We’ve all been there before: we’ve slowly let things pile up around the house and told ourselves, “one day, I’ll clean this up.” But we keep up sticking old clothes in the back of our closet, storing knickknacks in the junk drawer, and all sorts of other bad habits. While it’s okay to put things off if you’re busy, there comes a time when you need to suit up and start sorting through all your things—and get rid of some of that stuff! Here is a list of 75 things that you probably have around your house and that you can get rid of or upcycle!
Something you can get online and get rid off physically is magazines, newspapers, and other reading subscriptions. Not only are the online subscriptions often cheaper, they also don’t take up space! Keep a few for guest skimming in the living room, then recycle the rest.
Whether it’s an earring that has lost its partner, a necklace that just isn’t your style anymore, or something else, some jewelry has just got to go. There are a few things you can do with them, however! If they’re still wearable (but just not for you), donate or give them away. If you have a lot of jewelry, you can actually upcycle them to make some awesome crafts around your home!
Another great item to upcycle is wrapping paper. If you have scraps, you can still use them for all sorts of projects: decorating picture frames, adding to a centerpiece, etc. If you don’t want to use the scraps, then just recycle all of them. You’d be surprised at how much space scraps can actually take up!
While all those old birthday and “get well” cards may be nice to have around, you don’t need to keep all the ones you’ve ever received in your whole life. Keep the most sentimental ones (if you really need to keep some of them) and then recycle the rest. If you want, you could even make a collage of the greeting cards to hang up around your home, too.
It’s a fact of life that styles fade, clothing gets old, and we just sometimes don’t fit in our old clothes anymore. Instead of just keeping them all in the back of your closet, take a deep breath, and clean them out! Sort your clothes in piles: wearable, donatable, and recyclable. If you’re going to actually wear the clothes, keep them; if the clothes are good but you won’t wear them, donate; if the clothes are ripped, torn, or unwearable, then recycle them.
With so much online these days, take all those old CDs and make them digital! You won’t have to worry about all that space being used up and you can also listen to your music whenever you want.
- I don’t know about you guys, but I have this terrible habit of keeping loose change all over the place! In my car, in the junk drawer, on the counter, on my nightstand. So, if you’re like me, round up all that loose change, head over to the bank or a CoinStar, and see how much you can get back!
- Instead of hoarding all your hair accessories in a big pile or jar somewhere in the bathroom, go through them and clean up the collection. Some of the elastic you can upcycle, but the other things that are old, broken, or worn out should be recycled.
- I bet you would be surprised at how many kitchen utensils and appliances you have that you don’t use or that are broken. Don’t think so? Go and clean out each drawer and get rid of anything that hasn’t been used (or even opened), is broken, or is a duplicate. You’ll free up lots of cupboard and drawer space.
- Please, please, please don’t keep decade old towels around “just because you might use them.” If they’re worn out, ripped, or torn, then get rid of them! Some can be upcycled for fun and crafty projects, but recycle the rest.
- Root around in your bathroom cupboards and under the bathroom sink and see what you find. You’ll probably see some old makeup kits, a few expired toiletries, and maybe even some usable products. If you can’t revive the makeup and the toiletries are beyond hope, them get rid of them. No need to have them just sitting around!
- Take thirty minutes or so and clean out your fridge. Take everything out (maybe clean the fridge itself), and then get rid of expired sauces, foods, and other products. Also, if you haven’t used something in a while, then get rid of it!
- If you have kids, then you probably know what it means to do a periodical sweep of things to get rid of anything the kids don’t use or don’t fit in anymore. Things like old toys, bibs, booster sits, etc. can all be donated to get use in another home.
- Along with kids’ toys, you can also recycle or donate animal toys. Some pets are really connected to their toys, but others forget their toys after a few months or years. Take those forgotten toys and get rid of them.
- If you have a few spare minutes, then spend them in the bathroom cleaning out the medicine cabinet. Get rid of any expired medicine that may be hiding in the corners.
- I have a habit of keeping physical copies of bills around, but in our digital age, this isn’t necessary anymore. Depending on the source, you can usually get rid of bills anywhere from 2 to 7 years after they’ve been paid. So, feel it out, and get rid of whatever bills you feel you don’t need anymore.
- Like bills, junk mail and old mail are things that you can just recycle. Junk mail is for sure something that can get recycled, and any old mail that you don’t need any more or doesn’t contain personal information can also go out.
- One thing that often gets collected, expires, and just stays around the house is coupons. While they can be great if you actually use them, lots of coupons go forgotten and become expired and never get recycled. So, rummage through your coupon drawer and thin it out.
- While it may be nice to walk down memory lane and pull out your Walkman or MP3 player, it’s definitely not worth the space they take up. Round up all those old electronics and get rid of them.
- Something that drives me crazy is when people grab a pen, it doesn’t work, and then they put it back! Grrr! Let’s not do that! Just get rid of any of those old pens that don’t work or broken pencils; don’t put them back in the drawer.
- Right there with pens and pencils is notebook paper and stationary. Keep a bit around for projects, work, and assignments, but then get rid of the rest.
- Rummage through your electronics drawer and pull out all of the cords and wires. Make sure to find what they plug into and, if you can’t, then get rid of it! You can donate old electronic cords and wires in case someone is in need of what you have.
- We all know we should be washing our sheets once a week, but how about replacing them? Don’t replace your sheets and then just pack away the old, worn out sheets and bedding. Instead, get rid of them! You can upcycle bedding easily to make great homemade crafts.
- Along with sheets, you should also periodically recycle your pillows (especially if they’re old and yellowing). This will keep your house clutter free and cleaner!
- If you buy products from one of those bulk stores, then you probably have a lot of the same item sitting around. Whether it’s toilet paper, cleaning products, or something else, consolidate any leftover products so they’re not spread out everywhere else. Then get rid of the packages, bottles, and containers.
- For some reason, at my house we act like the plastic bag apocalypse is coming soon or something. We collect every plastic bag we get and store them away. If you do that too, thin the herd a bit and get rid of any excess bags you probably won’t use.
- This is also applicable to purses. When you buy a new purse, either donate or recycle the old one. You bought the new one because you don’t want the old one; so get rid of it!
- Every few years, you probably get a few new additions to your dinnerware. When necessary, get rid of the old plates and dishes that don’t match the rest of your collection or if they’re broken or chipped.
- Get rid of any of your manuals you have at home. Pretty much everything can be found online now and if you haven’t used the manual in a while, then you probably don’t need it.
- For some reason, another weird thing my family tends to collect is boxes. For whatever reason that is, if you do the same thing, then just keep a few boxes around. If you REALLY need boxes, then you can find them pretty easily.
- While it may be nice to have Tupperware around, if you have six cabinets full, then you can probably thin your collection. Donate or recycle any extras you don’t need anymore.
- Art supplies have a nasty habit of going bad without me realizing it. If you have the same problem, then just periodically check your art supplies. Broken crayons, dried markers, and frizzled paintbrushes can easily be recycled or upcycled.
- Keep a few extra jars and containers around the house and then get rid of the rest. There’s no need to have cupboards full of mason jars (unless you’re a canner), so recycle, donate, or give them away and free up some space.
- While it’s nice to keep your kids’ artwork around, you don’t need to store it away in the family archive forever. Hang up the drawing or painting for a few weeks, and then slowly integrate it off the fridge.
- Not only is having dead batteries around incredibly frustrating, it also doesn’t help with keeping things organized. So, when you go to stick some batteries in the remote and they don’t work, get rid of the batteries! It’s as simple as that.
- Thin out your wallet (and maybe your keyring) by getting rid of any membership cards that you don’t use anymore. Try to cancel the membership if possible (no need for them to still have your information) and then recycle the actual card.
- Once the year has passed, gather up all your calendars and recycle them! You really don’t need last year’s dates floating around, so just get rid of them.
- It seems like, nowadays, everything comes with a free magnet. While it may be good advertising, it can create a visual nightmare for your fridge. So, go through all the magnets and get rid of any of the old, worn out, or useless ones so your fridge isn’t cluttered.
- Seasonal decorations are nice to have around, but not if they’re broken or outdated. After every holiday, check the decorations and get rid of any that you won’t (or can’t) use.
- If you’re anything like my family, then you probably have a drawer in your computer hutch or desk that is chuck full of old software discs. Yeah, you probably won’t need those, so feel free to get rid of all of them.
- Nobody likes being guilted into something, especially if it’s keeping some sort of family hand-me-down that you highly dislike. So, get some courage and extra space by getting rid of whatever that hand-me-down may be!
- You know how any button down shirt comes with extra buttons? While after a while, you can probably get rid of some of them. Either upcycle them to make projects, donate/recycle them, or at least keep them in a box all in one spot.
- While we all love board games, there’s no need to keep those games around with missing pieces. Either make a substitute piece, or get rid of it; there’s no point in having partial games around.
- For all those of you who used to be a student, you probably have tons of old textbooks sitting around. If you really don’t plan on cracking them open anytime soon, go ahead and donate them. You could maybe even sell some to make money.
- Along with textbooks, you may also have lots of other books just sitting around your house. Some are good for reading and others for display. However, if you won’t use a book for either purpose, then consider getting rid of it.
- Something that’s really easy to put away in the garage and forget about is paint. Search through your garage and if you find any old paint cans, recycle them to make your home safer and more organized.
- We’ve kind of talked about this already, but anything in your junk drawer can probably be recycled, upcycled, or donated. Things like glue bottles, rulers, etc. can all find a new home somewhere else!
- For those of you who are picky or have picky family members, then you probably have a drawerful of old recipes that you haven’t touched in years. Don’t keep them around; give them to someone or recycle them.
- While it may be nice to have loads of cups and mugs (you know, just in case you throw a huge party that you know you never will), you probably just need a select few. Pick out the ugly, broken, or worn down ones and then get rid of them to clear up some cupboard space!
- Although spices can’t really “expire”, they can get so old that they’re flavor and taste get way off. So, if you have some garlic powder or black pepper that’s a few year olds, get rid of them and buy some new spices.
- Sometimes having extra coat hangers can be nice, but not when they take up more space than your actual clothes! Luckily, you can relocate the hangers to other closets or just get rid of them. Whatever works best for you!
- It may be noble to pick up those DIY projects that you plan to do on the weekend, but let’s be honest, you most likely haven’t been able to get around to all of them. So, if there are any that have been sitting around for an exceptionally long time, consider getting rid of it.
- Unfortunately, we’ve probably all been the recipient of an unwanted perfume or cologne. While storing it at the back of your medicine cabinet may work for a little while, you can probably get rid of it now.
- When moving houses, there are often lots of things that get stored away in the promise that “one day I’ll find a place for it.” This often includes things like rugs, lamps, or decorative material. If you still haven’t found a place to put that old item, considering donating or recycling it.
- Keeping mementos and special reminders may be a nice sentiment, but after a few years of gathering them, they can take up quite a bit of space. Keep the ones that are the most important to you and recycle the rest.
- Brightening up your home with artwork and artificial plants can be nice, but if they’ve outgrown their welcome, then don’t hesitate to relocate those items somewhere else. It could be a new room in the house, or a donation box!
- For some reason, my family likes to hold on to old shoes, even when we’ve outgrown them. If you’re like that, then dig up the old kicks you don’t use and donate them to feel good and free up space.
- This may seem a little counterintuitive, but getting rid of food boxes and containers may actually save you quite a bit of space. Instead of use the packaging provided by the store (which often has lots of air), get your own containers to put things in and throw the boxes out!
- Although it may seem practical to keep extra construction material around the house (like patches of carpet or extra wallpaper), you can probably get rid of it if you haven’t touched it in a while.
- Another item in the kitchen that you can get rid of is the kitchen utensils. For some reason, extra forks, knives, and spoons always seem to gather in the kitchen. Just take a few minutes to purge your kitchen drawers of any lost or unnecessary utensils.
- Lots of people feel like every time they get a new flower arrangement, they need a new vase. However, that’s just not the case. So if you have dozens of empty vases lying around, donate or recycle them.
- Consider consolidating your laundry supply so that you don’t have a closet full of cleaning supplies. You can make your own detergent and fabric softener, or settle for a more compact and concentrated formula.
- Don’t let sticky notes, highlighters, staplers, and eraser clutter your work desk. Instead, just recycle all the extra office supplies you have lying around.
- Having little knickknacks and a random assortment of supplies for crafts may be good, but don’t let it get too overwhelming. If you have a whole shelf devoted to scrapbooking material, considering getting rid of some stuff to narrow things down.
- Wrapping yourself in tons of blankets may be nice in the winter, but you may consider thinning your blanket collection if it’s beginning to take over your home. Keep the comfiest and newest ones and then donate the rest!