Through the simple act of living life, stuff can accumulate throughout your house. If you don't dedicate yourself to routine cleanings, clutter can stress you out, make you feel disorganized and make your house look messy. By targeting some categories of things to get rid of, you can make the process of decluttering and re-organizing your home more efficient.
People tend to hang onto clothes that have sentimental value, or that they hope to fit into again someday. Sometimes people hang onto stuff that's out of style, hoping fashion will swing back favorably in its direction. The basic rule of thumb is to toss anything you haven't worn in a year. Be honest with yourself -- if it's an item of clothing you never intend to repair, or probably won't ever wear again, donate it.
Rummage through your kitchen for items past their expiration dates. You can also go through your medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers. Lots of cosmetic products only last for six months to a year. Used makeup also has a relatively short life span. Medicines will also be labeled with an expiry date.
Packaging, like boxes and bags, often accumulate to serve as storage units. Sometimes, people keep packaging in case they decide to resell something. Even worse is when people keep packaging just for the sake of it, just to maintain the feeling of a purchase's newness. In most cases, you should just toss old boxes and bags. Even if you're using them as containers, they can look junky and unorganized.
You keep them because you intend to read them. But chances are you'll dedicate reading time to the most recent magazines and newspapers, not the old ones. Donate these, recycle them or -- if it's a complete enough collection -- trying selling outdated periodicals.
Outdated Media and Broken Technology
There's no reason to hold onto VHS tapes if you don't use them. There's especially no reason if you no longer own a VCR. The same goes for audio cassette tapes. Donate or sell old records if you don't have a working record player. Also, if you have any outdated or broken technology -- a broken iPod, computer, keyboard -- make sure to recycle it properly.
You don't need to toss stuff in this category, but you can move it to another place that's not quite as accessible, and move it back when you need it again. In the summer, you can store heavy sweaters, jackets, boots and skis deep in the attic or in the basement. Stuff you wear for special occasions can be put away, too. If you don't have a good place to store out-of-season goods, consider renting a storage locker.
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