Whether you plan on selling your home this spring or just want to clean it up, paring down your possessions is a freeing experience. With unused things removed, you can accommodate the grandchildren coming to visit.
The Easy Decisions
You may look around your home and quickly see the importance of getting rid of furniture that is worn out, mismatched, oversized, or no longer usable, but discarding potentially useful can be harder to justify for most people.
Undoubtedly, you know the logic behind donating clothes in your closet that you have not worn in the past year. Plenty of other things that can accumulate don’t seem such obvious stealers of your space, yet can overwhelm drawers, cabinets, closets, basements, storage spaces, and more.
Small Space Guzzlers
Below find a quick list of items you may find in your household that contribute to clutter long after they have no useful life.
Plastic containers, particularly those without lids
Are your cupboards filled with old margarine tubs along with plastic storage products you have purchased? Many containers that you recycle like yogurt, cottage cheese, or margarine can be unsafe for microwave reheating.
Clear florist vases
If you have been a lucky recipient of gifts of flowers from friends, significant others, and family, you may have a slew of inexpensive, clear vases that take up needed space. Keep a couple if you must, but pass on the rest to a charity or yard sale table.
Plastic grocery bags
While having a few unripped bags on hand can be useful for lining wastebaskets they seem to multiply as quickly as old hangers. Take the extras to the recycling center, and the hangers to a thrift store.
Many thrift stores want nothing to do with outdated VHS tapes, although a recycling center might put them to good use. Even CDs and DVDs are less popular due to the prevalence of online streaming; only save what you anticipate you will use.
Old sheets and towels
Long after linens become too threadbare to use for their intended purpose, they may be useful for cleaning rags. They are still useful at pet shops and animal shelters.
Years ago, you may have sacrificed to purchase a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book, but these reference materials are now too outdated to be useful in this Internet age. Their fate may lie at a recycling center or a community center where they might be used for crafting. Donate other paperback bestsellers to a thrift store or give them away as freebies at a yard sale. Recycle old magazines.
Eye shadow, lotions, moisturizers, and other cosmetic products can develop bacteria once they are opened. While you might be lamenting how much you paid for the items, throw them out rather than developing an infection by using them.
Besides taking up room in your cupboard, rows of old spices lose their flavor in time. Pitch old spices, 1 to 3 years for dried herbs, 2 to 3 years for ground spices, and 4 years for whole spices that have been kept in a dark, dry container.
Periodically rid your refrigerator of jars of partially used condiments, and toss out condiment packets you have saved from fast-food restaurants. Having a few packets of ketchup or Arby’s Horsey Sauce can be handy for lunches, but the packets can leak and dry out in time, especially after they have multiplied in a drawer.
Unnecessary kitchen paraphernalia
Specialty electrical appliances and bakeware that you only use once every couple of years take up valuable space in a small home and tie you down, even in a larger one. Pass on what you don’t use.
Get Ready For Your Next Stage Of Life
By ridding yourself of the 10 categories of items that are mentioned above, you will have more space, while not compromising the quality of your life. When it comes time for a life change, whether it means moving to a smaller home or devoting more time to travel, you will be happy you made the effort to get rid of what you don’t need.
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Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991, Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here