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50 Things You Can Get Rid of Now

One of the things I love about the New Year is that we get a pass for all the bad habits we had last year and automatically get a fresh, clean slate. It’s the perfect time to change things up, try something new, and put our best self forward.


A great way to start the New Year is to get rid of things we don’t need or use and gain extra space. Places that are neat and organized make us feel calm. Couldn’t we all use a little more calm this year?


Take my Decluttering Challenge. The goal is to declutter one of these rooms at your own pace, whether it is one room each week or set a goal to declutter one room per month. Who knows, you may even get through one room in a day! Have fun - this is a wonderful cleansing experience. You will feel sooooo good when you’re done!


  • Expired medications

  • Sunscreen – Replace after 6 months

  • Makeup brushes - Replace every 1-2 years

  • Lipstick and lip gloss – Replace every 2 years

  • Face makeup – liquids - Replace after 6 months; powders – 2 years

  • Liquid eyeliners – Replace every 3 months

  • Cream eye shadows – Replace every 6 months

  • Pencil eyeliners and powder eye shadows – Replace after 2 years

  • Mascara – Replace every 3 months

  • Hair products – Replace after 1 year

  • Perfumes or fragrances – Replace after 2 years

  • Nail polish – Replace after 1 to 2 years

  • Old or broken eyeglasses or sunglasses

  • Worn or incomplete sets of towels  



  • Take out menus – you can find most menus online

  • Outdated spices and condiments

  • Plastic cutlery

  • Condiment packets

  • Mismatched storage containers

  • Faded or chipped coffee cups (or just too many!)

  • Plastic stadium cups and excess water bottles

  • Extra sets of salt & pepper shakers

  • Utensils, gadgets or appliances you don’t use

  • Cooking or baking pans you don’t use

  • China or glassware you never use

  • Worn or unused tablecloths or placemats

  • Recipe books you never use

  • Expired coupons

  • Leftovers more than 5 days old



  • Belts & scarves you don’t wear

  • Jewelry you don’t wear

  • Single earrings

  • Clothes that don’t fit

  • Shoes or boots you haven’t worn in the past year

  • Coats that don’t fit or you never wear

  • Mismatched socks

  • Unused or outdated workout clothes

  • Promotional t-shirts

  • Cheap, wire or plastic store hangers

  • Old, worn or incomplete sets of bedding









  • Last year’s calendar or planner

  • Pencils without erasers

  • Pens and markers that don’t work

  • Phone books

  • Address books – transfer to your computer or phone

  • Mystery power cords

  • Old briefcases and extra laptop bags

  • Unused binders

  • Lanyards and name tags from conferences









  • Unused electronics and cords

  • Old computer program cd’s

  • Printers that don’t work

  • Music cd’s

  • DVD’s you don’t watch

  • Old remote controls

  • Old cell phones








  • Mystery keys

  • Broken items

  • Old backpacks, duffle bags or extra suitcases

  • Unused sports equipment (tennis rackets, scooters, roller blades, etc.)

  • Games and puzzles

  • Toys your kids have outgrown

  • Broken or excess stadium or beach chairs

  • Books

  • Travel maps, books or brochures from trips you have already taken

  • Touristy knick-knacks you bought on vacation

  • Magazines you have already read

  • Framed artwork that is dated or you will never display again

  • Craft supplies for projects you never started or will complete

  • Fertilizer, pesticides – keep no longer than 2 years (some may leak or corrode containers)

  • Paints and stains usually are not labeled with expirations dates. The average shelf life for these products are listed below along with clues to tell you if paint has gone bad.

  • Water based latex and acrylic have a shelf life of 10 years. If it has been subject to freezing, it may not be usable. Test by stirring and brushing onto newspaper. If there are lumps, the paint is no longer good. The paint is good when the liquid and paint blend smoothly. Examine the paint after stirring it to ensure it is one consistent color.

  • Solvent-based oil paints – 15 years. If you can stir it, it’s probably okay to use.

Paint Disposal

Solidify latex and acrylic paints with cat litter before throwing them away. Mix one part paint and two parts clay-based cat litter and stir well. The paint should solidify in about an hour. For unwanted alkyd and oil-based paints, check with your local or state environmental protection officials for dates and locations of toxic waste collections.


Donate Your Used Goods

Give what you don’t need to those who need it most. Donating gently used items helps others, gives you a tax deduction and simply makes you feel better. See my comprehensive list of Donation Resources.


Happy Organizing!



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