10 Things You Can Throw Out Right Now

Before you start adding to your clutter with holiday décor, take 10 minutes for the next 10 days and throw out 10 things each day.

You will dramatically change the way your home looks and feels, and at no cost! Here’s my handy list of 10 things that you don’t have to donate or find a home for—toss them guilt free. And once you get started, we’d like your ideas on what you tossed. Can we come up with 100 things?

1. Open food packages. If you opened it more than 7 days ago, toss it. Chances are it won’t kill you, but it’s not optimally fresh either. And face it, no one is going to cook the last 2 ounces of pasta that are rattling around in a box.

2. Clothing with holes or stains. Sorry to tell you, but not even charities want your ratty clothes. Toss them with a clear conscience.

3. Stacks of old magazines. The content is online (and in Make It Better’s case, also on iPad for free!) You don’t need physical magazines all over your coffee tables, end tables and stacked up in your kitchen. Keep the current month and toss the rest.

4. Product boxes. The box your DVR came in is of no use to you once you’ve plugged it in and started using it. If it works, toss the box.

5. Broken anything. I have a beautiful glass bowl with a chip that has sat on my husband’s workbench for six months now. Even if he does try to fix it, the bowl will never be the same. I have other bowls, time to let this one go.

6. Toys or games that are missing pieces. You can’t donate it if it’s not pristine, and if your kids aren’t playing with it, toss.

7. Beauty products you don’t love. The scent isn’t quite right or it makes your hair greasy, not shiny. The product isn’t improving with age, so toss.

8. Anything that makes you feel bad. The exercise DVDs you don’t have time to use, the self-help book your sister-in-law sent. If it’s staring at you, making you feel guilty, pitch it. (You could donate, if it’s in tip-top shape, but I say why pass on the bad karma?)

9. Old bank statements, credit card bills, etc. If it’s for your taxes, obviously hold onto it, but anything older than three years, should be shredded. All your records are online, so no need to have duplicate paper copies (and sign up for online statements while you’re at it!).

10. Old craft projects. If you’re not working on it, it’s just clutter. I kept a half-finished baby quilt until I went to the ‘baby’s’ bat mitzvah and realized I would never finish it. Out it went!