Have you read the brand new book all about home, Home Made Lovely?

50 Things You Should Throw Away Today! + Free Printable Checklist

In this post: It can be hard to organize your home with excess stuff in the way. To help, here’s a list of 50 Things You Should Throw Away Today plus a free printable!

It’s always a good time to organize! But it can be hard to organize your home if you have a bunch of excess stuff in the way – especially right after the holidays when all that excess can overrun your home! That’s why I suggest doing a big decluttering session before tackling any major organizing. It’s just so much easier to get things organized nicely when you know you’re organizing things you actually want/need, and not things that are essentially garbage. But it can be hard to figure out all the things in your home that need to be thrown away, mainly because you’re used to all the extra stuff. So to help you, here’s a list of 50 Things You Should Throw Away Today plus a matching printable!

free decluttering checklist

50 Things You Should Throw Away

Remember that in this case, “throw away today” is just a blanket statement. Many of the things on this list can be donated to Goodwill, or to special organizations. Others can go into a recycle bin (you can recycle some electronics at Best Buy, for example). Some may be worth selling on eBay or at a garage sale. And others could be upcycled/repurposed into something new with a little DIY skill. But if you know that you’re likely to hold onto things to “turn them into something cool one day” or to “list on eBay one day” just do yourself a favor and throw them out or donate them now.

basket trash bin and paper

The master list of 50 Things You Should Throw Away

  1. Old shoes (you can recycle them at Nike stores to have them turned into Nike Grind material)
  2. Old glasses (you can donate them at most optometrists)
  3. Take-out menus
  4. Old toys your kids don’t play with anymore
  5. Old tech devices (VHS player, cassette player, etc.)
  6. Socks without matches
  7. Old newspapers and magazines
  8. Broken jewelry and earrings without a matching pair
  9. Expired food- don’t forget to check your freezer along with your fridge and pantry. No food stays good forever!
  10. Expired makeup
  11. Expired medicine/vitamins (check the FDA’s website for details on how to safely dispose of medicines)
  12. Half-finished craft projects
  13. Craft supply scraps
  14. Cleaning rags (you really only need a few since you can wash them)
  15. Old towels (if you don’t have enough cleaning rags, you can cut one towel up into rags, but get rid of the rest)
  16. Product boxes- keep them for up to 3 months in case you’ll have to make a return, then get rid of them. Exceptions would be expensive tech devices that you may want to later resell with the box (like a smartphone or game system).
  17. Old hair ties
  18. Old video games
  19. Old batteries
  20. Old board games (especially if they’re missing pieces)
  21. Extra holiday decor (if you haven’t put it out in 2 years, it’s time for it to go!)
  22. Decor that doesn’t match your home anymore
  23. Extra calendars
  24. Old cookware/bakeware
  25. Old kitchen tools
  26. Old clothes
  27. Expired coupons
  28. Used up/dried out pens, highlighters, and markers
  29. Old pet toys that your pet doesn’t play with, or that are broken
  30. Old pet clothes/collars that don’t fit your pet anymore, or that are broken
  31. Old pet medications (vet offices are happy to take back many medicines that you pet no longer needs, especially flea/tick and heartworm medicine)
  32. Old school projects
  33. Old backpacks
  34. Old notebooks and binders
  35. Cards and invitations (either file them away in a keepsake binder, or get rid of them)
  36. Burned out light bulbs
  37. Flash drives (transfer anything useful to the cloud first)
  38. Extra headphones
  39. Extra phone cases (especially if they don’t fit your current phone)
  40. Extra computer accessories (mice, keyboards, etc.)
  41. Extra cords and cables
  42. Random nails, nuts, bolts, and screws
  43. Scrap wood (if you don’t have a distinct project in mind for it, get rid of it!)
  44. Manuals for products you don’t have anymore
  45. Random keychains
  46. Hotel toiletries
  47. Extra flower pots
  48. Beauty products that you didn’t like (you can donate these to local homeless shelters and women’s shelters)
  49. Unraveled gift bows
  50. Wrapping paper scraps (if the amount of paper is too small to wrap most gifts, get rid of it!)

Phew! That’s quite a list!

Free Decluttering Printable

To help you remember all the things you should throw away today as you go through your home, here is a handy decluttering checklist printable! As soon as an item is the trash, recycling bin, or donation bin, check it off of your list. Just leave your email below to get the checklist!

free decluttering checklist download

You’ll feel very accomplished when the list is all checked off, and your home will feel so much lighter without all the extra stuff!

Now What?

Need more decluttering help? Want me to walk you through a complete home decluttering, tackle some key mindset issues, and show you how to keep your home clutter-free going forward? All sprinkled with no-nonsense, loving encouragement for every step of the way? Then check out the step-by-step, room-by-room decluttering guide and workbook, The Clutter Fix. 

the clutter fix book in hands

How often do you do a big decluttering session?

I'd love it if you'd share:

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Rebecca Neustel says

    If the magazines are recent look into donating to a freestanding hospice facility or retirement/nursing home. Retirement/nursing homes also can make use of a lot of good, unused craft supplies.

  2. Jackie says

    Shannon, This is such a good list! I just did number 12 and 13… and cleared out an entire room of “craft leftovers.” I’m down to the nitty-gritty decluttering now and this list is going to be so helpful.

Student love

I found my style and was able to bring our small space together by creating a cozy and inviting home...

Danae C.

I loved the lesson on color theory, and also THAT YOU TOLD US EXACTLY WHAT ORDER TO DECORATE IN!

Erica L.

My ah-ha moment was when I realized how much time and money we have spent in the past couple of...

Cheryl P.

I love your easy process to determine my style. I've also learned that my style has changed over the years and seasons...

Sheryl R.

Your explanation of paint colors was the light bulb moment for me! Your explanation would have saved us from painting...

Pat Jensen