Avoid being nostalgic, stop stockpiling, and get rid of clutter first. These are just some of the tips from the popular organizing guru, Marie Kondo. It’s likely that if you look around, you’ll see that your home might be filled with plenty of objects that you don’t actually need, even some that you once thought were “useful.”
If you’ve gotten into the habit of leaving the television on in the background just because your house feels too quiet, it might mean that you’ve become too attached to your television. The unnecessary noise it causes can lead to fatigue, irritation, and can even keep you up at night. If you just stream your favorite shows most of the time anyway, it might be time to move on from the TV.
2. Hidden sweets
Candy dishes and boxes of crackers near your workspace feel convenient at first, giving your guests and yourself easy access to a snack. But let’s look at the big picture: any food that’s “easy” enough to hide around the house can’t be good for you. Candies and snacks are filled with caffeine, sugar, or salt, which can increase stress and make you feel restless.
3. Unnecessary documents
If you graduated from college years ago, then you probably don’t need your old tests from elementary school. Tax returns can be thrown away after 7 years and receipts, after 3 years.
Get into the habit of routinely organizing your papers and dispose of them once you no longer need them. If it helps, paper is easy to recycle and everybody loves a good paper shredder.
4. Inconvenient shoes and clothing
If you outgrew your clothes or simply don’t wear them anymore, it might be best to get rid of them. As long as your clothes and shoes still function, you can donate them. A lot of markets have donation bins in their parking lots and you might live close to a thrift store that regularly collects donations.
5. Forgotten hobbies
If you’ve tried to learn to play tennis but never got the hang of it or simply decided you just didn’t like it, there’s very little reason to keep the racket. We tend to give kids flack for giving up on hobbies but we all go through phases of trying new things. It’s okay to give up on something once you’ve learned it’s really not for you…but you need to remember to get rid of the equipment.
A lot of old items you might have gotten from a past vacation, trip, or relative take up space and have no real value. When it comes to things like this, you should make sure to only keep what’s really important to you.
7. Family heirlooms
Just because something is passed down from generation to generation doesn’t mean you have to attach sentimental value to it. Make sure an item is important to you, like a ring or necklace you can still wear, and can’t be put to better use by giving it away. What makes this easy is that you’re bound to have some relatives who might value these items more than you do, so you don’t have to send them to the trash.
8. Festive items
Christmas decorations that you use every year are important, but there might be things around your house you might be keeping for a special occasion that may never come, like fancy tea or scented candles. If you don’t have a plan to actually use these things, it might be best to get rid of them.
9. “Trendy” items
It’s bad enough when you get suckered into buying something just because it’s a fad, then it takes up space in your home for years. Take pet rocks, for example. People bought them despite the fact that there are plenty of free rocks in the great outdoors.
Even if you plan on selling them once they become an antique, it’s always likely the thing wasn’t really valuable to begin with. When this is the case, it’s probably best to get rid of it.
10. Gift sets
Let’s say you were gifted a collection of fine china for your wedding, a new home, or maybe even your birthday. If you haven’t opened the box because the set is just too precious, it might be time to sell it. Something that’s not being used is the literal definition of “useless.”
What are some other items around your house you’ve realized were less than “useful”? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.