25 Reasons to Get Rid of It
Spring cleaning means tidying up the house from top to bottom, but an epic clean sweep can be easily sidetracked by piles and piles of stuff. There's always a reason to hold onto something: "It's still in perfectly good shape," "It reminds me of a happy memory," or "I might need this someday!" But we're here to tell you that the excuses end today! Your path to a clear, clutter-free home begins now.
Reason #1: It is keeping you from having that clear and clutter-free home of your dreams. In fact, 1.4 million Americans suffer from chronic hoarding and clutter.
Reason #2: You're Wasting Time
According to a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm, the average person will burn 55 minutes a day looking for things.
Reason #3: Odds Are, You'll Never Use It
According to statistics pulled by the National Association of Professional Organizers, 80 percent of what we own we never use. Really.
Reason #4: It Will Lighten the Load
Also according to NAPO, getting rid of clutter will reduce housework by 40 percent.
Reason #5: It Will Save on Bills
Around 23 percent of people pay late fees on bills they cannot find, says NAPO.
Reason #6: Your Stuff Can Make You Money
Peddle your wares in your own front yard and make some extra cash. (Say, National Garage Sale Day on August 10?)
Reason #7: It's Probably Expired Anyway
Say good-bye to the dried-out remnants of your favorite no-longer-available lipstick, and check out threecustom.com for replacements or duplicates of discontinued cosmetics.
Reason #8: You're Being Inundated with Paper Mail
The average person receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year. Eliminate paper statements by banking and paying bills online, call 1-888-567-8688 to stop unwanted credit-card solicitations, and opt out of mailing and telemarketing lists by logging on to dmaconsumers.org.
Reason #9: It Can Be Turned into Something Else
For instance, old newspapers become colored pencils. Rubber tires become sleek purses or rugged iPod covers. Plastic soda bottles become durable hammocks. Yogurt containers become colorful plates, flatware, toothbrushes, and razors.
Reason #10: You Can Get Something Else for It
For instance, at this great entertainment exchange, you can swap your old goods for new books, music, movies, and games.
Reason #11: You Can Access Almost Anything Digitally Anyway
Search for phone numbers online instead of storing bulky yellow and white pages volumes. Lose the road maps and get a GPS system. Downloaded travel guides; they're more up to date anyway.
Reason #12: You Last Used It ... When?
If it hasn't been used in more than a year and doesn't have sentimental value, toss it. You don't need it.
Reason #13: There's Nowhere to Put It
One clue that you should get rid of it is that there is no logical place to keep it. And don't get us started on the junk drawer.
Reason #14: It's Adding to Your Overstocked Fridge
Find the USDA's recommended storage limits for refrigerated and frozen food. And be strict.
Reason #15: It's in Need of Replacement
For instance, running shoes should be retired after 300 to 500 miles in order to prevent injuries.
Reason #16: It Doesn't Work
Reality check: You're never going to actually take the time to get it fixed, are you?
Reason #17: You'll Become More Energy Efficient
One way to do this is by replacing old appliances with new energy-efficient ones.
Reason #18: It's the Healthier Choice
For instance, you should deep-six your toothbrush every three to four months.
Reason #19: Your Neighbor Could Use It
Reason #20: You Could Earn a Discount
One example: Trade in an old iPod and receive a 10-percent discount on a new one.
Reason #21: You Could Even Earn a Freebie
Did you know you can return six MAC Cosmetics containers to any MAC store and receive a free lipstick?
Reason #22: Yes, Debt Counts as Something to Get Rid Of
Erase a $10K credit card debt (with an average interest rate) 65 percent faster -- and pay 75 percent less total interest -- when you pay double the typical minimum monthly payment.
Reason #23: To Help Animals in Need
Send towels and newspapers to animal shelters through cap4pets.org.
Reason #24: You'll Support a Good Cause
Put a refurbished phone (of any brand) into the hands of a victim of domestic violence. Or let its sale benefit an environmental charity. Send a phone to the field staff of a poverty-fighting mission. Help keep service members in touch with their families. Put scanners, computers, and cameras into the hands of deserving, impoverished kids around the world.
Reason #25: Great Minds Have Done It
And they all say to get rid of it: Leonardo da Vinci said that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said that "less is more." And William Morris once advised to "have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."