Updated: Oct 3, 2022
What are you saving it for? Let it go.
Marie Kondo made us all take a good look at the stuff we have compiled over the years and decide if it "serves us." If you haven't used or worn something in three years, what are you saving it for?
You (or your kids) are eventually going to have to go through the result of the little by little that becomes a lot from your years of collecting. I can tell you from personal experience that it's very emotional and overwhelming to downsize so getting a head start on it now will save you so much time and trouble when you have to do it.
I've compiled a list to help you get a head start on the clearing.
Plastic cups from when the kids were little
If they have teeth marks and loads of BPA, toss 'em.
Ratty sheets and pillow cases
If you used it for trick or treating or took it to the beach in 2001, pack it up and take it out.
Those old towels that you would be embarrassed if a guest pulled out of the linen closet. However, animal shelters gladly take these.
If they are from your childhood, keep one. Maybe. If they are your kids' have them collect or donate.
Expired, cracked old makeup
It's not good for your skin when it starts to crack and clump.
Unless you wrote it or dog-ear the pages, toss it. You have the internet now.
DVDs of movies you don’t love and ALL VCR TAPES
If you live in a very rural area with spotty service, you get a pass. Otherwise, pack up the Sound of Music and The Notebook and donate them to retirement homes.
Check for expiration dates. They usually have about a two-year shelf-life.
A mattress with indents.
Your back and your sleep cycle will thank you immensely.
Empty wine bottles
These are not decorative candle holders or wine rack fillers if you can't seem to keep wine in the house. Recycle them
If it's past a year old, it loses its ability to protect you anyway.
If you can see any scratch or rust, it’s gotta go. This is dangerous for your health. Go to Home Goods and find some fun pieces.
Outdated Flour & Sugar
If it's opened it doesn't keep forever.
Small Kitchen Appliances
If you haven't’ made your own ice cream or pressed paninis in 10 years.
Three-fold plastic chaise lounge (beach chairs)
No elaboration needed.
Wooden Tennis racquets and old tennis balls
Replace them with pickleball paddles and balls.
Containers without Lids
And switch to glass for your food storage.
These are cheap and full of toxic chemicals.
Old Perfume and Lotions
These will get rancid after while.
Plastic hangers are 10/ $2 and won't put dents in your clothes.
Fill the can with clean cat litter before you throw it out. Don't pour it down a drain.
Try what you think they might fit, but it the don't let you into anything, keeping them around they will just confuse you.
Board games with missing pieces
Don't donate these either, just toss them in the garbage.
Food you aren’t going to eat
If you have given up a food group don’t keep the stuff around. Gluten? Toss the spaghetti. Sugar? All the sugar laden condiments: ketchup, jelly, regular peanut putter. There are sugar-free alternatives with natural sweeteners and they are delicious!
Plus all of these: corn syrup, canola and vegetable oil, canned foods with
anything with dyes, drinks with sugar including juice and soda.
Artificial Sugar Substitutes
Keep these: Stevia, Monk Fruit, Swerve
Toss these: Sweet-n-low which is saccharin (the pink packet), Equal or nutrasweet (the blue packet), and Splenda, sucralose, (the yellow packet.)
Go with the five year rule. Do a little googling or ask your Facebook friends for where to donate them.
If you don't want to take it with you when you downsize toss it. As someone who is packing up 50 years in one house, you can't start too early.
If it doesn't serve you or bring you joy, let it go.