18 Useless Things Some People Keep for Ages
One year ago, I took part in an online course on decluttering. During the 3 weeks of this passive process, I was able to throw away 2 huge bags of useless stuff. I threw away some of it, and donated the rest to charity organizations. I’ve even managed to sell some of the things online and now my apartment has more space.
The most important thing is to look at your apartment as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it. Every box, every magnet, every piece of paper. Your goal is to decide if you really need something. I wanted to share my experience with Bright Side readers and talk about what you can easily get rid of right now. And at the end of the article, there’s a bonus on how to create order in a digital world.
Old bed linens and towels
Bed linens not only contribute to the interior design of the bedroom, but they also influence the quality of your sleep. You may have gotten used to your current bed linens, but you should give them a clear look: if they’re faded or if they have some holes, it’s time to throw them away. For starters, choose a couple of the worst sets that you have and throw them away and it will be a good reason to buy new ones.
You don’t have to actually throw away bed linens and old towels: you can donate them to nursing homes or animal shelters. You can do something good and still get rid of your old stuff.
Hangers from clothing stores
Many of us adopted the habit of not throwing anything away, but this is often pointless. The bad clothes hangers we get for free when buying something at a store don’t look good and don’t keep their shape for a long time. You probably have enough money to replace them with better ones.
Things without a match
No matter how much you love some of your socks, gloves, or earrings, if you can’t find their match, it’s pointless to keep them. Of course, if you have some gold, you can sell it but there’s not much you can do with old socks, gloves, or cheap rings.
Many stores and services offer discount cards. If you didn’t love the service or the store is somewhere you are not likely to go again, there’s no point keeping these cards. The same is true for business cards, especially if you got them several years ago and have never used them since.
Even if you are the only person that sees your underwear, don’t wear old undergarments. This attitude toward yourself lowers your self-esteem because when you agree to something bad, you’re depriving yourself of something good. Besides, a regular bra is only good for 6 months to one year. After that, it doesn’t perform its function of supporting the breasts well.
It’s hard to explain why many of us keep different boxes. Let’s be honest: the box from a new TV, ice skates, toys, or kitchen stuff is something you are never going to use again. You can bring these boxes to a paper recycling unit.
Clothes and shoes that are not necessary for your lifestyle now
I used to love wearing short skirts and dresses. I can still wear them but I don’t really want to. This is why I seriously reconsidered my wardrobe and I got rid of all the clothes and shoes that are not my style anymore. The clothes that were in a good condition, I sold online, the rest I donated to charity organizations. It feels so good when you give a second life to the things you’ve gotten tired of.
Wires and cases from old phones
Again, you have to be smart about this: Are you really going to need a case for the phone you don’t use anymore? Maybe the charger will be useful if you’re still using the same brand. Throw away broken disks and flash drives.
Jewelry and accessories you’re not going to wear
I like jewelry that is cheap and different. You can buy something that is really trendy and get rid of it when the trend is gone. The same is true for the cheap bags and headscarves that I bought impulsively. I donated these things and I hope they can make someone else happy.
Old notes, warranty papers, contracts you don’t need anymore — people keep this stuff for decades. You can do the same with this trash that you did with the boxes.
Everything that’s expired
I throw away expired foods as soon as I see them. But when I decided to check the medications, beauty products, detergents, and stuff like that, I was surprised: half of the things I had were expired. I don’t know what might happen if you use expired face cream but who wants to risk their health to find out?
Broken and useless toys
It’s not always easy to talk your kid into throwing away some of the toys they don’t play with. But kids grow up and their interests change. In my house, we have the rule of 2 boxes: when the toys don’t fit there, we check what can be thrown away. If a toy is broken, we throw it away, and if it’s functional, we give it to charity or sell it. We can buy something new with the money we get and it saves money and space.
Plates with dents and other defects, and those you simply don’t like
Plates with damage not only look bad, but they are also not safe. For example, if you cook on something with a damaged Teflon cover, you can get the so-called polymer-fume fever. Throw this stuff away immediately.
The same is true for plates and glasses that someone gave you 10 years ago and that you just don’t like. Try selling them, and give up any hope that you will love them one day. Someone will use them and that is better than having them take up space in your house.
Books you are not going to read again
I love paper books which is why I often buy them. But there are some in my collection that I’ve read once and I will probably never open again. There’s no need to keep them, so I gave them to a library. They were happy to take these books and I’m happy that someone will read them and enjoy them.
Old washcloths and toothbrushes
Experts say that we should change our toothbrushes once every 3-4 months or even more often if you’ve been ill. Washcloths can be used for about 6 months and then they turn into a perfect environment for germs. Replace these things — it not only feels good, but it’s also healthy.
Everything broken and unused
A burned coffee maker, a kettle that doesn’t turn on, a watch that doesn’t work, and boots that have holes in them. Everyone probably has something like this. You always think, “I’ll get it fixed” but let’s be honest: you will never do this. Either get it fixed now or throw this stuff away.
Souvenirs and magnets you don’t like
Cheap things that colleagues and relatives give to us are kept for years out of politeness. All these plastic things don’t make us happy and they just collect the dust. Take a good look at your souvenirs and only keep the things you really like or love. Throw away the rest.
Everything that has ended
When I was a child, I never threw away pens because I could buy a pencil refill and use it again. Now, the pens are cheap and it’s easier to buy new ones. Check anything that could have dried up: from nail polishes to markers.
The same goes for perfumes that you don’t like or that are finished. Experts claim that you can’t store perfumes for more than 3-5 years. Expired perfumes might cause an allergic reaction or just change the smell, so why take the risk?
Bonus: Don’t forget to sort your e-mail and your social media
It’s hard to imagine life today without online communication, so it’s better to sort out your online space too. Look at your contacts on social media and think about whether you need all the people you have on your list of friends. If you can’t remember someone and you see that they were online in 2015 last time, you don’t need this contact.
In my e-mail box, there were more than 25,000 letters and after sorting them out, I ended up with 10 times fewer. Because of piles of garbage and useless notifications, I missed some really important work-related messages which I found accidentally. Do this at least twice a year so you don’t miss some good opportunities.
What other things do you think should definitely be thrown away?