While it may not seem like it some days, spring has arrived and if there is one time a year to clear out your house, organize and throw out all the things you don’t really need, spring is it. As such, we came up with our ultimate spring cleaning checklist. If you are hanging onto any of these items, do your family and yourself a favor and throw them away!
1. Expired Medication
You’d be surprised going through your medicine cabinet and finding how many expired medications you own. Many do not consider the expiration date on many over-the-counter-meds, but just like food, consuming any expired medication can have adverse affects. While many will not kill you, it can’t hurt to clear the way for updated medications.
2. Expired Canned Food
Staying in the health department, lets clean up your endless pantry by throwing away expired canned food products. Just like medications, consuming expired products will not only taste horrible, but get you sick in the process.
Looking for other ways to effectively maintain the home? Please see our Home Maintenance Checklist.
3. Outgrown Clothes
We all have those 5-year-old pair of socks we just can’t get rid of. They may have been comfortable and looked great five years ago, but today, they have shrunk, have holes and are barely hanging on. The same can be said about any clothing product in your closet.
Similarly, children outgrow their clothes. If you don’t plan on having any more kids, throw out or donate the clothes they have outgrown. Better yet, give it to a family member who has younger children. They’ll certainly owe you one down the road.
4. Plastic Tupperware
I personally suffer from Tupperware hoarding syndrome and every spring, find myself throwing away more and more Tupperware I have collected. Believe it or not, plastic Tupperware can wear over the years, especially if you use it in the microwave or dishwasher. This breakdown can release dangerous chemicals into your food. As such, hoarding Tupperware is not only bad for cabinet space, but your health as well.
5. Old Magazines
Despite their slow demise, magazines are a mainstay in homes across America. While Time or People help us stay on top of the hottest celebrity gossip, they have also turned into design features in living rooms and bedrooms around the country.
Surprisingly, many of us have trouble letting go of that issue of Time from three years ago. Whatever content in there is not relevant today. Stop putting it off and either read it or throw it away.
Magazines should never become a décor item.
If you are redecorating your home, make sure you stay up to date on the hottest design trends sweeping the country.
6. Coat Hangers
The dry cleaners save many of us, but their service is both a blessing and a curse. Every time we pick up our shirts, pants or dresses, they offer us brand new coat hangers. Sadly, rather then return that gorgeous dress to the strong coat hanger it was previously on, we leave it on the flimsy, wire coat hanger the dry cleaners offered.
Extra coat hangers are an eyesore. Bring wire coat hangers back to the cleaners and get creative with your extra wood hangers. Use them as cool coat hooks, necklace holders or towel rods.
7. Old Makeup
I will never understand the amount of makeup a women needs (same with shoes and clothes in general). However, no matter how much you love that one eyeliner, just like food or medication, it can expire. According to dermatologists, cream products typically expire within six months to a year after purchase. In fact, mascara often only lasts three months before becoming a bacteria threat. Keep an eye out for those expiration dates or makeup that has changed colors.
If you have to hold onto your makeup but have little space, please see 9 Small Bathroom Storage Ideas You Can’t Afford To Overlook.
8. Power Cables
You never know when you will need an extra USB cable or power cord, but there is no bigger eyesore to any closet, garage or basement than unorganized, bundled power cables.
If you can’t let go, take the time and organize them. Bundle them up in rubber bands. Store them in old shoeboxes. If you want to keep them, make sure they are out of sight.
9. Dated Technology
Staying on the tech side of things, decluttering and spring cleaning applies to your gadgets as well. We all have those old printers or computers saved since college, but sadly, they are worth next to nothing. While no technology is cheap and browsing old phones can be entertaining, it’s time to clean the home and get rid of your dated technology.
10. Clear the Garage
Many of us store items I mentioned in our garages. As such, the garage turns into a jungle gym of old clothes, sporting equipment and junk we just couldn’t rid of. Now is the time.
If you really can’t bring yourself to throwing away your 15-year-old skates, take some time and organize the garage. It’s not as daunting as it seems. Plus, we simplified the entire process. See our 5 Tips For DIY Garage Storage.
11. Old Pillows
Pillows are frequently part of our décor, adding color, flair or contrast to any room in the home. Sadly, pillows are not evergreen. In fact, after two years, pillows tend to lose their stuffing, become thin and essentially lose their purpose.
To see if your pillows have seen their last nap, fold your pillows in half. If they stay folded, it's time to toss.
12. Old Paperwork
Throwing away any document with numbers can be scary. It’s important to hold onto certain bank or tax-related documents for a certain period of time, but not for the rest of your life. Don’t let the fear of accidently throwing away important documents deter you from cleaning out the back of your office closet.
Fortunately enough, with most information available online nowadays, there is no need to keep old bills or bank statements if you feel comfortable using the computer.
13. Past Birthday Cards
Another hoarding flaw of mine deals with birthday cards. Many have sentimental value that I will never throw away, but a few have little if any text in them. Besides less thought going into them, these cards tend to be ones I rarely look at. As such, spring is the perfect time to get rid of those old birthday cards you never really liked in the first place. Shockingly enough, it can clear up plenty of space in your drawers or closet.
14. Old Shoes
I moved this one towards the bottom because I know it will be hard for many women out there. Some women tell themselves that they will wear those 50 pairs of shoes in their closets, but deep down, know that 2005 pair of gorgeous leather boots is never seeing the light of day. If you don’t see yourself wearing a pair of shoes in the next two years, throw them away or donate them.
15. Clean Everything
Spring cleaning is more then just throwing items away. Spring cleaning is also about cleaning your actual home. After all the above items have been cleared, take some time and clean all surrounding areas. Whether it’s scrubbing the floors, wiping the counters, vacuuming the garage or airing out your bath mats, make sure you take the time and actually clean what’s left in your house.
While you’re at it, save some money by making environmentally-friendly cleaners at home.
Like many home maintenance projects, spring cleaning is not the most glamorous DIY project, but one that makes us feel good once completed and gives our home a refreshed and clean aroma we all seek. Do yourself a favor this spring by taking a deep dive into spring cleaning.
For more DIY maintenance projects, please check out our Home Maintenance Checklist.