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5 Things to Toss in the New Year
I don’t know about you – but I am just about always up for a decluttering challenge. In the weeks before Christmas we filled up the entire back of Bob’s pickup truck with boxes of clothing and housewares that were donated to a local thrift store. The feeling of getting rid of all of that CRAP that we no longer use was pretty incredible. The bonus of knowing that it was going towards a great cause made it even better. I was able to pay it forward while clearing out some major clutter. Since New Year’s Resolutions are still a hot topic everywhere we look, I thought it would be a great time to share some of the easiest things you can purge from your house RIGHT NOW.
1. Clothing – Probably a no-brainer, but you can free up some MAJOR closet and dresser drawer space by cleaning out the clothing that you no longer wear. When it comes to clothing that the kids have outgrown, if it’s still in gently used condition I will sell it at the next consignment sale. I know it can be hard to part with clothing. Some of it carries sentimental value and other garments seem to fall into the “oh, I’ll wear it again someday” category.
Take a look through your clothes and pull out anything you no longer like or that no longer fits. Same thing goes for shoes!
Tip for clothing donation: If you’re having a hard time letting go of certain clothing items in your closet, try this: turn every hanger in your closet backwards. Every time you return a cleaned item to the closet, hang it up as normal. At the end of, say, 1 year, take a look. All of the hangers that are still turned backwards are clothes that you have not worn in over a year and are serious contenders for the donation bin.
Plus, don’t forget that you can write off clothing donations on your taxes!
2. Food – Beyond the usual expired food products in your fridge, take some time to go through your pantry shelves and clear out anything that has gone stale or expired. Are there any items that have not expired but you don’t think your family will end up eating? Round up these items and drop them off at a local food pantry.
3. Medication – It can be easy to forget, but almost every kind of medication absolutely has an expiration date. Go through the medicine cabinet and also any first aid kits you have in the house, car, camper, etc. Check expiration dates on medication, first aid creams, even bandages. Throw out supplies that have expired. Remember that certain medications need to be properly disposed of. Make sure you are familiar with safe medication disposal including local medication take-bake programs.
4. Health and Beauty Products – Did you know that many common health and beauty products have a recommended shelf-life and they should be replaced after a certain amount of time? They do! The amount of time varies by product, but a good rule of thumb is to go through your lotions and makeup every 1-2 years and check for any products that have dried, cracked, etc. Also, certain products like sunscreen, topical acne treatments and some dandruff shampoos DO have expiration dates!
5. Office Supplies – Okay, look, I LOVE office supplies. I collect them like crazy! But even office supplies and school supplies should be sorted every year or two to see what clutter you can get rid of. Dried out pens and gluesticks, broken scissors, dried and cracked rubber bands to name just a few. This is also a good opportunity to sort out the items you don’t think you will ever use. Rehome them to friends or donate them if possible!
That’s my top 5 things to toss in the New Year. (And, of course, there’s no reason this has to happen ONLY in January. Pick up this list any time throughout the year and see what you can declutter from your home and office!