July 2016 — It’s just about a month away from the start of the new school year. While, there’s still time to enjoy a few more weekends, early prep will help ease the transition. If you’re like us, this is the perfect time to clean out your child’s room. Those old school papers? Empty water bottles and food wrappers hidden under beds from lazy summer days? Maybe, you’ll even find the other half of his (her) socks.
Getting ready to move before school starts? Perfect! That makes this an even better time to downsize. By simplifying and decluttering, not only will you feel better, but your home will be free from excess that adds to the daily “clean-up stress”.
1.) Old Magazines. Chances are you have old magazines lying around and you’re probably not going to be reading them. Recipes, health tips – all of these things can be looked up online, no need to save magazines. Feel bad about throwing them away? Donate them to your local library, veterinarian’s office or care facility so others can enjoy.
2.) Clothes. Most people wear the same 10-14 outfits. The rest you might be saving for either special occasions or when you lose that last 10 pounds. Go through your closet and if you cannot remember that last time you wore it, time to donate it. Still in doubt? Are you prepared to wear that shirt or pair of pants tomorrow, if no, make room. Trust us, you will feel much better.
3.) Receipts and Old Paperwork. If you’re not planning on returning certain items, then throw those receipts away. Leasing paperwork from your first apartment? Definitely time to toss it. With numerous companies offering digital billing statements and information, sign up to go “paperless”.
4.) Books. This is a challenge because there are often times book we want to own but perhaps don’t plan on reading (it happens more than you think). Other times in home decor we’ve seen books of a certain binding color displayed as a part of a theme. For instance robin’s egg color books in a white room. It looks lovely. However, if you have owner’s manuals from 2001 or recipe books purchased on a whim to “add to the collection”, donate them. There are local stores that purchase books like, Half Price Books. Plus who wants to move boxes of heavy books?
5.) Medicine and Vitamins. Not sure if its the need to have the small containers that empty Advil bottles offer, but somehow we always end up with them. Empty prescriptions, half used vitamins and expired supplements can go directly into the trash.
6.) Personal Care Items. Sounds strange right? Why would this be on the list? Look under the sink in those drawers. Guaranteed you will find that perfume/cologne that you never wear, old lotion, makeup or beauty products.
7.) Old Kitchen Utensils. You know you have15 Tupperware lids and 7 containers, time to throw those out. Maybe you have 10 vendor coffee cups. Just save the 3 coffee cups you like the most and get rid of the rest. Do some of your cooking pans look a little rough, flaking off it Teflon coating? What about that toaster from college? Clear it out.
8.) Linens and Towels. Maybe your sheet started out as 800 thread count but now it’s down to 50 threads total? Pillows should be replaced if you have to fold them in half to get a decent nights rest. These extra linens can be either tossed or donated to the Salvation Army. What about that old Spiderman towel your child has outgrown? Sometimes, towels are great donations for pet care facilities like SNAP, click here to view.
9.) Food. Take a quick look through the pantry and you could probably spot several items that can go. Uneaten can of sardines, expired foods and old spices – when it comes to old food don’t try to give it away to coworkers or that friend who will take anything. Throw it away.
10.) Memorabilia. Stacks of get well cards, used gift cards or tissue paper from a gift can be thrown away. Perhaps you have saved your children’s artwork and now they’re in high school. Go through it and scan your favorite pieces in the computer. It’s ok to save a couple treasured items, but remember you’ll be moving bins of keepsakes if you decide to hang onto it.
Have a funny story about something you saved for wayyyy too long – or maybe a homeowner you knew? We’d love to share it! Email us at PR@CBHarper.com