When you think about making home improvements, it’s easy to concentrate more on the things that cost money than those you can probably should be getting rid of. You know, things you may have forgotten you even have, let alone use any more.
So how about it? Do you have enough extra and no-longer-needed stuff you could easily do without while perhaps eliminating a fire hazard or two? Probably, right? Well then, here are 5 such items you can – and should – toss from your home right now.
- Old Magazines and Newspapers – It might be time to admit that you’re just not going to get around to reading all those well-written articles and trying all those delicious-looking recipes. For those that you’re not quite ready to part with, take a picture of the article or recipe, and recycle the actual newspaper or magazine.
- Rusty Tools and Unused Hardware – Allen wrenches, extra screws, and other odds and ends do nothing but clutter your toolbox (or, for some of us, the junk drawer). Toss those extra parts you no longer need and those tired-looking tools you can no longer use; in the process, you’ll be making minor repairs and DIY projects a little easier to complete.
- Plastic and Paper Grocery Bags – We applaud your noble efforts to reuse old shopping bags, but we’re guessing you currently have way more than you could ever use in a lifetime. Keep just enough for those times when you actually need a bag, recycle the rest, and consider getting reusable bags for your shopping trips.
- Instruction Manuals – Let’s face it, when a gadget or appliance goes awry, chances are you’ll look for help online as most manufacturer’s now put their manuals on the web. So there’s really no need to hang onto old instructions manuals, especially those for items you no longer own. You can even download manuals for larger appliances or more expensive purchases into a folder in your hard drive where you can access them after a few easy licks.
- Plastic Food Containers – Look in any kitchen cabinet in America and you’re sure to find a pile of mismatched plastic food containers and random lids. Create some extra space by pairing up tops with bottoms and recycling the rest.
- Unwanted Toys – Yes, we understand that that ninja sword and shield were once junior’s favorite playmates, but junior’s 12 now and hasn’t gone ninja on you in years. But this time, don’t simply toss or recycle those unwanted but still-in-good-shape toys; instead, bundle or box them and donate them to your favorite charitable organization.
Even if it does still have a place in your life, it’s especially important to relocate (or get rid of) any combustible materials that are too close for comfort to your furnace or water heater. If it’s worth keeping, just find a different place to keep it.