Declutter: 12 Things to Throw Away Now

Image: Contemporist

2020 is almost here and we think this will be the best time to start reorganizing and getting rid of unwanted items. Get a fresh start by getting rid of these twelve things that you’re probably keeping around out of habit. You’re guaranteed not to miss them once they’re gone.

Past Editions of Magazines

Image: Livible

Set aside some time for yourself to enjoy your favorite issues soon after they arrive. Pull out your favorite recipes and put them in a recipe binder. Snap pics with your phone of any ideas you want to save for later. That way you can toss those magazines into the recycling bin instead of storing them in the bathroom or on your coffee table long past their issue date. Recycle any stacks you’ve had lying around for more than a month.

Used Nylons or Plastic Bags and bottles

Image: iStock
Plastic Bags

Most of us have formed a habit of keeping used/old plastic bags and bottles. Every house has one: a grocery bag filled more grocery bags and piles and piles of bottles. There’s just no avoiding it. And while we’re all about the reuse, recycle motto, sometimes they can get out of control. It may be wise to let them go!

Old Cans of Paint

Reclaim some of your used up spaces by getting rid of any old paint cans. As the paint ages, it gets a film on top and starts to corrode the metal can. Next time, once your paint job is done, try storing any leftover paint in clean glass or plastic containers from your recycling bins. Just don’t forget the lid!

Wrapping Paper Scraps

Image: Amazon

Admit it. You’ve saved those little odd scraps of wrapping paper thinking maybe you’ll have a gift small enough or oddly shaped enough to fit them. Let them go. You’ll never miss them and you’d likely never use them either.

Greeting Cards

This might be a tough one but unless they’re really sentimental it’s time to toss those old greeting or Christmas cards. But if you’d like a way to keep those cards around without the taking up unnecessary space, why not turn them into gorgeous upcycled card ornaments like these?  

Ratty Old Towels


We’ve all had them hanging around at one point or another — old towels. You know the ones you never want the guests to see, the ones with the loose threads, the ones with a hole, and even the ones with a stain. It’s time to let them go!

Pens that Don’t Work

Image: Livible

I’m sure you know the frustration of being on the phone, needing to write down an address or take a note and every pen you try to use doesn’t work. These pens can be found at the bottom of your purse, under the seat of your car or even in your office drawers. Taking a few minutes to test the pens and discard the ones that don’t work, will not only help declutter but will save you time on your next call.

Expired Makeup

Makeup Products

Mascara expires after 3 months of the seal being broken. Lipsticks can last a year or two. If you have been holding onto that “volume blast” mascara for too long, just get rid of it. This can include any dried up nail polish bottles as well. The best part about streamlining your makeup collection is you are more likely to use more of what you have, instead of sticking to the same makeup look because your makeup drawer is overcrowded.

If you’re unsure how to tell if your makeup has expired, this bonus tip is going to blow your mind. On every cosmetics bottle, tube, pot, etc., there is a tiny little graphic with a number inside which stands for the number of months that product has (once opened) before expiration.

Food Packaging

Pantry Jars: Livible

Declutter your pantry by getting rid of the bulky cereal boxes and other food packing and instead using clear containers. This can better allow you to see what you’re running out of and allow for a more organized pantry. Not to mention it looks incredibly chic and organized.

Chipped Coffee Mugs

Chipped Mug: Livible

Coffee mugs are something some people collect without even realizing it. Given away as promotional gifts, bought as souvenirs by friends and family members and then stacked on top of each other in the cabinet. Chances are, there are more than a few of these mugs that are chipped, ugly, or otherwise unneeded. Take some time to go through your collection and get rid of the ones you don’t use. Chipped and ugly mugs are the chips and cookies of the clutter diet, just get rid of them!

Unworn Clothes


The issue with reducing wardrobe clutter is the fear you might regret getting rid of a certain item. One way to assuage any doubts is to perform a little experiment on yourself. Here’s how it works. First, fill a garbage bag with any items that you haven’t worn in a long time, but can’t fathom throwing away or donating. Put the bag (or box) somewhere out of sight. Then, put a reminder on your phone to revisit it in 3 months. At the end of the three months ask yourself: did I end up actually missing anything in that box? Confidently donate these apparently unneeded items knowing now they weren’t as important as you thought.

Socks with Holes  


The weird thing about socks with holes in them (and undies for that matter) is that we all seem to keep them around for so much longer than they deserve. When was the last time you pulled on a sock with a big ol’ hole in the toe or heel and were pleased it was in that condition? Never! It can feel wasteful to throw away items of clothing, but the whole point of socks is that they don’t have holes in them… So be ruthless and get rid of those grimy old socks!

You’ll be surprised how much more room you have in your drawers when they aren’t cluttered with things you never wear!

Bottom Line

This list is just a starting point. There are plenty of other ways you can declutter your home. Decluttering your life will make you feel better. Getting rid of clutter also make your guests feel more welcome in your home. Get rid of clutter today!

3 thoughts on “Declutter: 12 Things to Throw Away Now

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