As fun as it is to buy a new dress or a fabulous pair of platform sandals, sometimes it’s even better to take a break from accumulating new stuff and purge some of the ridiculous things we tend to hold onto. And with Spring coming up, it’s the perfect time to declutter your life. Not sure what to get rid of? We came up with this cheat-sheet to get you started. Please feel free to add to this list in the comments!
1. Memorabilia from a relationship that ended a decade ago. Still hoarding a disintegrating T-shirt that smells like his cologne? A binder of poems he wrote for you? A Hoobastank mixtape? You will always have your memories from past relationships — time to let go of the physical reminders.
2. Makeup that’s more than six months old. Cosmetics are supposed to enhance your natural beauty, not trigger a bacterial infection.
3. Shoes that give you blisters every time you wear them. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how cute they are. There are tons of cute shoes in this world that won’t rip your flesh with each step. If they’re really, really beautiful, keep them on a shelf and treat them as pieces of art rather than a wearable torture device.
4. Goal weight clothing. That little section of your closet reserved for the too-small items you’ll be able to wear when you reach your goal weight? Way more depressing than motivating. Throw that stuff out, buy clothes that fit your body right now, and if you do lose weight, reward yourself with some fabulous new pieces.
5. Greeting cards from people no longer in your life. When was the last time you opened an old Hallmark card and got a warm and fuzzy feeling from the scrawled signature of someone you haven’t talked to in 5 years? Keep meaningful cards from meaningful people, and throw out the rest.
6. The dishes you bought for your college dorm room. Those lime green plastic tumblers have served you well. Time to upgrade, girlfriend.
7. The junk mail piling up on your counter. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be surprisingly tough to stay on top of the constant stream of catalogs, political ads, and financial statements that get delivered to your mailbox. Schedule 10 minutes to sift through the pile for any important documents and then recycle the rest. Repeat weekly as necessary.
8. Underwear with stains and stretched-out elastic.You don’t have to wear sexy lingerie under every day, but what you wear under you clothing really does make a difference in how you look and how you feel. Underwear, bras, and socks should be clean, stretchy, comfortable, and flattering. Throw away anything that doesn’t fit that criteria.
9. Old cellphones and iPods. Not sure where or how to get rid of your electronics? Click here for info.
10. Books you will never read again. I tend to hoard college textbooks because I think it will make me look smarter, but come on, those Psych 101 books with “Used” stickers on the spines aren’t fooling anyone. Reserve the space on your bookshelf for books that you absolutely love and plan to read again. Anything else should be given away.