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Author: Bob Longworth
Oct 30, 2019 at 3:28pm


They call it the circular file. You may know it as the trash. And there is much more within your own home that belongs there than you may fathom.’s Jacob Shamsian lists a few of them, reminding readers that some things are keepers and others need to go. Many people consider purging stuff in their homes to be vastly satisfying as they pare down their lives to the essentials. Others hang on to items that should have been 86d long ago with myriad reasons for not letting go. As you go through this list, it might be easy to determine which tendencies you have.

No one will tell you to throw away the gorgeous box in which your Apple iMac or laptop computer was packaged. When you someday upgrade to a more updated computer, it will come in handy when selling your current model. But it’s doubtful the boxes for smaller, less expensive items will count, so you are free to chuck them.

How about those wire hangers that have been a staple of the dry cleaning industry for millennia? Think of them as merely a vessel to get your cleaned, pressed clothes from the cleaning establishment to your house and no more. Instead, invest in wood hangers or felt-wrapped varieties, and donate the wire ones back to your friendly dry cleaner who will no doubt recycle them.

The memories you made emptying alcohol bottles have no doubt faded by now, so instead of keeping them as trophies, find a recycling center that might appreciate them. Unusual wine bottles can be keepers, but don’t hang on to them simply to remember the vintage. Instead, snap a smartphone photo of the label, file it away in the “wines I’ve loved” folder of your photo collection and let them go.

There may be some guilt associated with giving away clothing you’ve never worn, but someone, somewhere could use them. Just because you made an impulse buy on a vacation somewhere or purchased a clothing item a tad too small you hoped you’d get into someday doesn’t mean that item deserves to sit unused. And hanging on to kids’ clothes after they’ve outgrown them will not bring back your children’s cuter days. Instead, keep only a few keepsakes that they might someday pass on to their children and donate the rest. Especially true with Halloween costumes. Some children out there will find the same delight in wearing what once attracted all that laughter and candy. As for worn out shoes or shoes that sit neglected? Yes. They have a history, and there may have truly been a reason you bought them. But it may be time to donate them to a local charity.

Face it. There is no sock heaven. It’s merely a place where single socks go where they wait to come back to earth as cereal boxes. Just because you keep them hoping their mates will show up doesn’t make it happen. Business Insider offers 61 things you can do with mismatched socks. Look it up to be thoroughly entertained.

And how about all those little boxes and bottles of makeup and spa items? “Gift with purchase” deals are always tempting, but the chances are good that that palette full of sparkly eye shadow is losing its sparkle waiting for the special occasion you thought you’d wear it to. Old makeup and unused makeup samples expire and will mess up your face, let alone crowd your makeup drawer and shelves.

Those pain killers and medications you were prescribed after your meniscus got sewn up serve no earthly purpose if you are no longer in pain. Saving them for a rainy day is not advised. Toss them, but research how and where to toss them. Flushing them down a toilet is not safe for the environment. Same with the Advil you bought in 2015. Medications should be safely recycled. Go to earth911 to find out how.

Do we need to remind you to take off lids from items nestled in the door of your fridge and check to see if they are past their prime? Hope not. Mustard grows mold. The USDA’s website StillTasty (after all these years) lists how long certain food items are safe to use.

And then there are the usual suspects like expired water filters, toothbrushes not meant to last more than a few months, and dish sponges reeking with bacteria (use bleach!). Others include old phone chargers (face it — that tiny royal blue Nokia that fit into the palm of your hand will never return), old business cards sitting neatly into boxes that no longer have a purpose, old magazines you will never thumb through again, and old bills and receipts that can easily be looked up online by you or your retailer. Chuck them. Say sayonara. Wish them well (oh, okay, snap a photo). And let them go.

You are not your grandmother or even your mother — that practical woman who may have hoarded old shopping bags, Ziplocs, department store boxes, rubber bands, and piles of foil. There is no foreseeable Depression coming that would necessitate hoarding anything. Letting go of items no longer of use is not only healthy; you may even be surprised at the endorphins you get from staring at your uncluttered closet, cleaned out pantry, or neatly organized drawers. Life is indeed a journey, and the items you let go of were simply tiny parts of it.

Source: Insider, businessinsider, earth911, TBWS