Many of us have the same goal: to hold on to fewer material items and focus on what’s really important. Sounds great, right? But the hardest step is getting rid of items you’ve convinced yourself you need. You know what we’re talking about—the A+ math test from 10 years back, the raggedy t-shirt your ex let you borrow, the movie ticket from three weeks ago and so on.
It’s hard to toss items that once held importance, even if they’re merely collecting dust. However, this is your year. Minimalism is in (thanks Marie Kondo!), and your stuff is out—out of sight, out of mind and out of your house. If you’re overwhelmed at the idea of decluttering your life, then we’ve got you covered. Here are ten items you should ditch while spring cleaning this year.
1. Old phones and electronics
Let’s face it: You’re not going to use your old phone if you have a new one (unless you break it, that is). If you missed the opportunity to trade in your electronics, you can recycle them or donate them to charities such as Cell Phones for Soldiers and Medic Mobile.
2. Old magazines
No, you’re probably not going to reread that Lauren Conrad cover story from a few months back. You know we’re telling the truth. Recycle your stack of magazines or pull out your favorite pages to use on next month’s vision board.
3. Expired beauty products
Sadly, makeup and skincare products don’t last forever. Some skincare products like moisturizer and serums last a year. Other products like foundation, lipstick and mascara should be ditched every six months. To Sephora we go…
4. Random product samples
We all have ‘em. Toss any product samples—perfume, shampoo, foundation and more—that you’ve stockpiled in your junk drawer. Trust us: If you want the real thing, you’ll get it.
5. Old gift cards
They are literally a waste of space. Before tossing, double check that there aren’t any leftover funds on the cards.
6. Burnt-out candles
Sure, you can burn them down to the wick’s end. You can also repurpose the old jars. But you know yourself better than anyone—if you’re just going to let them sit and collect dust, then it’s best to throw them away now.
7. Shopping bags
Hold on to a few bags of varying sizes. Otherwise, ditch the bags that are collecting in the corner of your closet. After next weekend’s shopping trip, you’ll be back where you started.
8. Worn-out socks
Treat yourself to new socks. You deserve them—and your feet do too.
9. Expired medicine
Some argue that there’s no truth to the expiration dates on medicine labels. Regardless, it’s a good idea to throw out any medication with an expired label and start fresh.
Of course, hang on to receipts for big-ticket items. But the late-night food run from two months back… well, that can go.