While it may still be chilly outside and not screaming springtime, it is that time of the year when we rumedge through cupboards, clean clutter, and step into the peace of mind that comes with an organised, clean home. We all have different lifestyles, but there comes a time to throw away the used, worn, and torn things creating more dust than anything in your home – spring cleaning is the best time to do this. To get started, we have compiled a list of tips on what items you should throw away right now, or donate to the less fortunate.
Here are our top ten items.
1. Old Clothes
If you’re holding onto clothing items hoping they come back in style one day, you’re using up cupboard space and losing the ease of looking for clothes in a clutter-free closet. It’s advised that if you haven’t worn an item in the past 12 to 18 months, you don’t need it.
Take advantage of the new, warmer season coming up to check through your winter wear. If you haven’t worn certain clothing items for the past two years, it’s likely that you won’t be wearing it again. You should take them to your local charity shop.
2. Unnecessary Documents
There are probably pieces of paper or documents that you do need to keep, like tax-related letters. But after that, you may be storing a number of useless copies of documents that are no longer so important. You should try to keep only your previous months hard copies; most information can now be kept online on your phone or computer.
3. Office Supplies
Those dried out pens and empty typex bottles will never be revived. You can throw these away, along with other office supplies that you haven’t use throughout the year. You probably don’t need them.
4. Unused Electronics
Old gadgets, especially those tangled in cords. They take up space and cause confusion; you may stare and wonder what goes with what. Often, we keep cables and wires for electronic items we no longer own. Spring cleaning is an ideal time to get rid of them.
5. Unmatching Items
This is for the socks that no longer have a partner, pots missing lids, plastic lids missing their matching container, and vice versa. Depending on your lifestyle, you may also want to get rid of bedding that isn’t part of a set. You don’t really need more than two sets of bed sheets and blankets and towels anyway.
6. Expired Kitchen Goods
Although items in your pantry can usually last for a long time, they still have expiration dates, so check on items like vitamins and supplements, and chuck away anything past its use before date. Also get rid of expired herbs and spices. These usually only last for a couple of years if they’re ground. But if they’re in whole, extract, or seed form, in total it will last for around four years.
After spring cleaning your pantry and freezer. Check the dates on the labels of items in the pantry, and make sure you are still planning on eating foods in your freezer within a reasonable time period.
7. Old Makeup And Nail Polish
All of us can be a bit sentimental about everything, including makeup. (I bought that eyeshadow for my 30th birthday!). Keeping make up for too long simply adds to clutter, but can also be harmful as makeup does expire. Creams and moisturising products usually expire within 6 months after buying them. Dermatologists say mascara only lasts for 3 months before housing bacteria. Check through your makeup drawer and bin anything that’s past its time.
8. Some Of The Kids Things
This doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your kids’ creations, but unfortunately keeping hold of every single piece forever isn’t practical. Your children’s arts and crafts may be special to you so think about saving the special pieces to keep up throughout your home. Kids artwork can look very exciting when pieces are framed and put on the wall of a playroom, bedroom, living room, or hallway, but boxes upon boxes will only gather dust and take up space.
You may read from a Kindle or tablet nowadays, but there are still hundreds of books that you haven’t even started reading sitting on a shelf or laying around your home office. Even if you don’t have a technology device to read your books on, you can still throw away the ones you have read. Sort your books into read and unread; the read books can be donated to your local library, charity shop, or shelter. The chances of re-reading those books are little to none so give someone else the chance to read a nice book.
10. Garage Clutter
This year should be the one where you clean your garage. Most people don’t enjoy clearing out this area. You will most likely find a bunch of old electronic gadgets and countless other random items. Only keep what you know you will use, and throw away the rest.
When thinking about what you want to throw away or keep, try to think of what you actually need and still make use of, instead of how empty you may think your house might look. This can also be a fun task to get the family involved. Decluttering your home will lift a lot of weight from your shoulders. Once you’ve thrown away old items, you can neatly organise what’s left. For more home and cleaning tips, you can take a look at our blog for guides and how to’s.