Minimalism is a new trend that has taken Americans by storm. Minimalists live with the bare essentials in a small space or home. Some people are even giving up their things and choosing to live in “tiny homes”, keeping their living quarters neat and simple. 

If you are like me, minimalism won’t work for you or your family. No matter how hard I try, I keep finding stuff I want to buy and keep. 

Do you have a junk drawer like I do? How does all of that stuff accumulate so quickly? And what is really in there anyway?

In all honesty, I may suffer from a small case of hoarding. I like stuff. And if I find something I like, I will probably buy multiples of it.

I like to keep things that make me happy. I never throw away birthday cards, letters, or pictures. Those things hold memories and sentimental value for me, so I refuse the give them up. If the item has a special memory attached to it, I am more than likely not going to throw it away.

Over time, having some stuff becomes having a lot of stuff. Because we are a military family, we move often. Every couple of years we pack up and move to another place, and each time I am always forced to sort through and organize my things. For this reason, I have become more mindful of what I hold on to and what I am willing to get rid of.

There is a difference between trash and clutter. Get rid of the junk and organize what is left.

Before you start throwing things away, start by de-cluttering your space. Look through each room of the house and evaluate the things you are considering getting rid of. If some things are salvageable, you can give them away or donate them. There are always local elementary schools, shelters, and thrift stores looking for second-hand items and donations. 

If there are some things that are in great condition, consider selling them on eBay for a cash return. All other things should just go in the trash. You would be surprised at the amount of clutter that is sitting in your home and office that you can get rid of.

What is old to you may become someone else’s brand new.

Things to Throw Away

The Random and Unnecessary Clutter

  1. Scratched CDs
  2. Old cell phones accessories
  3. Broken hangers
  4. Broken porcelain and other knick knacks
  5. Pens low on ink
  6. Remotes that have no purpose
  7. Expired vitamins
  8. Unusable cables and wires
  9. Worn and ripped towel
  10. Broken kitchen appliances
  11. Puzzles with missing pieces
  12. Outdated electronics
  13. Gifts you don’t love
  14. Old unused batteries
  15. Take-out menus you never use
  16. Empty pens
  17. Half-finished projects
  18. Cords that don’t belong to anything you currently own
  19. Old party supplies
  20. Miscellaneous ribbons or string
  21. Keys that you don’t know what they go to
  22. Scissors that don’t cut
  23. Phone books
  24. Broken garden ornaments
  25. Home decor items that no longer fit your home decor


  1. Old ticket stubs
  2. Old receipts
  3. Old magazines and catalogs
  4. Old newspapers
  5. Junk Mail
  6. Old letters
  7. Bills, taxes, paperwork that is 7+ years old
  8. Paychecks older than 2 years
  9. Unneeded notebooks and folders
  10. Old calendars
  11. Expired coupons
  12. Wrapping paper scraps
  13. Neighborhood flyers
  14. School notices and flyers

In Your Closet

  1. Items with a permanent stain
  2. Items that you haven’t worn in the past 2 years
  3. Old undergarments that have holes in them or lost their shape
  4. Clothes that are 2 sizes or more too small
  5. Single earring missing it’s match
  6. Rusted jewelry and hair accessories
  7. Jewelry with broken clasps
  8. Watches that no longer work
  9. Shoes that don’t fit
  10. Old perfumes and lotions
  11. Extra buttons
  12. Belts that no longer fit
  13. Purses you never use
  14. Hangers from the dry cleaners
  15. Stockings with runs in them
  16. Socks with holes
  17. Old wallets
  18. Old shoe boxes


  1. Eyeshadow that is more than 2 years old
  2. Nail polish that is more than 1 year old
  3. Mascara that is more than 3 months old
  4. Foundation that is more than 1 year old
  5. Lipstick that is more than 2 years old
  6. Powder that is more than 2 years old
  7. Lip gloss that is more than 1 year old
  8. Half-used chapstick containers
  9. Dried up nail polish

Click here to read How to Check the Expiration Date of Your Makeup

In the Bathroom

  1. Old towels
  2. Expired toiletries
  3. Worn-out bathmats
  4. Old air fresheners
  5. Expired medication
  6. Old toothbrushes (more than 3+ months old)
  7. Broken combs
  8. Bad hairbrushes
  9. Blunt razors
  10. Electric razors without the chargers
  11. Moldy bath toys
  12. Raggedy towels

In the Kitchen

  1. Spices more than 2+ years old (Spices don’t spoil but they lose their potency)
  2. Cooking utensils that you have multiples of
  3. Expired food, sauces, and creams
  4. Empty (or almost empty) bottles
  5. Snacks your kids and pets won’t eat
  6. Extra coffee mugs
  7. Random Tupperware with no tops
  8. Cleaning rags (you only need to keep a few)
  9. Old plastic shopping bags (my local elementary school collects these)
  10. Old calendars
  11. Old recipe books
  12. Old candles and matches
  13. Phone books
  14. Dull knives
  15. Unidentified frozen objects
  16. Gloves with holes in them
  17. Cheap pans that stick and burn when you use them

Kids Stuff

  1. Recalled baby items (car seats, cribs, etc.)
  2. Old broken toys
  3. Toys the kids have outgrown
  4. Broken crayons
  5. Stuffed animals
  6. Old artwork
  7. Old paint
  8. Games with missing pieces
  9. Dried out markers
  10. Baby items you won’t use again

What do you need to get rid of? Share in the comments below.


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