Even though I’ve never been to your home, I bet there are 5 categories of belongings that you could purge right now. And while I usually promote taking the time to organize an entire zone, cabinet or drawer, it’s always helpful to start small and maintain your collections of things. Purging these items can also be a great opportunity to get the family involved. I would even suggest setting a timer, turning up the tunes and making this a monthly task (incorporating alternating categories each time).
Magazines & newspapers A tray is the perfect sized container to corral magazines and newspapers. The tray will set a boundary for the amount of magazines you can keep—and once the container is full, it’s time to purge. Another reason not to hang onto magazines—they’re not searchable. If you want to reference articles, rip them out and organize into a binder or better yet, find the article online and bookmark it for later.
Mismatched food storage containers This is super easy and so satisfying. Pull out all your food storage containers and lids and match up everything that you can. Any lid and bowl that doesn’t have a mate, get rid of immediately. If something is warped or just looks like it has seen better days, let it go. Create a way to organize the rest by having a larger bin to group lids and try to stack and nest food storage containers when possible. Rubbermaid also has a really cool line where the lids snap together and the containers rest on top.
Lone socks & worn out undergarments Make sure that all your socks have made it through the laundry cycle and lay the lot on your bed or a nearby flat surface. Again, any socks without a mate get tossed as well as any socks with holes or that have lost their elasticity (same goes for undergarments). You can always repurpose one or two of these socks for polishing leather shoes or dusting furniture.
Cleaning supplies Cleaning supplies typically have a shelf life of 2 years so it’s always a great idea to roundup all your supplies and dispose of anything that has expired. I’ll also often find two bottles of the same cleaning solution that aren’t full. To save space, marry the two and properly dispose of the empty container.
Toiletries & personal products Make-up, travel toiletries and personal care products expire quicker than you think. If it’s liquid, the expiration is going to be 6-9 months and pastes, cremes and powders will last longer (think 1-2 years). Try and store travel toiletries in a separate container so that it’s a cinch to pack and as always, try and use up your personal products before buying more. That way, you minimize the need for storage space and you’re apt to not have to toss things that expire before you get the opportunity to use them.
What are some other categories of items that you could purge right now? Let me know in the comments!
**Image from Flickr user bravenewtraveler under Creative Commons license
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