If you’re looking to declutter unnecessary items in your home, here are our top 10 things you should toss out right now!
Plastic storage containers
Throw away any plastic containers that don’t have a lid, as well as anything stamped with a 7 or ‘pc’ (polycarbonate). According to Sonya Lunder, MPH, senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, “these are the types of containers that may contain BPA.” She also advises throwing away any containers that are warped or cracked.
Although spices don’t have an expiration date and it won’t make you sick if you use it in your cooking, it just won’t add any extra flavour to the food. Most spices start to lose their punch after 12 months, less for finely ground spices, so if it doesn’t have any scent, it’s time to toss it in the trash.
Photo: Ben Ramirez
Takeout utensils and packets of condiments
Does anyone ever use those tiny tomato sauce or soy sauce packets when they’re not eating takeout? It’s time to clean out all those take-away condiments and plastic utensils out of your drawer and pantry.
Printed recipes and menus
Let’s be honest here, you can find most recipes and takeaway menus on the internet now, so get rid of the clutter! Any recipes you hold close to your heart can be kept in a folder or book.
Clothes you’ll never wear again
If you haven’t worn it in two years and it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s time to get rid of it. Donate them to charity or a friend or family member, or have a garage sale. Seasonal clothes or items with sentimental value can be packed away and kept in storage.
Old and worn out shoes should be thrown away immediately. When shoes wear down, they start to lose their cushioning and support, which could result in shin splints, knee pain, Achilles tendinitis and in severe cases, stress fractures.
And those old or mismatched socks? Don’t throw them out just yet. They can still come in handy:
- Protect your valuables or fragile items when you move
- Place mothballs inside a sock and pack them with your clothes to deter moths and insects
- Slip it on your hand and use it to dust around the house. It will trap hair, dirt and dust on furniture, appliances, blinds, window sills, TV and computer screens
- Fill a clean sock with uncooked rice or beans, knot the open end and microwave it for 30-60 seconds. Apply it to your aching muscles
Old magazines or newspapers
Purge or donate old magazines and newspapers to your local library, hospital, doctor or dentist or a business with a waiting room.
Books you have already read
Donate to the local school or library, have a garage sale, or swap them for new books you haven’t read yet with a friend or family member.
Those notebooks or textbooks from school or university
You’re never going to refer to that binder from high school ever again. It’s time to go through that box and throw away any notes, homework, notebooks or folders from high school or university. You can even donate your old textbooks to a library.
Photo: John Liu
If you haven’t used it in years, it’s time to go. You should also consider throwing away expired makeup. You could get an infection or allergic reaction. Mascara and liquid or gel eyeliners should be tossed after 3-4 months of using it, because the brush constantly carries bacteria. If you notice your mascara has gone clumpy or starts to smell funny, this means it’s gone bad.
If you notice a change in texture in your cream blush, it’s time to toss it. Always use clean hands when applying it to your cheek or lips to keep it germ-free.