September 7, 2016

As the season starts to turn and the leaves begin to fall, it’s a great time to do a little home fall cleanup.

Where do we get all the stuff that clutters our homes, and why do we hold on to it, anyway? Experts say if a possession is not useful, beautiful, valuable, or sentimental, you should just get rid of it. Clearing out the chaos is a task many people put off, but it feels great when you do it, and it helps diminish stress (honestly). After you’ve identified the items you don’t want to keep, host a yard sale or donate gently used goods.

20 things to get rid of now (that you won’t miss at all!)

  1. Any clothes in closets or drawers that you (or a family member) doesn’t wear. If it’s been there a year or more and you haven’t worn it, give it away!
  2. Socks with holes, outgrown kids pajamas, old sport uniforms, promotional shirts you got that are unworn because they are 9 sizes too big, etc.
  3. Doubles and triples of any object. Think can openers, pencil sharpeners, strainers, spatulas, etc. You really only need one or two, and the extras just crowd your drawers.
  4. Shoes you haven’t worn in three years.
  5. Bills, receipts, and bank statements over five years old. Take them to a shredder; they also make good fire starters if you have a fireplace.
  6. Kids’ toys and stuffed animals your kids have outgrown.
  7. Anything that is broken or that can’t be cleaned (patio pots, furniture, etc).
  8. Holiday decorations you haven’t used in a few years.
  9. Mismatched drinking glasses and unused coffee mugs.
  10. Cords and chargers that you kept “just in case” but never use.
  11. Mismatched plastic containers and lids (this will save time and frustration at lunch-packing time).
  12. Old magazines you’ll never read again. (Donate to a nursing home or church community room.)
  13. Old cell phones and devices. (Donate usable devices, and look for an e-waste collection site for the rest, or call an electronics store and ask where you can dispose of them.)
  14. Sheets, blankets, and towels you don’t use (save one or two for painting projects and donate rest to animal shelters or other charities).
  15. Beauty products—from makeup to hair ties—that are old or that that you never use.
  16. Cookware you never use. Pot and pan lids without a mate.
  17. Old text books and school papers.
  18. Broken pens, dried up markers, disintegrating crayons, and all those teeny erasers that came home in birthday goody bags and seldom get used.
  19. Games in the game cabinet that haven’t been played in years, that have missing pieces or that are broken. Donate intact games your kids have outgrown to a local school or family shelter.
  20. Old school papers and assignments. Keep a couple of art pieces and papers that you love; take pictures of the rest and then recycle them.

After you’ve finished your fall cleanup, you will love the organized closets, empty shelf space, and open areas in your home. The challenge, of course, is to not immediately begin cluttering them up again!