Organize & Clean

The 5 Things Everyone Has at Home (but No One Really Needs)

published May 31, 2015
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Have you ever moved and just been completely baffled by all the stuff that you have? Save yourself a little pain by purging these 5 things that everyone seems to have around the house — but no one really needs.

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Florist vases.
I have not looked in the cabinets of every house in America, but I feel fairly confident that if I did I would find a collection of fake cut glass vases that came with various floral deliveries long ago. If you’re actually using these, good for you! But if you’re not, maybe a trip to Goodwill is in order. You’ll get more the next time Mother’s Day rolls around, anyway.

Stacks of old magazines.
It’s easy to let magazines accumulate — maybe there was an interesting article in the July issue you didn’t get a chance to read before August came, so you put it in a stack and before you knew it there were 3 years’ worth of Marie Claire moldering in you bedroom. Be honest: are you really going to read those magazines ever again? Donate them (or toss them in the recycling bin).

Cords for electronics that you don’t have anymore.
Ah, the dreaded box of 50 foot ethernet cords and ancient surge protectors and connector cables and chargers for who knows what. In the old days I used to save these, just in case they came in handy someday, but these days more and more things are cordless, and if they do have cords they are probably particular to that specific item. So drag out the box, check for things that might pertain to anything you still use, and then take the rest to the recycling. (Yes, you can recycle old cords. Hooray!)

Craft supplies for projects that you’re never going to finish.
Six years ago you got really into cross stitch, and you bought all kind of different colors of floss and then maybe a thing to put the floss in and for a while it was awesome. But then life happened, and you haven’t embroidered anything in years, and when you look at all that stuff you don’t feel excitement, only a vague sense of guilt. Let those things go (maybe by donating them to another crafter who can appreciate them) and make more space in your life for the things you’re working on right now.

Expired toiletries.
Did you know that toiletries, like food, can expire? They can. And if you dig deeply enough in your bathroom cabinets, you may find plenty of things that are past their prime. Anything that doesn’t have a date but smells weird or is discolored should probably get the ax, too.