We all want to live a less cluttered and more orderly life. Especially if your home is short on space, you need to keep extraneous items to a minimum. Even if you think you’re living with the bare bones, there are probably a few items you can let go. Here are some things you should get rid of to start making your small space more enjoyable.
Old Pantry Items
It’s easy to lose track of how much is in our pantries. Whether it’s our overflowing spice rack, or a Lazy Susan filled with boxes and bags of foodstuffs, there are usually some old items pushed to the back and forgotten. Go through your pantry and take everything out. Check the expiration dates and get rid of anything that’s expired (you’ll be surprised by how long you've had some of these things). Toss anything that has been open for an extended time, too, as it's likely stale or moldy.
Expired Medicine or Supplements
In the same vein, it’s important not to keep medicine and supplements that have passed their prime. Not only are these dangerous, they also take up space unnecessarily. Follow the same steps with your medicine cabinet that you did with your pantry: take everything out and go piece by piece, checking the expiration dates. Make sure to get rid of outdated makeup as well—your skin will thank you!
Especially for the sentimental among us, it’s easy to accumulate a huge collection of arts and crafts that kids bring home from school. While it’s nice to hold on to some of these childhood artifacts, it can become quite a space sucker in your home. Keep your favorite pieces and get rid of the rest. If you're having a hard time letting go of much, take pictures and make a photo book. That way, you can still remember your children's creations without dedicating precious space.
Many of us have large collections of seasonal items, especially clothing and accessories. Winter coats and boots in particular can take up significant space. Items that are only used during a portion of the year can be a big nuisance the rest of the time. Cut down your coat and boot collection to just your favorites, and do the same with the rest of your shoes, too. This is a wonderful way to save space while also collecting items that can be donated or upcycled.
Books take up a large amount of space, so it’s a good idea to get rid of those you’ve already read or, realistically, will never read. Books are another great item to donate.
In today’s world, it’s easy to go paperless! Old bills, bank statements, and receipts take up a lot of room in a small space, and you can easily scan these in and store them electronically. Recycle your paper files to create a more tidy space. Then, switch your statements and bills to digital so you can avoid future pile-up. No scanner? No problem! There are a range of apps that do the scanning for you right on your phone.
Everyone is guilty of holding onto clothes that go unworn year after year. Whether a garment doesn't fit, or just isn't your style anymore, it’s time to set it free. Go through your closet and use the “one year” rule, removing anything that hasn’t been worn in a year or more. Do this for everyone in your family and you’ll soon have much more closet space than you did before.