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10 Items to Toss or Donate at the Start of the New Year For a More Organized Home

Douglas Friedman
By Danielle Fox for

Our New Year’s resolution is to maybe stop hoarding.

A new year is here, and you probably have big goals, and overflowing buckets of ambition to achieve them with. To make room in your home for that bright, new you, here are ten household things you should really leave behind.



Towels that look gross are gross (must! mold! mites!), so you should throw them out. Ones that are just worn out can be donated to a local animal shelter.

Meanwhile, extra bed linens, tablecloths, and cloth napkins can be donated to your local aid organization. Take it a step further, and reduce the number of canvas bags, shoelaces, and random bits of ribbon and string tangling up your space.



It goes without saying that floppy disks, VCRs, and CDs should be long gone. Ditto extra USB sticks, chargers for obsolete phones, clunky last-gen laptops, and so on. These items can all be recycled and repurposed into shiny, new gadgets. Don’t let nostalgia woo you into holding onto old your third generation iPod nano or Blackberry either. That said, make sure to backup any important data on your old tech devices, and wipe them clean of personal info before passing them along.


Mikkel Vang

This will be good for your skin and your home.

Any gross makeup or expired lotions — so, that four-month-old mascara and sunscreen from spring break 2014 — needs to go. The same goes for old perfumes, as the scents begin deteriorate over time.

Take any tiny, unused hotel toiletries you have at home and donate them to a local women’s shelter, and see if you can pass off any opened products to friends or family. One person’s acne-inducing face wash can be another friend’s skin savior.



We don’t mean the classics. We mean bad coffee table books you got as gifts, textbooks from freshman year, self-help books that weren’t any help, and books that weren’t worth reading once (let alone twice). Your local library will be happy to have them.


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Wire hangers are no good for your wardrobe. You probably got them for free from the cleaners. Get rid of them.


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If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year, donate it to make room for new love. You can recycle old sneakers through Nike and old glasses through big box stores, such as Walmart or Target.

Also, it’s hard to let go of the belief that you will eventually find the other sock, but you must move on and trash orphaned socks. Any underwear that makes you uncomfortable or feel schleppy must be tossed, too. This is an act of self-care.


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I’ve personally had a packet of collagen powder that I can’t work up the gumption to try in my kitchen for eight months. If the same goes with you with any spices, protein powders, and condiments — clear ‘em out.

Help your kitchen and your liver by pouring lingering odd alcohol down the drain. Because the only idea worse than salted caramel vodka is letting it sit on top of your fridge for another year.


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Throw out old cards, or rip out the signed parts and store them in a scrapbook. Any business cards, paychecks over two years old, and bills should also be digitized, then chucked.

Depending on their age, you can sell vintage magazines online or donate them to a local library. Also, be ruthless about any unhung posters, wrapping paper scraps, boxes, and product packaging you may have. A box isn’t worth the real estate it takes up.


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Old pillows are bad for your back and your skin. If they don’t pass the pillow test, it’s time to toss them.


Max Zambelli

You hated that teacup your Aunt Susan gave you on Hanukkah seven years ago. You still hate it, and it has got to go.

The same goes for leaky travel mugs, plastic containers missing lids (or vice versa), and any tools you have unnecessary duplicates of. This isn’t The Great British Bake Off; you only need one set of measuring spoons.

In the end you just might clean out enough stuff to maybe try open shelving.

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