Kick off your purge-fest by throwing away these 20 things right now to get your organization momentum going.
January is the universal month of organization. You pack away your holiday decorations and do a little extra cleaning before you put your house back together. And after everything is nice and clean, you get the urge to make everything super organized. There’s just something in the January air that compels us to do it.
Walk into any Target at any time of day and you’ll see just about every person’s cart filled with buckets and containers and boxes and bags. And with all the clothing purges, drawer organizing, and color coordinating, they’ll be on their way to getting their homes in order.
But what’s the absolute best way to stay organized? Get rid of all that junk you don’t need. Now I’m not talking about that t-shirt your husband wears every Saturday that you can’t stand. And I don’t mean sneaking into your kid’s room and going all Goodwill-donation-crazy either. I’m talking about all the stuff you think you need that you really don’t.
10 Things To Throw Away…Today!
1. Old magazines. Yeah, they look nice on the coffee table. And they were fun to read a year ago, but save the last three and trash the rest. Have pages folded down? Give them a quick scan into your computer or snap a photo with your cell phone before you toss them out.
2. Old nail polish. If it’s separated, dried up, crusty, or really runny, don’t think twice. Just trash it. And don’t keep colors just because you might use it one day. If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, chances are you probably never will. No one needs a huge collection of unused polish.
3. Lotions and body sprays. Ah, the go-to gift. I bet you’ve got tons of these crammed in the bathroom cabinet. Do yourself a favor and let them go. You’ll die of old age before you go through all those scented lotions.
4. Pretty much anything else in your bathroom you rarely use. Old perfumes, products you tried and didn’t like, makeup in the wrong shade, orange lipstick (worst fad ever), disposable razors (because even though it sounded like a good idea, you always take your Venus on trips), and all those mini packs of floss from the dentist goodie bags you’ve been piling up in the back of the drawer.
5. Plastic cups. You don’t need thirty plastic tumblers. You don’t need thirty plastic tumblers. You don’t need thirty plastic tumblers.
6. Overstock of office supplies. You can’t possibly say that every single pen in that cup on your desk actually works. And you can’t possibly tell me that you have to have 5 different sizes of paper clips. Do you ever even use any size of paper clip? Really?
7. Old linens. Go to your linen closet (or drawer, or wherever you keep it) and take out every single sheet set and towel you own. Now, make two piles. One stack that you wouldn’t mind Martha Stewart using if she were your guest, and one stack that you wouldn’t even want your parents to see that you own. Now take that second stack and wave goodbye to it. Stains, tears, holes, and faded colors go directly in the trash. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
8. Cleaning products. Did you know that you don’t need four wood cleaners, three glass cleaners, antibacterial spray and wipes, toilet cleaner, counter cleaner, shower cleaner, tile cleaner, two mop solutions, carpet cleaners, oven cleaners, and five air fresheners? You did? So why do you have all that? Cut it down to the basics. And when you have to restock, opt for multi-use products like the ones I have in my cleaning caddy.
9. Old phone chargers. If you tell me you still have a Motorola Razr phone charger I may have an anxiety attack. There’s no reason to keep old phone chargers. You need one for each device, and maybe one extra universal one for a backup or travel. That’s it.
10. Mateless socks. So you organized your laundry room and made one of those cute little “Single and Looking” baskets for mateless socks. Great! But the same socks have been in that basket for four months…not so great. Here’s a tip. When you put a sock in that basket, write the date on a scrap piece of paper and clothespin it to the sock. If it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t found the match yet, it’s time to give up and let it go. The Dryer Sock Monster wins again.
On a binging spree and don’t want to stop yet? Here’s 10 more:
11. Old underwear
12. Overly worn socks
13. Rarely worn costume jewelry
14. Old hairbrushes
15. Expired pantry items
16. Damaged pet toys
17. Flower Vases
20. Multiples of kitchen utensils
Girl, I got you. Here’s your game plan. Commit to just one of these at a time. Or even just one a day. It takes less than two minutes to gather up all the extra stuff listed above, and even less time than that if you enlist the help of your family. When you break the list up into sections and pass off the sections to the hubby and the kiddos, you’ll have a significantly smaller amount of clutter.
Less clutter = less to organize, and less to organize = less containers to buy. And less containers to buy = more money for Starbucks! Whoop Whoop! So grab a box of trash bags and get to it. I promise, you can do this. Deep breathe. Just trust me.
What else would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your additions to the list in the comments below. Who knows, I may do a Part 2 post soon!
**Quick Note: Before trashing these items, decide whether they can be donated. Thrift stores, animal shelters, and homeless shelters can greatly benefit from these products. Here’s a post that helps you find places to donate unneeded items.
gloria miler says
One thing to consider: You DON’T want fabric to end up in the landfill, because it takes AGES to decompose. Instead…..
There may be a quilting group in your area that can use your old sheet sets.
I’ll bet your Animal Shelter can use the pillowcases.
Check to see if your local recycle center takes fabric. Many of them bundle up all kinds of fabric (including old clothing) and send it along to businesses that re-use it for a variety of purposes. In my area, there’s a sheltered workshop that takes fabric and sells it to re-users. It’s another source of income for them!
Brad Gandy says
Those are fantastic suggestions, Gloria! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for mentioning animal shelters. A lot of them use old towels for bedding.
Lela Burris says
Yes! They can always use more towels and blankets.
Why do we have that box of odd computer cords? And are there really 5 different sizes of paper clips?? And the scrunchy/hair elastic/hairband jar? Yep I’ll be looking at that this weekend now that I’m rocking a pixie!
Brad - Admin says
Careful, Jeannette! It’s unstoppable (in the best way) once your eyes open up to clutter. 🙂 Glad we could help!