Welcome to our third installment of Things You Need To Throw Away ASAP — also known as things you likely have no actual use for but keep around “just in case.” To recap, I’m a bit of a packrat. I love a clean home, but if you open any of my drawers, they’ll likely explode with a mix of paperwork (kitchen drawers), expired or half-used beauty products (bathroom drawers) or more underwear than any single human could use in their lifetime, even if they decided to stop doing laundry altogether (bedroom drawers). Add to the mix some junk drawers and a few overstuffed closets, and you have a recipe for clutter that needs to be kept in check.
I’m moving this week, which means I’m going into cleaning overdrive and throwing out even more things that I wish I’d tossed long ago. Luckily, I spent the last month breaking down my organizational rampage into smaller chunks, so I’ve already gotten rid of a considerable amount of stuff. (Read: old newspapers and junk mail, paper bills that I already paid online, Tupperware that has no top, take-out menus, and even expired beauty products.)
This week, we’re tackling an entirely new pile of stuff I didn’t need but kept anyway™. Ahead, find five more things you should get rid of this weekend—but especially if you’re moving.
1. Random Kitchen Tools You Never Use
How often do you actually spiralize your veggies? Can you even remember the last time you used your Crème brûlée blowtorch that only works half the time? If specialized kitchen tools and appliances are taking up so much unnecessary space that you can barely close your drawer or cabinet without a shove and prayer, it’s time to take inventory of what you’re not using and donate it to a local charity shop.
Functional tools that are multi-purpose. Of course, I use my Brass Funnel to refill my surface cleaners and hand soap, but I also use it every time I travel to decant my shampoo + conditioner into smaller travel bottles. It’s also very handy to transfer my bulk spices into neat little jars.
2. Old Towels
I hate throwing out old towels. Just when they start to get nice and absorbent, they look gross. Once a year, I’m taking stock of all my terry bath towels and cutting up the tired ones to use as cleaning rags.
Turkish towels are thinner and more absorbent right from the start, so I’m slowly swapping my terry ones for these. They age so well, never fade, and they pull double-duty as a beach towel, sarong or a chic shawl in cooler weather.
3. Weird Alcohol You’ve Had For Years
Are you really ever going to drink that Maltese Cream Liqueur your best friend gave you last year? Sure, some booze gets better with age—but if you’re not drinking any of it, what’s the point? Host a few friends days before you move for one last hurrah and open a few things that have been sitting unopened in your bar cabinet along with some takeout. If you don’t go through everything, send a bottle home with each of your friends and pray it doesn’t come back again.
If you don’t know what your Hosts like to drink (or if they don’t drink) why not try bringing a different kind of bottle? This is the one bottle that will never get re-gifted, and will pretty much guarantee that you get invited back again.
4. Extra Vases, Knick Knacks, or Pieces of Decor
Have old paintings or non-sentimental photos you never bothered to hang? Sick of looking at the framed portrait of daisies that used to hang in your college dorm and you couldn’t bear to let go of? Don’t feel like bringing your entire collection of vintage ashtrays to your new place? Now’s a great time to take stock of things that bring you joy—Marie Kondo was onto something!—and things that just feel like dust-collectors. Give them away to friends or a local charity.
Decorative objects that also serve as secret storage are always a safe bet. I have a large and small version of these jars on a tray with a candle, and people always compliment me on it. I hide matches, spare change and any small junk I can’t bear to throw out, but don’t want to look at in them!
5. Filing Cabinets
Yep—the whole thing needs to go. Most of your items can be safely stored on the cloud or an external hard drive. Before you toss it, take photos or scan everything you might need and store them digitally as needed. For anything sensitive, it might make sense to password protect the drive or store it in a locked safe. The exception, of course, is anything you’ll need the hard copy or original of, like your marriage certificate, social security card, or vaccination card.
After I had a flood in my basement, I got rid of my filing cabinet and instead replaced it with a gorgeous mid-century modern credenza for my bedroom. It now houses some clothes as well as any sensitive paperwork that I previously kept in said filing cabinet. A win-win!
Even if you’re not moving, it’s never a bad idea to take stock of the items you could bear to part with. You’d be surprised how much stuff you have lying around that you don’t need!