10 Things to Purge From Your Life

How do you know when its time to purge your home? Theres no doubt that a cluttered environment is a source of stress. When things pile up around you, they become an energy drain, and it becomes challenging to find the things you really need. Its hard to relax when confusion and disorder surround you. It also creates anxiety when you are rushing to tidy up before entertaining or preparing for guests.

One of the most effective ways to jump-start your efforts is by doing a quick purge of useless things you have collected over a period of time. Its time to purge.


A common deterrent is the thought of what if?. What if I need it someday? What if I lose weight and it fits again? What if I want to give it to a neighbor or friend? What if ..? Remember, if you do need it, you can always get a replacement, but if its something you havent used in months (or even years), more likely than not, its just taking up valuable real estate in your kitchen, garage or closet. When in doubt, throw it out.

Start with this quick checklist of items that commonly cause chaos and disarray in many peoples homes.

Here are ten items to purge right now for a tidier, happier life.

Clothes Hangers

A quick scan of your closet may reveal oversized, bent, and mismatched hangers that you continue to push to the back of your hanging clothes. Today, you can get good quality hangers relatively cheap, so there is no reason to hoard hangers you will never use. Purge those old hangers! A neat row of the same hangers is also visually appealing and inspires organization.

Old Spices

Spices dont last forever, spice cabinets should get an occasional purge as well. Spend 10 minutes going through your cabinet to identify items past their prime. You may be surprised at how three years have gone by since you purchased coriander for a particular recipe. I have a terrible habit of eyeing spices in the grocery store I feel I may need, then never use. I have spent too much money on tiny strands of saffron that are surely outdated and tasteless by now. But it hurts to toss it because it was so pricey. Lesson: dont buy what you dont immediately plan to use. This same rule applies to the condiments on your refrigerator door its time to say farewell to bottles of old fish sauce and packets of spaetzle you planned to use four years ago.

Love Letters

Some relics are worth holding onto for sentimental reasons. But others are just taking up space. Romantic notes from old flames that you havent thought about in years can probably go. While youre at it, toss out their photos as well. One of my old flames would write letters, which made me sound like I was a Disney Princess, and Im not too proud to admit that tossing them was directly attached to my ego. I finally trashed them, and I havent looked back more than twice! Okay, so I might have taken a photo of one of the poems before they landed in my pile of orange peels and coffee grounds.

Old Clothing

Everyone has a few articles in their closet they cant seem to part with regardless of the size or era. Im a little fixated on boots, tees, and vests, which I may have mentioned in a previous blog. Even when you have plenty of closet space, juggling over clothing you dont wear regularly is time-consuming, as well as frustrating. Consider donating to someone who will use and appreciate your overabundance. If you suddenly lose weight, you can buy new ones instead of the ones youve been saving since 2016 in case you ever lose your baby weight.

Old Makeup

Make-up has a shelf life, so make sure the ones you keep on hand are fresh. Purge items you will never use or havent touched in over six months. I am guilty of fallen prey to hair products I see online, which promise silky shine. They are usually a bit pricier, and I feel guilty getting rid of them. Only your best cosmetics will free up bathroom space and simplify your routine. This rule also applies to fragrances and hair products no matter how much they cost, if you dont use them or like them, either give them to someone who might appreciate them or throw them out.

Paint, Chemicals, Hazardous Material

Its easy for these items to pile up in the garage while waiting to be disposed of properly. Take a minute to research your neighborhoods next waste collection day and mark your calendar. Box up the items and have them ready to go. If you have paint cans with colors you will no longer use, discard.

Scratched Cookware

Its easy to ignore when they still work to boil water or fry an egg, but cookware that is warped, rusted, or has non-stick surfaces that are scratched are ready for the trash. Not only are they not efficient, but they can also actually be dangerous to your health.

Promotional Coffee Mugs

Most people have an abundance of logo-heavy mugs, plastic cups, and note pads they feel guilty getting rid of so they end up taking up space. The next time you move a mug to the side to reach for a mug you will use, take it out of your cabinet for good. Keep your favorites and get rid of any drinkware you dont regularly use.

Random Cords

You probably have charging cords for devices you no longer own. Take a few minutes to go through your pile of wires and untangle the mess. You will be surprised at how many chargers and cords you have collected which have no device to go with them.

Plastic Containers

Nearly every home has a cupboard full of food storage containers, many littered with dishes missing matching lids. Take 10 minutes to go through your cupboard, match up containers to their lids, and throw away the rest in the recycle bin.

When your home feels less cluttered, your life tends to run smoother as well.

You may also like How to Keep a Tidy Desk. For more of Dianes etiquette tips, read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on Huff Post, like The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.

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