The arduous task of purging my home started several months ago and I made a pact with myself that I would take it slowly and tackle one area at a time. How’s it going you ask? Hmm.. while patience is a virtue but I’ve yet to become all that virtuous. The silver lining in it all is that I’m donating many things to a nearby church committed to helping Ukrainian refugees and this makes me very happy.
So yes I understand how daunting it is for my clients when I show up and advise that they need to declutter. Fortunately I have partnerships with professionals who are able to help but many people prefer to do it themselves being that it can be quite personal. Even if you aren’t planning on selling, here’s a list of 50 items to get rid of right now.
1. Unused appliances: If a bread maker, mixer or air fryer has been collecting dust in your pantry for months, get rid of it.
2. Overused cutting boards: Can’t see the design or woodwork your cutting boards once had? They’re likely due for an update and should go in your “toss” pile.
3. Old mugs: How many mugs do you actually use? Minimize your collection and save yourself some precious cabinet space.
4. Unnecessary utensils: If you don’t use that serving spoon now, you probably won’t use it. Simple. Pitch it and make room in your utensil drawer.
5. Expired food: Always double-check the expiration date on canned food. If it’s inedible, it shouldn’t take up room in your pantry.
6. Scratched-up pots and pans: If they’re damaged, they’ll need to be replaced, so don’t waste any space on them.
7. Old pot holders: Are your pot holders burned or stained? Purge them and treat yourself (as well as your kitchen) to some new ones.
8. Raggedy towels: If you wouldn’t want a guest to use them, you shouldn’t be using them either.
9. Expired medication: Double-check the labels on prescribed medicines, and purge anything that’s past its prime.
10. Cosmetic samples: How long have you been holding onto that “new” serum? Samples expire and seriously, can you really know if a product is effective from testing a pea sized amount?
11. Lotions: Are unopened or barely-used lotions hogging up your vanity? They probably should’ve been tossed a long time ago.
12. Cleaning supplies: If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new broom or mop, yours likely need to be replaced.
13. Toilet plunger: Think of how unsanitary your old plunger is? Unless you have room to store it in your garage, get rid of it.
14. Drain stopper: While drain stoppers don’t take up too much space, these are also unsanitary if left sitting around for too long. Get a new one!
15. Bathmats: If your bathmats have gotten grungy over the years, trade them in for new ones.
16. Old papers: If it’s not important, pitch it. If you think you’ll need it someday, digitize it.
17. File cabinets: How many papers do you file away these days? Think of the room you’ll have when you ditch the filing cabinet and replace it with a teeny tiny flash drive?
18. Worn-down pens and pencils: Chances are, old pens and pencils don’t have much life left. Even if they do, donate those you don’t need.
19. Half-filled notebooks: If a notepad is partially filled with old notes and doodles, recycle it.
20. Outdated calendars: 2021 has come and gone – leave it in the past where it belongs.
21. Old planners: Still have a planner from five-plus years ago? Purge it. Agendas are supposed to organize future plans, not ones that have already happened.
22. Old computer equipment: If you haven’t used a mouse or wired keyboard in the past five years, you won’t any time soon.
23. Desk lamps: Only have one at-home office? Then you only need one desk lamp.
24. Paper clips: If you’re not using much paper why do you need boxes of paper clips?
THE LIVING ROOM
25. Furniture: If it’s damaged or not right for the space any longer, get rid of it.
26. Radios: Unless you’re in the car, how often do you actually listen to the radio?
27. DVD player: In the age of streaming, DVD players are obsolete. Pitch it.
28. DVDs: If you’re purging your DVD player, get rid of the old DVDs.
29. CDs: You’ve been able to buy, share and stream music online for over a decade. Any CDs you have should’ve been tossed years ago.
30. Empty picture frames: Unless a frame holds a treasured family photo, it doesn’t really have a purpose – toss or donate it.
31. Televisions: If your TV looks like a box, you’re due for a TV upgrade. You’ll appreciate the space.
32. Rugs: Unless it’s a hand loomed pricey Persian carpet, why not pitch it? Your gleaming hardwood floors deserve to be shown off no?
33. Wall art: Stop crowding your walls. Posters you’ve dragged from your old bedroom at mom and dad’s don’t have a place in your adult home do they?
34. Lamps: How many lamps do you actually use? Unless it’s your favorite reading lamp or your primary light source in the room, donate it.
35. Magazines: If you haven’t read that “Where To Get Stuff Cheap” issue of Toronto Life from 2018, chances are you’ve missed the boat on getting stuff cheap.
36. Old books: Donate any books you don’t love or plan to read again. How about a subscription to Audible?
37. Old clothes: Not worn in the past year? Buh Bye. PS This is a hard one for me but it’s a wonderful feeling to donate to those in need.
38. Beat-up shoes: Have your old sneakers seen better days? Toss them. You probably have newer sneakers anyways right?
39. Extra jewelry: If it’s not worn regularly, a family heirloom or your wedding ring, get rid of it.
40. Old blankets: Bring torn of stained blankets to The Toronto Humane Society. The animals will appreciate it!
41. Bedsheets: If you feel the pilling fabric under your back when you sleep. It’s time to purge them or use them to drop sheets.
42. Damaged or cheap toys: Donate any toys your child doesn’t love or play with anymore, and toss any that aren’t in good condition.
43. Excess hangers: Fold your clothes more often than you hang them? Have a bunch of mismatched wire hangers from the dry cleaner? They’ll be happy to recycle them for you.
THE BASEMENT OR GARAGE
44. Anything out of sight, out of mind?: Have your castaway items wound up in the basement just in case? Get rid of this stuff immediately. That’s an order!
45. Sports equipment: Having a built-in basement gym seems ideal, but how often do you really use your treadmill or elliptical machine? Sell them and make a few extra bucks.
46. Old holiday décor: Did a few decorations miss the cut last Christmas? They probably will again this year.
47. Items in storage: If you have knickknacks and antiques collecting dust in your basement, pitch them and save yourself valuable storage space.
48. Paint: If your garage experiences fluctuations in temperature with the seasons, chances are that paint you’ve been saving is spoiled.
49. Mouse traps: When is the last time you saw a mouse? Need I say more?
50. Tools: Unless you actually know how that hydraulic torque wrench works, donate it to someone who fill find it useful.