When your space starts to feel cluttered, it can be difficult to decide what stays and what goes. With so much space-hogging stuff on hand, how do you choose what to toss? Often, however, a quick, strictly practical inventory will reveal a wide range of items that are no longer useful. Eliminate these 10 unnecessary trinkets, and you'll be able to carve out some well-deserved space for the stuff that really matters.
How many candles do you really need? Weren't those free samples expired years ago? Didn't you already gift your mother-in-law a bath set? We all have those extras and oddities that fall into the "completely random" category — items you acquired by accident, things you planned to re-gift Christmases ago, doubles or triples of stuff you already have. From bath supplies to home goods, trinkets, and Secret Santa goodies you'll never use, almost everyone can relate to this surplus supply you never needed to begin with. Either prioritize using up or giving away these items, or toss them to make way for more important bobs and bits.
Are you moving in the next month? Prepared to send out a shipment of home business orders? If the answer is no, then chances are you don't need a slew of cardboard boxes or Priority Mail envelopes lying around, not to mention the piles of tissue paper and bubble wrap stuffed in your drawers. Keep what's necessary for the near future, but remember that these basic supplies are cheap, plentiful, and easy to find — even in your building's recycling bin if you're trying to reduce waste.
Keeping a few mementos is understandable, but do you really need your entire collection of Barbies? Or that giant dollhouse, race track, or toy airplane you built when you were 10? Toys often come in large, bulky packaging and take up plenty of space, so if you don't have kids in your life that are using them, it's time to wave goodbye. Collectors' items in their original packaging might be worth more than you think, so browse eBay for an idea of the potential cash you could collect. That stuffed rabbit you've had since you were a baby that only has one eye and one year probably isn't worth much. Take some pictures and let it go, or donate those that fared better so they can find a new home.
You never read them anymore, yet they're still taking up corner space. Many people let those old 'zines pile up, so you're far from alone. If they're taking over an entire section of your study, however, it might be time to reevaluate. Sure, there could be an article or two you want to clip, and maybe you update your vision board before you say goodbye, but clear the rest out of the way. They can always be donated — many used book stores take them, especially if you have a decent collection of the same publication.
You need to face it — that match to your favorite pair of cat face socks isn't coming back, no matter how many times you search the dryer. You might never know where it went, but unless mismatched socks are part of your fashion aesthetic, it's useless on its own. If your sock drawer is overflowing, patch up or get rid of worn-out pairs and discard the ones without mates.
Whether it's lotion, makeup, nail polish, or face cream, some of us love to stock up. Sales are tempting, and gift sets are always appreciated, but unfortunately, the contents are often used a few times and left behind on the shelf. If you don't use the bottle regularly, you probably never will, and there's not much of a point in acquiring half-empty bottles of anything. Most of the scents will have faded after six months or so, with many formulas becoming runny, clumpy, useless, or even dangerous. Either commit to working through them before you buy more, or toss them to make space for products you'll actually use.
Swag might be "stuff we all get," but it's definitely not stuff we all need. Those freebies you collected at Coachella aren't doing you any favors, and neither are those miniscule makeup testers from Sephora, or those broken pens from your last work conference. Free swag is often left to collect dust, and with good reason: it's largely useless. Pins, rubber bracelets, stickers, and samples don't need space on your shelf.
Sure, you loved that alfredo you ordered in Boston last year, but do you really need to keep the menu after all those Instagram pics? Likewise, that Chinese place down the street isn't about to change its selection anytime soon, so there's no reason to have 10 menus on hand — or the coupon booklets that came along with them. Don't worry, that chow mein will still be there, and you'll still get 10% off. Save some space by recycling unused menus, coupons, and promotional materials you find around your abode, especially if you have a drawer dedicated to them. Should you require a refresher, the same materials are usually easy to find online.
Towels require replacement every few years, and there's no need to keep those raggedy old ones around unless you turn them into cleaning rags. If they're bleached, stained, or falling apart, get rid of them. The same applies to unused sheets and blankets. Having a couple extra sets is appropriate, but if you don't have a guest room and you rarely have guests to begin with, there's no reason for a full closet of left-over sheets and towels. Donate the ones in good condition, and they'll be put to use by those in need.
If you only visit the beach once a year, why the supply of beach balls and inflatable toys? Shovels, flip flops, and swimsuits are only useful if you use them, and the same applies in reverse. If you spend 364 days of the year in Florida, then there's no reason for a stash of sleds, boots, and heavy winter coats. Unless you travel frequently between different climates, keep seasonal stuff to a minimum. The resort or beach you're planning to visit for a couple of days will often have items to borrow or rent, which saves you the hassle of hauling them, too.