20 Things We Should Not Keep in Our Homes Anymore

3 years ago

Clutter in our homes can actually make us feel stressed out and helpless. Excess knick-knacks on the shelves, postcards, lots of mugs, old clothes, and even tubes with cosmetics can fill our minds with too many stimuli. This forces our visual, tactile, and other senses to be constantly working, never letting us rest.

Bright Side wants to make sure that our readers homes are as cozy as they can be. That’s why we have created this checklist that you can use in order to declutter your home. We hope that it will help you turn it into a true fortress of comfort!

1. Old cables

As technology progresses, we tend to own more gadgets, and more cords together with them. The problem is that as time passes, we usually don’t get rid of the cords, because we hope that they will be useful in some other way. Usually, this moment never comes and these old cables just keep accumulating in drawers. It’s better to organize them, leaving the necessary ones, and recycling the rest.

2. Last year’s sunscreen

Indispensable during the summer, tubes with sunscreen sometimes get forgotten during other seasons. It’s important to make sure that the cream hasn’t expired, otherwise it will no longer be effective. Normally sunscreens can last for up to 3 years. If you can’t find the expiration date on the bottle, you can at least write the purchase date on the bottle yourself.

3. Old magazines, expired coupons, and instruction manuals

All these unnecessary paper products only clutter our homes, making them dusty, and taking up space. Unless it’s an important receipt that you might need for a tax refund, or an exclusive magazine issue, it’s better to recycle the rest. Also, check to see if old instruction manuals are of any use to you: most of them are now available online and even have video tutorials.

4. Unmatched socks

Other unnecessary items that continue to accrue in our homes are socks that’ve lost their match. We might even have a special basket for them, hoping that one day we will find the second one so we can wear them again. You can put them to use by getting creative and turning them into interesting decorations or toys for kids and pets.

5. Stationery and office supplies

Pens, markers, rulers, sticky notes, tape, calculators: we might receive them as a present or as an addition to our purchases, and then come home and put them in drawers, hoping we might use them one day. If you have things like this that you realize you haven’t touched for more than a year, it’s better to donate unpacked office supplies to a charity organization.

6. Old bras and other underwear

If your bras or underwear have become too small for you, or have lost their shape and elasticity, you shouldn’t hold onto them. The same goes for the uncomfortable models, even if they are beautiful. They don’t provide you with the proper support, which is important to prevent premature breast sagging, reduce deep creases around the chest, or just prevent health problems.

If you see that your lingerie is still good, but just feels uncomfortable for you, instead of throwing it away, you can donate it to breast cancer survivors or women in less fortunate communities.

7. Spices that expired a long time ago

Spices even have an expiration date, which is around 2-3 years. So, cleaning out your spice drawer is totally a must! You can take this opportunity to organize your spices in nice jars, by writing the names and purchase dates on each of them. As for the old items, you can reuse them by adding them to your own home-made soap or make sachets that will spread a nice aroma.

8. Too many mugs

Mugs are a rather popular gift, so over time we might realize that we have a lot of them. In fact, so many that we don’t even use most of them. This kind of “collection” can take up too much space — space that could be used for something more necessary, so it’s better to gift these mugs to children or to just donate them.

9. Unused planners, journals, or notebooks

Time management is a necessary thing in the modern world, and various agendas help us to keep track of it. But sometimes we just can’t help ourselves and we buy another beautiful looking notebook and never write anything in it. Instead of letting it lie in the drawer of your bedside table, you can use it as a gift for someone who loves journaling or doodling.

10. Candles and too many souvenirs

Properly placed accents can add a special look to your room, making it extra cozy or classy. Too much variety or too many random knick-knacks will only clutter everything. If some of the things have a sentimental value to you, you can organize a special shelf or a sideboard for them, keeping everything in one place.

11. Condiments that’ve been forgotten in the fridge

A jar of mustard that is too hot or a ketchup that you don’t like will sometimes be left on the shelf of the fridge door, waiting for a better moment. After a while, they tend to be forgotten or unnoticed, while still taking up lots of space in there. Before their expiration date, you can give away these sauces to your friends or relatives if they find them tasty.

12. Worn-out or painful shoes

Shoes that are uncomfortable or deformed can torture your feet, instead of comforting them. They won’t give them the necessary support and can cause the foot to move around too much, which can cause chafing, blisters, or even cause them to bleed. Uncomfortable shoes that are still in good condition can be sold, while really old ones can be recycled.

13. Chipped dishes

No matter how beautiful or precious a plate is, it’s better to not eat from it if it’s chipped or has cracks. As you wash it, water can get into the cracks and lead to the growth of bacteria. Moreover, the crack will only get bigger over time. You can make some creative decorations using these pieces instead.

14. Toiletries you brought home from your vacation

We might want to bring the freebies home from the different hotels we stay at during our vacations. It’s not a bad idea if you intend on using them later. If you keep accumulating them and placing them all around the bathroom, it’s better to remember that they also have an expiration date and need to be used.

15. Plastic bags

We often bring these home from the grocery store, creating a huge pile over time. You should gather them all together and recycle them, creating more space in your home. Also, to contribute to the environment, you can switch to reusable grocery totes. Ones made from fabric, for example.

16. Loofah

Using a loofah can be risky, especially if it’s an old one. Dead skin cells can accrue there and it can also collect moisture, which makes it a perfect place for bacteria growth. If you want to exfoliate your skin, you can use different body scrubs and silicone loofah alternatives.

17. Old board games you don’t play

Board games are fun when you want to spend time bonding with your family or friends. But once you realize you don’t need them anymore, there is no use in holding onto them. Those that might have a special meaning for you can be kept for good memories, but the rest can be donated to children.

18. Old greeting cards

Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, or any other special occasion can mean you have a chance to receive cards from others. Some of them can be really cute, but in reality, not many of us look at them very often. You can easily recycle them, instead of keeping them.

19. Tapes and DVDs

Old videotapes and DVDs can contain a lot of memories about our childhood or youth. As technology gets better, players for these mediums become less popular. To preserve your memories, you can digitize your old video moments and store them on a flash drive. This way you will always have access to them and it will be easier to preserve this information.

20. Formal clothes that you only wore once

If there was one very special occasion that required a suit, it might happen that this suit never gets worn again. It might continue hanging in your closet, taking up space, and being perfect for gathering dust. It would be better sell it to get some money instead, or donate it to those who are in need.

How often do you get rid of old things in your home?


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Yes! Something I’ve been meaning to do is donate gently used bras/barely worn to local women’s missions/non-profits. I’m fairly close to our state capital that has at least a few different wonderful organizations. Some women/children escape a dangerous home situation and cannot stop to pack. These centers need donations for basic items we take for granted. Some of these organizations teach job skills/produce a product that can go to providing some of those basic needs. That also encompasses any second chance type organizations that are so vital to someone’s well being and even our economy. Thank you for offering plenty of great suggestions for the things we may no longer need around our house.


It feels so bad to throw away those cables, I just know that as soon as I throw them out I will need one super specifik cable!


My god my mom loves storing old planners and notebooks, and then she gets mad when I buy a new one because "We have them at home" but she always hides them somewhere and they don't look cute..


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