6 Things You Should Get Rid of Right Now (Because They’re Just Taking Up Space)
In the past year, I’ve re-evaluated my previous goals to get rid of as much as I possibly can any time I can. Specifically, I’ve decided that I will think long and hard before getting rid of baskets or other storage containers that can come in and out of rotation as my home life evolves. (Turns out I really needed some baskets when I was doubling my groceries to minimize early-pandemic trips to the store but couldn’t double the size of my pantry.)
But my ideal of a decluttered home hasn’t changed. I still enjoy the calm and function of having fewer things around me at home. Having only what my family truly needs and wants helps us breathe easier and allows our lives to flow more smoothly. It’s a physical way to add peace and calm to our world, which feels especially good, as always, when there’s so much that can’t be controlled.
To that end, I’ve found that there are some things that I tend to hold on to that are really just hogging space that could be used for something else or left refreshingly empty. Maybe you can declutter these too, if you’re itching for more breathing room:
1. Extra Linens
Whether it’s sheets you intend to use as drop cloths when you paint or extra towels you keep around for big kitchen or pet messes, there’s a limit to how many linens you need for purposes other than drying off or making beds. Go through your stock of linens and decide on your parameters. You may like to have two sets of bedding and two towels per person, or maybe one of each is sufficient. Once you narrow these down, decide how many extra linens you’ll keep for other uses. Chances are, you’ll have a bag or two full of items you can donate.
2. Rogue Food Container Lids
Food container lids are hard to get rid of because you never quite know for sure if they really are missing their containers — and the one thing that’s more frustrating than lids without containers is containers without lids! Choose a time when you’re likely to have all your food storage containers either in use (lids and containers paired up in the fridge) or put away. Right after the dishwasher has been emptied is perfect. Take out all your food storage containers and lids, match them up, and then get rid of unmatched pieces.
Read more: 10 Clever Ways to Organize Tupperware and Food Storage Containers
3. Passed-Down Serving Pieces
I get it. It feels almost sacrilegious to part with your grandmother’s soup tureen or the Christmas tree-bedecked platter. But if you never use them, give yourself the gift of space and less frustration when it’s time to pull out the dishware for entertaining. Keeping only the heirloom pieces that you truly enjoy and that fit into your life allows you to appreciate them without being bogged down by pieces you’re hanging on to out of self-imposed obligation or guilt.
4. Outdated Books
I’m a writer and a reader and I’ve always loved books. I use them to decorate our living space and I love to pull them out and read my old underlining. I love the way my book collection marks epochs in my life and reminds me of what I’ve been. However, even the staunchest bibliophile’s collection could benefit from some culling. For instance, tomes like outdated software guides or home improvement manuals take up a great deal of bookshelf real estate and probably don’t hold sentimental value. Cookbooks you never use or musty and falling apart childhood copies of books you’ve re-purchased for your children could also move on to their next destination.
5. Orphan Socks
“Surely that sock will show up someday!,” people love to tell themselves. But in the meantime, you have to have a place to keep those socks with no match and I don’t know about you, but socks with no matches are not what I prefer to use my valuable storage space for. Similar to the way you assessed your food storage collection, choose a time when all the laundry is done, gather all your orphan socks in one place, and match everything you can. Chances are, you’ve put many sets of orphan socks into your bin and you’re unknowingly storing pairs that could be put into rotation. Chuck the rest (and consider buying all white socks, at least for your kids, moving forward).
Read more: 16 Laundry Room Organization Ideas You Can Hack at Home
6. Mugs, Travel Mugs, and Water Bottles
These multiply and they take up so much space in the cabinets. If you have a set of mugs that came with your dishes but you always opt for others, it’s fine to get rid of the ones that go with your set. I personally never keep chipped mugs because it stresses me out to avoid the chip when I’m drinking out of it. Promotional water bottles that are rarely used and travel mugs you never reach for can all be donated.
Every item that sits unused in your house, in addition to eating into your space, is something that someone else isn’t able to use. Pass them on.
This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 6 Things You Should Get Rid of Today Because They Just Take Up Space