists and start fresh with a new list on your phone.
3. Books You Won’t Read Again
Much like the piles of magazines, books can quickly accumulate and take up more space than they need to. Go through your bookshelf and ask yourself if you’re going to ever read each book again. Keep the books you love and want to read and donate the rest. You’ll be surprised by the amount you actually want to keep and reread versus the books you don’t want anymore.
4. Take-Out Menus
Much like everything else that’s been digitized, there’s really no need to have a drawer full of take-out menus anymore. It’s likely you now do all your food ordering online or through an app, so having physical copies of menus are really unnecessary. Clear out that menu drawer and recycle all your old menus. If you are still using paper menus to order, go through your pile and only keep one copy from each place you frequently order from. Make sure it’s their most up to date menu and not one from when they first opened.
Out Of Date Technology
5. DVDs & CDs
With all of the technology available that makes watching movies and tv shows and listening to music so easy and accessible, throwing away discs you never use anymore should be a no-brainer. Sure, vinyl has had a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, but it’s very unlikely your mixed CDs from 25 years ago are going to come back into fashion any time soon. Keep the discs that are your favourites but donate or give away the rest.
6. Old & Broken Electronics
Portable DVD players, old cell phones, mp3 players, broken printers… the list goes on and on. We’re willing to bet you have at least one broken or old electronic still in your home doing absolutely nothing to earn its keep. Why keep something when you can’t use it anymore? Take some time to round up these items and then dispose of them. If the item still works and is in good condition but you have no use for it, try donating it first. If your items are non-functioning be sure to recycle them in the proper way.
7. Miscellaneous Cords and Chargers
All those old and broken electronics came with cords and chargers and they’re definitely still hiding somewhere in your home. Unless you know for sure there is a matching device for your every item in your basket of miscellaneous cords, it’s time to get rid of them. Again, make sure you recycle these items in the proper way. Simply throwing them in the garbage can have serious negative effects on our planet.
8. Broken or Old Dishes & Cutlery
Do you have a collection of mugs without handles? Plates that have chunks taken out of them? Forks that only have two prongs? If your kitchen cupboards look like they’re inhabited by college students, consider getting rid of your broken and old items and replacing them. Cutlery and dishes are not nearly as expensive as they used to be (think back to wedding registries for silver and fine China). Treat your household to a matching set of dishes and cutlery and get rid of that broken Snoopy mug for good.
9. Gifts You Never Liked
We often feel pressure to keep gifts we don’t actually like because we want to avoid offending the gift-giver. If the frog figurine set aunt Geraldine gave you 6 years ago is still in its box, it’s time to let it go. You can either donate, recycle, or re-gift these items. Who knows, your unwanted presents might be just what someone else has been dreaming of. Give yourself the gift of space and pass along the gifts you never liked in the first place.
As technology advances more and more of our everyday household items will become redundant and unnecessary. It’s important to stay on top of these items and make sure they’re not taking up more space than they need to in our homes. Try clearing your home of these items and see how much better your home functions and feels. If you’re too busy to go through this list yourself, consider hiring a professional organizer who will be able to clear the clutter for you.
Article Updated June 2022