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10 Things to Ditch from Your Home Today

By Lesley Spellman August 27, 2023 Lifestyle

Sometimes we don’t have time for a big decluttering project, and we want something quick and impactful. To that end, here are 10 things you can throw away right here right now.

Dead Plants and Flowers

When they’re gone, they’re gone. If you have flowers in a vase that are past their best, take the opportunity to recycle them with your garden waste. Fresh flowers are a welcome addition to any home but once they have seen better days, it’s time to say goodbye.

When it comes to plants, an element of realism is needed. If you know it still has life in it, make a point of starting the revival project today. If not, cut your losses and let it go.


If you get a newspaper on a regular basis, be mindful that a newspaper is supposed to mark a moment in time that is here today, gone tomorrow. Don’t have piles of newspapers hanging around waiting to be read or kept for posterity. Let them go.

Out-of-Date Medication

I’d like to wager that if you look at your medication supplies, some will be way out of date. By its nature, medication is often bought for a one-off ailment or illness, and once the ailment is gone, we no longer need the remedy.

But it stays in the cupboard for months, often years, till we need it again and that day, more often than not, never comes! If you are disposing of medication, bear in mind this should be done responsibly.

Odd Socks

Odd socks are a mystery. Where do their partners go? I think we will be wondering this till the end of time. There’s an old adage out there that odd socks turn into tupperware container lids! In any case, once an odd sock has been hanging around for a while without its friend, it’s time to say goodbye.

Takeout Menus

Takeaway menus are posted through our letter boxes on a very regular basis. They are junk mail and should be treated as such. If you have a place in your home where old takeaway menus pile up, make a point of going through them and only keep the ones you regularly use.

Dead Batteries

Dead batteries are something that hangs around our homes for a while. Mainly because we need to dispose of them responsibly. It’s a great idea to have a small box or container to keep them in while you’re storing them to take to the recycling point.

Once the box is full, make a point of dropping the batteries off. Once they get old, they leak, and you don’t want to deal with that in your drawer!

Videos and Cassette Tapes

We are at least four generations past videos and cassette tapes when it comes to media. If you stream, download or at the very least listen to CDs and DVDs, it’s time for the old music cassettes and video tapes to go.

It’s a tough thing to part with as they are not readily recyclable but nevertheless, take action today! Be sure to weed out any highly sentimental ones first though.

Empty Jars

How many empty jars do you have in your home? They feel so useful, right? We tell ourselves they will come in for all manner of things.

Particularly if you’re a cook or a crafter, it can be all too easy to convince yourself that you need to keep any jars that come into your home – but be mindful of volumes. They are taking valuable space in your kitchen cupboards that could be used for other, more important things.

Read HOW TO PAINT MASON JARS to get some inspiration.

Carrier Bags

If you have carrier bags from various shops, and they keep multiplying, it’s time to pass them on. We don’t need many of them but homes all around the world have hundreds of them kept forever and a day. It’s not hard to find people in local community groups and food banks that absolutely do need a steady supply of bags so pass them on and declutter your home at the same time. Win-win!

Out-of-Date Spices

What is it about herbs and spices? We can go through them every year and still find one with a date from 2007 on! Have a quick look through yours today and discard any that are out of date. Whilst they are most likely not harmful, they may have lost their potency.

Did you know there are three key ingredients for decluttering success? If you’d like to find out what they are, pop over and sign up for our 45 minute free webinar. You never know, it might just set you on a new path towards a clutter free home.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

So, how many of the items on this list do you have cluttering up your home? Can you find half an hour to make a big impact on your clutter? When was the last time you got rid of something you don’t really use?

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We have a paper and card collection for recycling once a month. Everyone uses paper carrier bags from the local supermarkets to put their papers and card out on the street tidily.
I save nice paper carriers from clothing shops and use them to put clothing in I donate to the Red Cross shop. They always need bags for customers.

I try not to hold on to too many things as I had a flood at a house I lived in 20 years ago. Sorting through wet things for the insurance claim was a nightmare and the house renovation was major, it took 18 months.

Lesley Spellman

It sounds like you have things worked out really nicely Linda

Catherine Klas

Spices. I empty the old spices but keep the bottles. Then I can add small amounts from a bulk store, Wholefoods, Sprouts – lots of places let me measure out only amount I think I’ll use in a year. I replaced all my old spices for $25. I’ll do it again in a year. What a difference it’s made in my dishes. Who knew what a difference fresh cumin and turmeric would make!

Lesley Spellman

Brilliant – love that your are reusing your jars and getting them filled!

Judith Louise

I save (not plastic) carrier bags for de-cluttering of clothes, shoes, handbags and books, jewellery etc. Once packed, I tie up the handles and them drop then in a charity collection container. I also use the bags as dust covers for all sorts of things – e.g. placed on its side to store a foot massage machine on a shelf in our dressing room. Easy to grab handles and easy access and easy to store. Of course I only keep the carrier bags that fit my purpose. Jars – I save all sizes. I make my own jams, chutney, sauces, and dried herbs. And twice a year I delivered excess jars to charity groups that can repurpose them for fundraising. Newspapers, I shred them, soak them in a bucket of water and the form them into paper bricks. They burn steadily in the home fire place and give a great deal of warmth. They also suppress weeds. When creating a garden bed lay thickly the newspaper in a basket weave pattern. Wet down. Fill the garden with weed free soil or garden mix. Plant out. I find that de-cluttering should be carried out quarterly. Kitchen, Washroom, Laundry, Bedroom, Sheds. Thus becoming less of a big job.

Lesley Spellman

Great tips!

Lorraine Smith

I find the Dr’s prescribe way to many tablets. Eg. Last week the Dr said to take 2xpills daily for 5 days and prescribed 20 pills, why? I now ask the pharmacist to just give me the required amount and if needs be I’ll collect the rest. The extra costs money and becomes pills that are outdated.

Lesley Spellman

You’re so right! So many wasted meds out there. So much money!

Nina Traganas

Oh how I giggled reading the items and then I looked around my home yup I’m guilty. Empty jars and bags are cluttering my kitchen why can’t I throw them out. I’m afraid I can become a hoarder I see purpose in items that never materialize. It’s amazing how good you feel when you do toss them! See what else can go out, tomorrow is garbage day.

Lesley Spellman

Go for it Nina! We have a free decluttering challenge coming up next week. Come and join us!

The Author

Professional Declutterer Lesley Spellman has been creating clutter-free, happy homes for over 10 years. She believes life is too short to be consumed by clutter. As co-host of The Declutter Hub Podcast, owner of UK based The Clutter Fairy and worldwide membership site, The Declutter Hub, she is on a mission to help people all around the world completely change their clutter mindset for good.

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