The Most Common Items That Take Up Unnecessary Space Around the House

If you’re like me, you often find yourself saying “Should I throw this away? Nah, I might find a good use for it at some point.”

And the truth is, you probably won’t. Just like I don’t.

But we all have this inner hoarder that we need to tame. And to give you a good starting point whenever in need of a good argument to fight off your own inner hoarder, we’ve looked at some of the most common things people keep around the house despite having no solid use for it. And here are your best starting points:

One-time hobby items

Rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it for over 5 years, it has to go.amp

You know how you set out to learn how to play the electric guitar a few years back, but never got the chance to take any classes? Keeping that electric guitar around — just in case you’ll get to it some day — will more likely make you feel guilty about not holding to your promise of learning how to play rather than motivate you to find the time and energy to actually start playing it.

In your case, it might not be the electric guitar; but surely there’s a set of golf clubs, a fishing rod, hiking gear, bowling balls, or even a pair of skis that you never got to use lying around the house.

So why not be honest with yourself and start considering either donating them, or maybe even find a suitable storing option?

Everything that can go digital

Rule of thumb: if it can fit on a hard drive, copy it and throw it away.

I’m talking about all those stacks of photos and random photo albums (no, not your wedding album, the ones you use to keep all of your miscellaneous photos in), scrap books, VHS tapes, music tapes, DVDs, you name it. And I get it, you’ve been holding on to them because they are prized possessions due to the sentimental value we’ve attached to them.

But we’ve been living at the crossroads of two generations; luckily we master the tech-relying one, despite having the luck of growing up in a non-tech-dependant world.

So why not take advantage of that and migrate those prized possessions to the cloud or to your personal hard drive — which will only extend their lifespan (not to mention clear out some much needed space.)

Magazines and newspapers

Rule of thumb: Read, then recycle!

I’ve never stopped to think about this until now, but when I started working on this article, I reached out to a friend who works with a Chicago cleaning service. I asked her to name a household item people keep around (and shouldn’t), and the first thing that popped into her head was: magazines! She said that she often starts by clearing out a living room of all the newspapers and magazines stacked in corners and on shelves, and the room is instantly more airy and easier to clean.mags

People often keep their magazines — whether they got to read them or not — hoping they would come in good use later on; but more often than not, once you put that magazine away, you don’t get back to it. Same goes for newspapers.

So why not do your good deed for the day and recycle the magazines that have been piling up in your living room? For extra good deed credits, you can also donate them to a hair salon or a dentist’s office.

Clothes you no longer wear

Rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in 12 months, it has to go.

A yearly closet purge is one of the absolute best space-savers! You may not be a regular Carrie Bradshaw or go on shopping sprees every now and then, but every single one of us has an innate gift of collecting clothes. Somehow, the closet is always packed!

And while clothes may not have an expiration date, they get worn out, go out of fashion, don’t fit anymore, or simply lose their appeal. Plus, there’s always that sweater your aunt gave you and you never actually wore; I say, pair that sweater with those college jeans you’re definitely not wearing anymore, pile them up on top of your kid’s baby clothes, see what else takes up space in your closet without good use, and donate them to charity!

In fact, since a closet purge is never easy, here’s a handy guide to see you through it:closet-clean


Guest author: Georgiana Mihaila is a writer on a quest to make home living more easy, one useful tip at a time. She’s also the human behind Fancy Pants Homes.

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.