18 Things You Should Throw Out ASAP

From expired medications to outdated electronics, discover the crucial items you should discard to ensure safety, efficiency, and a harmonious living space. Declutter your life and refresh your surroundings with our list of 18 items you should be throwing out!

Expired Medications

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Using medications past their expiration date can lead to serious health risks as their chemical composition may change over time, making them ineffective or harmful. Make sure you dispose of them in a responsible manner; many pharmacies offer take-back programs, and some areas have specific disposal guidelines.

Old Makeup and Skincare Products

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Makeup and skincare products that have been open too long can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi. The Mayo Clinic says, “If bacteria get into an open container or onto a brush, they can multiply rapidly and cause breakouts or other infections.” Make a habit of checking through your products once every 3–4 months to maintain a healthy beauty regimen.

Worn-Out Shoes

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Shoes that no longer provide adequate support or cushioning can lead to discomfort and long-term issues with joint health. Consider donating or selling any gently used shoes, and look for local recycling schemes for those beyond repair.

Plastic Containers with BPA

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BPA is a chemical found in many plastics that can leach into food and drinks. According to Healthline, “BPA exposure has been linked to several health problems, including infertility, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.” Consider replacing old plastic storage containers with BPA-free versions, or switch to glass.

Outdated Electronics

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When electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets become outdated, they are often no longer supported with software updates. At this time, you are more at risk of security breaches, which puts your personal data at risk. Make sure to research local recycling schemes and dispose of these devices responsibly.

Unused Exercise Equipment

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Exercise equipment is often bulky and unattractive, so make sure to declutter any unused equipment rather than letting it take up valuable space in your home. Think about which equipment aligns with your current fitness routine and goals, and consider selling or donating anything you no longer use.

Old Paint Cans

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Old paint can become hazardous if not stored or disposed of correctly. To avoid harmful chemical exposure, clear out old cans. Make sure to dispose of them responsibly to avoid harm to the environment; many areas offer recycling or disposal schemes for this kind of waste.

Expired Sunscreen

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Expired sunscreen actually means that the product will no longer protect you and it increases your potential for sunburns, sun damage and skin cancer.” Look out for changes in consistency, color, or smell of the product as signs it’s no longer effective, and aim to replace them at least yearly.

Old Spices

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Over time, spices lose their potency, resulting in less flavorful dishes. To extend the shelf-life of your spices, store them in a cool, dark, dry place and regularly check for signs they might be past their best, including clumping, loss of color, or lack of scent.

Stale Pantry Items

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Make a habit of regularly checking and organizing your pantry to ensure you make the most of the food you buy and identify anything that needs to be used up. Stale or out-of-date items can result in a less tasty dish, so it’s important to keep an eye on the quality of your ingredients.

Overflowing Junk Drawers

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We all have a junk drawer full of things we don’t quite know what to do with, but by regularly organizing and disposing of anything you no longer need, you can save time and frustration. Many items in these places can be repurposed or recycled to reduce waste.

Old Bed Pillows

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According to the University of Cincinnati, “old pillows can cause achy muscles and poor sleep.” They go on to say you should replace your pillow every two years for optimum rest. As well as losing support, old pillows can also accumulate dust mites, allergens, and body oils over time, affecting respiratory health and causing skin issues.

Worn Towels and Linens

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Threadbare linens can become unappealing and less comfortable, while towels can lose their level of absorbency, making them less effective at drying. Consider repurposing these items as cleaning rags or for use in DIY projects to extend their usefulness and reduce your waste.

Expired Food in the Refrigerator

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It’s important to keep a regular eye on expiration dates in the fridge and plan meals around items that are nearing expiration to minimize food waste and save money. Consuming expired or spoiled food can lead to foodborne illnesses, so it’s a great idea to keep your fridge clean and organized in order to keep on top of your fresh food.

Unused Craft Supplies

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Taking time to declutter unused craft supplies can clear space and allow for a more focused and enjoyable crafting experience. You could consider donating materials to schools, community centers, or fellow craft enthusiasts to reduce waste and inspire others’ creativity.

Old Greeting Cards and Mementos

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While it’s important to preserve meaningful memories, not all cards and mementos hold the same sentimental value. By decluttering items, you’ll curate a collection of significant memories you’ll continue to cherish. You could consider photographing personal items for which you no longer have the physical space, so you can look back if you wish.

Mismatched Socks

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Declutter your drawers and make it easier to find matched pairs by removing single socks from your space. You could consider repurposing them as dust rags, for craft projects, or shoe protectors to extend their life and reduce waste.

Old Prescription Glasses

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Wearing outdated prescription glasses can strain your eyes and lead to headaches. Clear through old pairs and consider donating them to organizations that redistribute them to those in need. Make a habit of clearing out old glasses each time you have an eye exam to keep on top of the clutter.

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