50 Things Home Experts Say You Can Throw Out Right Now

published Dec 22, 2019
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Home stagers have a keen eye for things that just… add nothing to a room. To style a home to sell (and sell fast), they look out for anything that looks old, dated, confusing to fresh eyes, or just plain useless (sorry, old figurines). It can be hard to look at your own belongings this way, but if you’re trying to cut down on clutter, it’s helpful to know what home stagers always throw out when they’re presented with a new space.

Even if you’re not staging your home to gussy it up for a sale, you might want to try these home stager-approved methods for making your home look a little nicer and less cluttered. We talked to some of the best in the biz (see who below!) to find out what to throw out, recycle, or donate to a charity… right now:

  1. Flat, dated, or worn pillows
  2. Tattered or stained area rugs
  3. Frayed towels
  4. Multiple sheet sets that haven’t been on a bed in years
  5. Dead (or unhealthy) plants
  6. Cat condos and scratching posts
  7. Toilet lid covers
  8. Beaded curtains
  9. Anything stuck to the outside of a refrigerator
  10. Window decals
  11. Items on window sills
  12. Rusty shower caddies
  13. Doilies
  14. Books you’ll never read
  15. Pots and pans above the kitchen cabinet
  16. Toilet plungers or toilet brushes
  17. That dizzying array of shower products
  18. Dusty potpourri
  19. Burned-out candles
  20. Dried flowers
  21. Heavy drapery collecting dust
  22. Damaged lamp shades
  23. Old or tired bedding
  24. Dated floor lamps
  25. Faux ivy
  26. DVDs & VHS tapes that you never (or can’t) watch anymore
  27. Expired spices
  28. Religious icons or artifacts, if they’re no longer meaningful to you
  29. Excess travel mugs and water bottles
  30. Cords and cables that don’t go to anything
  31. Dog toys and beds from your deceased pet
  32. Expired coupons and junk mail
  33. Books you’ve read, won’t read again, or you’ll never read
  34. Tchotchkes
  35. “Projects” that won’t get done
  36. Small appliances that aren’t used anymore
  37. Gifts people have given you that you don’t have a use for
  38. Old files full of unnecessary documents
  39. Kids’ toys that are no longer age appropriate
  40. Sauce packets from your local takeout place
  41. Expired medications
  42. Old cosmetics—like that glittery black lipstick you’ll never wear
  43. Puzzles and games no one plays
  44. Exercise equipment used as a clothes hanger
  45. Promotional materials from a company you no longer work for
  46. Wire hangers
  47. Takeout containers
  48. Socks without a mate
  49. Collections of figurines, if they’ve lost their meaning to you
  50. Old magazines, newspapers and catalogs

Thanks to our experts: Meridith Baer, stager/owner, Meridith Baer Home, Los Angeles; Amy Bloomer, owner, Let Your Space Bloom, Baltimore; Liz Jenkins, certified professional organizer, A Fresh Space, Nashville; Rebecca Jones, owner, The Staging Team, Houston; David Peterson, co-owner, Synergy Staging, Portland; Amanda Salles, co-owner, Salles Interior, New York City; Shirin Sarikhani, founder, Seattle Staged to Sell.