Out with the old and in with the new
Whether you’re into resolutions or not, it’s hard to resist the temptation to start fresh when a new year comes around. Going through the clutter that accumulated over the year prior and purging to make room for new art, photographs, and memories is a satisfying way to set yourself up for success.
So when you’re ready to clear out the junk drawer and tackle the stacks of totes in the garage, start by getting rid of these 12 home items in 2022.
1. Duplicate Kitchen Tools
How many whisks does one home baker need? If you’ve found yourself with 15 cutting boards, seven whisks, and four citrus juicers, it’s time to pare down. Talk to your friends and neighbors to see if anyone is interested in taking these items off your hands, adding them to your yard sale pile for the spring, or donating extras.
2. Take-Out Utensils and Condiments
We’re all guilty of stashing away those extra to-go forks, straws, and spare ketchup packets “in case we need them” in the future. But year after year, they take over the junk drawer and never see the light of day. Make 2022 the year of no more single-use utensils and condiments.
Speak to local organizations, as some can take these single-use items as donations. Then, when you order food in the future, request no utensils or condiments unless you really need them.
3. Old Hobby Supplies
Many of us have spent the past few years trying new hobbies. But if knitting wasn’t for you, it’s time to get rid of the 10 spools of yarn and four types of needles you enthusiastically purchased at the start of 2020. Keep the items for the hobbies you still enjoy, but don’t hold on to things you don’t see yourself doing again.
4. Expired Food
It’s time to tackle organizing the pantry and the back of the fridge. Even the spice cabinet could use a refresh this time of year. Toss out expired foods that you forgot about, like the spare bottle of ketchup that was on sale or the celery salt you needed for one recipe and never touched again.
Don’t forget to go through the freezer, too, as many items can get stowed away and forgotten in this frozen tundra.
5. Broken or Damaged Items
Unless it’s a sentimental trunk with a few dents in it from your grandmother, you should get rid of items that are damaged, broken, or otherwise worse for wear. By getting rid of these items, you can make room for newer versions in working condition or simply declutter and enjoy the minimalism.
Of course, you don’t need to get rid of the books you love, but surely there are probably some cheesy rom-com novels or cookbooks that you don’t plan on reading or leafing through again. Instead of hanging on to these items, drop them off at a Little Free Library or other organization near you.
You likely have several random chargers, an old digital camera, and maybe a few old phones hanging around your home. If you aren’t using these items anymore, it’s time to get rid of them. The U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a searchable database, so you can find out how to recycle the type of product you want off of your hands. Otherwise, look for local e-waste recycling facilities.
There’s a manual for just about everything, from your French press to your refrigerator. But most of your appliances have online versions of their manuals, so there’s no need to hold on to the paper versions. Recycle old manuals and find digital versions to download or bookmark on your computer.
Especially if you need receipts for work or taxes, it’s easy to hang on to them for far longer than you need to. Instead of letting these small strips of paper take up every unused corner of your home, scan them. You can sort and organize the scanned receipts into your computer for long-term safekeeping.
10. Old Decor
It’s common to keep some seasonal decor or birthday decorations, but some of those items can look rough after multiple years of use. If you don’t love the decorative turkey centerpiece for Thanksgiving or giant red bows for Christmas, donate them instead of letting them take up space. Plus, with the new year in full swing, now is a perfect time to shop for replacement holiday decor at steep discounts.
11. Stained or Mismatched Plastic Food Containers
Where do all the lids to your food storage containers disappear to? Surely they're frolicking with all the single socks lost in the wash. Food containers with missing lids or that are stained from spaghetti sauce aren’t likely being used much anymore. Toss them, and consider replacing them with a new glass set.
12. Free Merch
Your bank, gym, and workplace have all likely handed you plenty of products covered in labels. From pens to mugs to tote bags, your home is probably filled with these promotional items. But all those logos can make your home look cluttered, and you probably can’t get around to using all of these items. Get rid of them, keeping only the select few you actually do use.