Quick Note: You have options when getting rid of the things you can live without. Sell, donate, trash, or recycle. I know a lot of people get stuck on deciding where to donate. I’m fine with going to any donation center, but I know some of you want to go somewhere local. Google “donation locations” and your zip code. You will find local places you can donate. Don’t let this detail stop you from going through and getting rid of your stuff.
10 Things You Can Totally Live Without & Why #1: Things in Storage You Haven’t Opened
When you move into a new house, you un-box all the essentials and favorites right away. The other boxes you tuck onto shelves and save for the day that you’ll need them. Reality check: If you haven’t used them, you’re not going to use them. You’ve been living without these things for months or even years. They’re collecting dust, and you can get rid of them.
Of course, there are some expectations: 1) You just moved in and all of your stuff is literally in boxes. 2) You have family memories that you are saving.
#2: Crockpot, Air Fryer, Instapot, Rice Maker, Risotto Maker
At one point, we had all of these and none of them were being used. So we streamlined. These kitchen gadgets are great, but some of them serve multiple purposes. For example, one of my clients had three sizes of crockpots. That’s just not necessary. We got rid of two of them and it freed up so. much. space.
Challenge: If you are keeping it for “someday,” find a recipe and use it this week.
#3: Old Cell Phones and Cords
Old cell phones? Why do we keep them? For our kids? It’ just not necessary. And random cords? You don’t need that cord you don’t know what goes to. If you save all the cords, you’ll just end up with a giant box of meaningless cords. Get rid of them. Then store the ones you need in an organized way.
#4: Textbooks from College
Those textbooks are outdated, and you can get rid of them. Recycle them. The exception: You’re using them in your current job or the information in them is timeless.
#5: Clothes You Don’t Wear Anymore
Obviously, if you’re pregnant or postpartum, this doesn’t apply. But otherwise, get rid of the stuff you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit you anymore. Trust me, getting dressed will be so much easier if you clear the clutter in your closet. If you aren’t wearing it you don’t need it. This is a great opportunity to take some time to create your capsule wardrobe to really minimize the amount of stuff in your closet.
#6: Old Magazines
This is a controversial one. For some reason, we tend to cling to magazines. I get it. You might have things you want to save from each magazine–recipes, inspiration, how-tos. My recommendation: pull out the things you want to save and recycle the rest of the magazine. Put recipes in your recipe binder or take photos of inspirational images and save them to a folder in your phone. It will free up space and make the info you found so helpful much easier to find.
I know the fear you feel tossing that old manual. But I will bet you money that you can find the manual online. Trust me, this is one of the things you can live without. Unless it’s an older appliance (then I might question why you’re holding onto the appliance…). When you get a new appliance, search for the manual online, save it to your computer, and recycle the physical manual.
#8: Extra Furniture
If you aren’t using it or don’t have plans to use within the next six months, you probably don’t need it. We have a lot of clients that renovate and go out to buy new furniture when they might have something in the basement because it’s too much. It’s overwhelming, they don’t match your current style, or they’re not safe for your kids… Just let them go and let someone who will use it have it.
#9: Extra Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups
Do you need three or four sets of measuring cups or spoons? No. I know there are so specific sticking points here. For example, we’ve had clients who like different items from different sets. If that’s you, I recommend picking out the pieces that you find useful from each set and getting rid of the rest. You really only need one or two of each measurement.
#10: Extra Towels and Sheets
My rule of thumb is 2 sets of towels per person in your house and 2-4 extra sets for guests, depending on how frequently and how many guests you have. For sheets, just keep 2 sets per bed. If you have sheets for twin beds but you don’t have a twin bed, get rid of them. Some local animal shelters will take sheets or towels.
Bonus #1: Nails and Screws
We’ve worked with so many clients who have a big giant can of random screws and nails. We don’t need these. They’re just taking up space on your workbench. Find a better solution for storing your extra screws and nails so you can actually use them, but for starters just get rid of the can.
Bonus #2: China in Boxes in Your Basement
Fancy china that you never use and doesn’t match your style is definitely one of the things you can live without. If you haven’t used the china or crystal you got years ago for your wedding, get rid of them. I know someone gave them to you and they’re nice… But you’re not using them and they’re just taking up space. Let them go.
Bonus #3: Extra Throw Pillows
Don’t get wrong, I love throw pillows! But I have the exact number of pillows I need sitting out on my couch already. Instead of collecting more pillows, I use slipcovers to switch out pillow styles according to season or holiday. They’re so much easier to store in holiday bins than giant throw pillows.
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