Do you have a hard time throwing things away? I recently read an article that listed what should be thrown away versus kept. I found the throw-away list to be glaringly obvious. Of course you should throw away expired coupons, stretched out hair ties, and un-identifiable food in your refrigerator. I decided to make my own throw away list that was more applicable to me. So what is on my throw away list? I thought of 10 things that I let stay around longer than I should.
- Magazines: For some reason, I feel tremendous guilt over magazines I haven’t read. Since I do a lot of online shopping I seem to accumulate many free subscriptions that come along with a purchase. The magazines then sit there waiting to be read and piling up. I keep thinking I will take an evening and browse through them. Gone. Relief!
- Children’s artwork: Big guilt on this one. I save a few samples each year for their scrapbooks, but some pieces are just too big. And they are adorable. I have a degree in early childhood education and I love children’s art. My wake-up call came when my mom tried to give me a box of my old school reports and artwork. I didn’t want it. I had nowhere to put it. Do your future grown-up kids a favor and throw it away after it has spent it’s appropriate time on the refrigerator.
- Cosmetics: How do they accumulate so fast? I don’t even wear that much make-up and I end up with piles of it. I have a hard time throwing away things I’ve spent good money on. Advice from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: thank your purchase for teaching you what you don’t need and then get rid of it. (book review here)
- Cheap toys: Happy meal toys, dollar store toys, etc. They serve their purpose in a short time frame. Keep your child happy and content for an hour or two. When that moment has left, it is time for the toy to find it’s way to the trash. If Toy Story has given you to much guilt to throw toys away, donate your small toys to a local school. Teachers can use small toys for prize boxes or auctions.
- Recipe books: You may have a favorite or two but most of them could probably go. Tear out your favorite recipes and keep them all in one binder. Then donate the books to your local thrift store. I love my binder because I know where to find my recipes. I’m not trying to remember which recipe is in which book. And most of my recipes are now online so no need to keep bulky books.
- Craft supplies: If you are like me your craft passions have a life cycle. I used to love to paint wooden crafts. For a few years it was sewing. Then I did scrapbooking. Once upon a time it was cross-stitching. Lately, I would rather just look at crafts on pinterest haha! Take a look at your craft supplies and decide what you are really using. Then get rid of the rest. If they are still in good condition, donate to a local elementary school or daycare.
- School supplies: These are similar to craft supplies. When back-to-school hits the sales are so good I find myself over-stocking. I have boxes and boxes of brand-new crayons, markers, and glue sticks that are not being used. Keep a small inventory of what you will really use and donate the rest. Next fall, check your inventory before you head to walmart!
- Picture frames: I just took a whole box of these to my local thrift store. I’m not sure how I ended up with so many. I guess I’m just a sucker for a cute picture frame. I keep them thinking that I will surely want to use that one again someday. Nope. If they are not currently displayed, let them go.
- Photo doubles: Before the days of digital cameras, I used to always get double prints of all my photos. While one photo went into a photo or scrap book, the doubles remain in boxes. Throw away extra photos, including the professional packages that give you way more than you need. I bought these 9 pocket sheet protectors to hold my wallet size photos. I put 2 copies of each photo in a pocket and then throw away the rest.
- Old spices: Did you know that spices lose their potency in 1-3 years? I literally still have spices that were wedding gifts and I’ve been married almost 26 years. Embarrassing. It’s time to evaluate what I really use in my day-to-day cooking and toss the rest. If I haven’t used up the bottle in 26 (or 4 or 5) years, then I probably don’t need to keep it.
There you have it! My list of things to throw away today. Your list may be a little different from mine, but take the time to make your list of 10 and then get started. Your home will be a little lighter and less cluttered as you do.