20 Things You Can Throw Away

Other than a certain sense of satisfaction, catharsis and invigoration that comes with getting rid of things and clearing up clutter in your home, keeping a clean and tidy home has been shown to have actual benefits for our health.  A UCLA study concluded that living in a cluttered home can create a subtle, and constant sense of stress.  This is because anxiety over clutter can lead to increased levels of cortisol which can disrupt sleep, thus increasing fatigue and affecting hormone levels. There is also research that shows it can even lead to weight gain.

That's as good an incentive as any to sort through the clutter that may have been accumulating in your home and this is the perfect time to do that as a way to kick off the new year in a positive way. To help, here is a list of 20 items that you can get throw away, donate or recycle. You won't miss these at all once they're gone.

1. Unused Gifts
If it's just going to sit around, it's taking up valuable space, so just move on.

2. Discarded Gift Wrapping and Packaging
Used gift bags, packaging, ribbon, and wrapping paper from your presents is basically trash and there is no reason to keep any of it.

3. Anything Broken
Because it's basically useless.

4. Anything With Missing Parts/Pieces
These are useless as well.

5. Chipped or Stained Dishes and Drinkware
According to Feng Shui, dishes symbolize wealth and family. Chipped and cracked plates channel negative energy and nobody wants that.

6. Any Utensils or Gadgets That Are Never Used
Declutter and just keep what you use and keep that positive energy flowing.

7. Old or Expired Food
This needs no explanation.

8. Old or Expired Medicine
Expired medicine can be ineffective and sometimes unsafe to use.

9. Old Makeup
Makeup does have a shelf life, not to mention the really old stuff can harbor bacteria. Gross! Here are some guidelines on when to toss your makeup.

10. Old Skincare and Personal Care Products
These types of products degrade over time and become less effective. Check the use by and expiration dates. If you've had something for years, the safe bet is toss and replace.

11. Old Nail Polish
If the color is separated, there's no saving it.

12. Bills
If you've paid them, you can probably get rid of them unless they need to be retained for tax purposes. Most services offer online bill pay so you can access old copies if needed, that way.

13. Receipts
Receipts should be kept in case of returns but if you know for sure you're keeping the item and/or paid cash, you can safely toss it. Exceptions should be made for big ticket home purchases such as furniture, appliances or electronics. I keep my my receipts in an accordion file organized by month which I go through and shred every six months.

14. Old Mementos
Everyone likely has mementos they keep for sentimental reasons but sentiments change over time. You should keep these in a designated container and go through it at least once a year. Some stuff is likely junk. You don't really need to keep any promo swag or items from parties and weddings you've attended. Same goes for any old invitations, cards or event tickets unless they were meaningful to you in some way.

15. Old Magazines
If they're really old, the information is probably outdated and who actually rereads their magazines anyway.

16. Dried Out Pens
They don't work so there's no reason to keep them.

17. Take Out Menus
Because there are delivery hubs and most restaurant menus can be found online nowadays anyway.

18. An Excess of Chargers and Cables
Match up your chargers to your devices. You don't need more than two of each.

19. Any Clothing That Is Damaged or Doesn't Fit
You don't need them and are never going to wear them again.

20. Any Shoes/Accessories That Are Damaged or Don't Fit
See above.

As someone who is all about living better with less, I can't abide by clutter, much less live with it. My biggest tip to people is to be proactive.  Start by being more mindful of your consumption habits, toss anything that is trash immediately and make a point of routinely going through your things so that clutter never has the chance to build up.

Happy New Year! Wishing you all a 2019 filled with peace, love, happiness and good health!

Do you have any of these items?


Lilli said...

Hello Rowena! I really agree with you and is a way of thinking I started to have from a couple of years ago, to be honest having less make you really feel better. The last big declutter I did was before the last summer and I need another one soon, I tend to throw away all these kind of things too. My friend, here I am to wish you an amazing 2019 filled with health, success, joy and love, to you and your hubby. Thanks for another year of your friendship and inspiration. Love xo

Ellen Ross | Ask Away Blog said...

I just threw away a lot of these things especially the nail polish which i purged through yesterday! Great way to start the new year!

Paola Lauretano said...

So true!
Have more ideas, success, love and never regret!
Happy new year, Rowena!
Kisses, Paola.


Corinne said...

I should really do this! I have so many things I don't need or use that should just go to charity or something!

Corinne x

Ivana Split said...

These are great tips for getting rid of things we don't need. I sometimes save up packaging for DIY projects but I realized this can lead to clutter. The less packaging I actually 'save', the more likely am I to recycle or upcycle it. I like to upcycle things, using old stuff as 'supplies' but if I'm not careful this can lead to clutter. Nobody should be keeping anything just for the sake of keeping it. I'm going to make a rule, if I don't use something in a month I'll get rid of it.

Keeping onto broken items is another thing I'm guilty of and I'll try to do better in new year.

Jenny said...

This is such a great list for reference! I just cleared out my old beauty products and nail polishes over the holidays, and it's so refreshing to clear out all that space in my bathroom! I'm guilty of keeping menus for Asian restaurants though, the ones I like still don't have menus online!

Hope your new year is off to a great start Rowena!

Jenny // Geeky Posh

Blackswan said...

I should really start my spring cleaning now! Happy 2019, dear! xoxo

Sakuranko said...

Thanks for share all your tips. In my case with the receipts after a do a mental note about what is each one I throw them to the trash. Gift wrapping I reuse for new gifts
And in that way, I am going to removing all the old trash.
Great post

Beauty Unearthly said...

Excellent post (as always)!Thank you very much :)

Emmylou said...

Oh my gosh! When I did the Kon Mari, it was almost disgusting how I found out how I had soooo much stuff that I didn't even need or like, chingu! Mind you....I think I did go overboard on some stuff that I had to re-buy them. Anyhoo, this list is great because you included a lot of stuff that we usually forget to take stock off like dried out pens and extra chargers:)
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Here's to a great 2019...hopefully:)

Jackie Harrison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie Harrison said...

I been working at it and I find this list very helpful

Pilar said...

These are such good tips Rowena! I try to reduce the amount of thing I keep. It's so easy to hoard things you no longer need lol! I was cleaning and reorganizing my room over the weekend, and I threw away a good bit of things I no longer needed.

Jo said...

I have a hard time with mementos. This is a fabulous list Rowena! Very helpful.

xo Jo