Even if you Marie Kondo-ed your whole house before quarantine, if you are like many of us, these last few months at home mean that you are surrounded by clutter. Getting rid of clutter is not difficult, but it can be hard. People form emotional attachments to items, even if those things are no longer serving their purpose. You want to put those feeling aside while clearing out the clutter. However, you also want to be realistic. On our list, we are going to suggest throwing out some items that you may regularly use. We realize not everyone’s budget means that they can simultaneously replace all of these things, so if you cannot throw them out immediately, budget ahead for when you can replace them.

  • Expired food. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Throw out food that is past its use-by date, has dented cans, etc. While you are at it, if you have unopened food in your pantry that is still good but is just not something you are going to eat, donate it to a food bank so that someone else can enjoy it.
  • Magazines. Do you have a stack or stacks of magazines in your house? Get rid of them. You may be able to donate them or you may need to recycle them, but there is no reason to keep stacks of already-read magazines around your home.
  • Towels. Are your towels ratty and no longer get you dry? Get rid of them. Check with local animal shelters; they usually have a high-need for towels.
  • Candles. Do you have candles that are mostly burned? What about candles you burned once and realized you did not like the scent? Basically, any candles you have that you are not regularly burning now and will not be regularly burning in the future should be thrown away.
  • Clothes. If you did not wear clothes the last time they were in season, donate them to someone who will use them. Obviously, there are exceptions to this like special occasion wear and sports-specific clothes (if it is a sport you still do).
  • Takeout menus. These sources of clutter are unnecessary these days, when you can easily find restaurant menus online.
  • Expired medicine. Not all medicine goes bad after its expiration date, but some may lose its efficacy. You can look up each individual medicine to decide whether to keep or toss. For medications that have a potential for abuse, such as pain medication, you may want to dispose of it even before the expiration date.
  • Mugs and cups. If your cabinets look like ours, you have some random mugs and cups in them, and you probably got more over the holidays. If you do not regularly use them, pass them on.

Is the thought of cleaning out your clutter overwhelming? Carmen’s Cleaning can help you with your cleaning tasks, big or small.