35 things you really don't need & should get rid of NOW

35 things you really don't need & should get rid of NOW

Clutter. It's annoying. Go read Anushka's 7 stress-free ways to declutter your home immediately. Then come back here and go through this list of things you think you need, but really don't - they're just clogging up space in your home.

Give these items away to charity, sell them on eBay, shift them at a boot sale, depending on what it is. The choice is yours.

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1. Forgotten sporting equipment

For sale: never-been-touched 2kg weights.
For sale: never-been-touched 2kg weights.

Yes, I believe you when you say you were definitely going to use that mini trampoline and jump every day and I'm certain you were going to incorporate an excellent workout using those pretty yellow free weights. Who are we kidding, none of that happened and now your cupboard is full of retired sporting equipment. Give it all away and try these 19 easy exercises for the person that can't be bothered instead.

2. Mini hotel toiletries you've 'acquired'
If you got a bit giddy on your last few hotel stays then you might have a load of mini toiletries in your bathroom gathering dust. Unless you plan on going camping or have a lot of house visitors lined up, it might be worth giving them away.

3. Bread maker
You don't need a big clunky machine to make bread. Use your oven and clear a huge amount of space in your kitchen cupboard. Bbcgoodfood.com has plenty of recipes for you to have a go at, so what are you waiting for?

4. Unwanted Christmas presents
Auntie Edith meant well, but unfortunately, you know that pair of pink fluffy slippers will never be worn. If you've got a load of unused Christmas presents then sort through them and give them away or sell them. It might seem rude, but it's better they go to a home where they're wanted and used rather than shoved to the back of the cupboard, forgotten.

5. Musical instruments
Did someone in your house think they would take up the ukulele then suddenly lose interest? Is that expensive electric drum kit now a clothes hanger? Remove all instruments that haven't been used in years and enjoy the free space.

6. Bits & bobs

Time to clear! Photo credit: Orin Zebest
Time to clear!
Photo credit: Orin Zebest

You know what I mean, the thingamajigs, those thingamabobs, that thingummy. Those knick-knacks are just taking up room on your shelf and be honest with yourself, does it look good? Have a sensible sort-out and get rid of all the items you don't like or need anymore.

7. Pizza gadgets
I know you thought that a snazzy pizza maker and those cool pizza cutting shears were a good idea, but when was the last time you actually used them? Unless you're making a pizza once or more a week, there's really no point those items taking up valuable space in your kitchen cupboard.

8. Broken toys
Why are they still in your house? Either fix those broken toys or give them away. Sometimes artists work with donated toys, so have a look around at local boards first. Check out these 25 inspiring ideas for repurposing old toys from Apartment Therapy.com.

9. Popcorn maker
Do you watch films every night? If you do, you're excused. Otherwise, what are you doing with a popcorn maker? Get rid of it now!

10. Landline phone
If everyone in your house owns a mobile phone, unless you live somewhere with no phone reception, is there any need for you to have a landline? Check the cost of having one and if you're wasting money then say goodbye.

11. Eye make-up

Throw it away!
Throw it away!

It's recommended that you throw away eye make-up 6 months after opening in order to prevent infection. This includes mascara, liner and eye shadow.

12. Old cookbooks
They might look pretty but do you use them a lot? If you don't, then it's time to let them go. There are also lots of online resources for you to use. Print out your favourites and make your own recipe book!

13. USB flash drives
Yes, they can be cute. But do you really need one? Nowadays transferring files from place to place is pretty easy - whether it's e-mailing or using the cloud.

14. Old receipts
My bags / wallets / coat pockets are all FULL of receipts that I don't need anymore. Are yours? Collect them all together and have a quick look before you throw them away and see what you've been spending your money on. You might be shocked into spending a lot less!

15. Deep fryer
Unless you're hosting regular dinner parties or really need more fat in your diet then get rid of that deep fryer machine now. It's smelly, cleaning it up is a pain and you don't need it. If you must continue then here are Nathan's Six steps for deep-frying without a deep fryer.

16. Old kitchen sponges

You don't need all them!
You don't need all them!

If you have a dirty kitchen sponge then microwave it for 2 minutes. Check out How to kill germs on your kitchen sponge first for instructions. If it's incredibly old then throw it away.

17. Toothbrushes
Don't forget to change your toothbrush every three months, or if your bristles are frayed, then. Children clean their teeth more rigorously than adults so they may need their brushes replaced sooner.

18. Old magazines
You're probably not going to read those out-of-date magazines again (unless they're recipe magazines) so recycle them. You may be able to donate your magazines to the local doctor's offices and libraries, so see if you can do this first.

19. DVDs & CDs
I'm guilty of having a load of old DVDs & CDs that I'm just not going to use anymore. Apart from a few box sets that I can't bear to give away, it's a good chance to get rid of all the unwanted ones. I have found that it's always useful to have a few, especially when you're moving house and haven't sorted out the internet or television yet and crave some entertainment!

20. Unwanted hair ties/ accessories
If you've got broken hair ties, rusty old hair grips and curlers you don't need, then get them out of your bathroom cabinet. For more cleaning tips check out these 21 hacks for a stunning bathroom.

21. Expired spices, herbs & sauces

Have a look at your spice rack. Photo credit: TinyTall
Have a look at your spice rack.
Photo credit: TinyTall

Head to your spice rack and take a look at the expiry dates. You might be shocked! Now go to the cupboard and look at the best before date on any bottles of sauces. Anything that's out of date, chuck, anything that's nearly out of date, move to the front so you know you need to use them up.

22. Books
Be ruthless, if you haven't read it in years and you can't see yourself doing so in the future then, donate or sell. Easy!

23. Old sun lotion
The expiration on your sun cream bottle matters because they lose their ability to block out ultraviolet rays after a year. Make sure your sun lotion is relatively new in order to protect your skin.

24. Pillows
Fold your old pillow in half, if it stays folded then it's time for a new pillow. Your hair and body oils will have penetrated into the pillow and it will start to change colour will be a breeding ground for dust mites and odor-causing bacteria.

25. Jewellery
If you don't wear that necklace then why not give it to someone else who does? There might be loads of jewellery that you don't use anymore so take it down to the charity shop or give it to a family member who might love and wear it.

26. Memorabilia

Keep it all organised. Photo credit: Boston Public Library
Keep it all organised.
Photo credit: Boston Public Library

Old greetings cards, gift tags, letters, cinema stubs - chances are you've built up quite a collection of memories. Go through it and see what you really don't need anymore and be truthful to yourself. Consider making a scrap book, or a memory box so you can organise your memorabilia.

27. Cables & cords
I've been transporting a bag of old cables and cords from home to home and I have no idea what half of them do. There's no real point in keeping them - they're taking up valuable space in a drawer, so get rid of everything you don't need.

28. Clothes you never wear
Don't hold onto those jeans that don't fit anymore just because it reminds you of a wonderful time. It's time to organise your wardrobe and get rid of the clutter! Visit Anushka's 21 brilliant hacks for your tiny wardrobe and get started now.

29. Old boxes
Realy old product boxes such as mobile phone packaging are not needed in the home. As long as you've got all the details out that you may need and are satisfied the product works then it's time to get rid of them.

30. Medication
Check the expiry dates on your vitamins and any other medication you may have lurking about in your bathroom cabinet.

31. Unused perfume

Check your scents.
Check your scents.

If you're not a fan of the perfume sitting on your dresser that Auntie Sal gave you, then don't keep it. Give it away to someone else. Check for out-of-date scents as well.

32. Games with missing pieces
Unless you're willing to source the missing pieces from a shop then there's not much point in keeping games that you know you can't play anymore.

33. Old running shoes
Replace running shoes between 300 to 500 miles so wear and tear does not cause injury. Shoe cushioning deteriorates over time and they'll start to feel uncomfortable.

34. Christmas decorations
Broken Christmas lights and ornaments are not worth keeping. Next Christmas, get all your decorations out and check over them. If they're damaged or you don't think you're going to use them again, say farewell.

35. Old mobile phones
Recycle old mobile phones by giving them away or selling them. You might be able to make some quick cash from websites like Environfone, or get vouchers for high street shops.

Phew, that's a lot of items you don't really need! Let us know of any more by commenting below.


Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author susan bowden on July 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I don't use perfume very often but when I used to have a bath (we have a shower, now) I used to put a few drops in when I had a soak. It used up the perfume and I smelt lovely!

    1. Author Colleen B on July 7, 2016 at 8:41 am

      That's a lovely idea Susa, I'll certainly try that one. Thanks!

  2. Author Sue on July 2, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Books: Change your bookshelf for a ereader or use Apps on your smartphone or tablet. EBooks take up much less room and hold more books than a book case and are cheaper to buy. You can also lend them from the library or your friends and hold less dust than one book.

    1. Author Colleen B on July 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Fantastic tip Sue, thank you!

  3. Author Debbie on July 6, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I agree with you about things that are broken and obviously about out of date cosmetics and medicines which could actually be dangerous, but please, let me keep my knick-knacks and thingummy-bobs!

    1. Author Colleen B on July 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Ha ha Debbie, I suppose you're allowed a few!

    2. Author Hazel on July 9, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      My maisonette no longer feels like home since packing up my bits and bobs prior to moving. The move fell through but things remain packed. I have totally lost interest in the place because it is not as it should be i.e. cluttered.

    3. Author Colleen B on July 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      I hope you find a new home soon Hazel. :)

  4. Author Donatello46 on July 6, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Good advice generally, charity shops are a good destination for many unwanted items, provided that they are in reasonable/good condition, books particularly (provided that the charity shop is not inundated with books), that way they may provide much needed funds to help others. Don't necessarily throw away ALL your redundant toothbrushes, they can still be useful for cleaning awkward nooks and crannies such as on and around your cooker, around the control knobs etc. Remember though that one definition of rubbish is something you find a use for three weeks after you've thrown it out!

    1. Author Colleen B on July 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

      That's a great use for an old toothbrush Donatello, thanks for pointing that out!

  5. Author ANGELA WILLIAMSON on July 7, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I had 3 large bookshelves in my bedroom and loads of books on them. I went through them and took out all the ones I had read and knew I would never read again and donated them at the local Fire Station as they collect them. That freed up 1 and a half cases. I then went through again and found some I had never read. i took them to work and people chose which they would like to read. I then had 2 empty ones, i was going to get rid of the shelves and then decided they make perfect shoe storage. My shoes are no longer thrown in the bottom of the Wardrobes and I can see exactly what I have. It also prompted me to get rid of the shoes that were either painful to wear or damaged. Win Win

    1. Author Colleen B on July 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Wow you've done a phenomenal job at decluttering Angela!

  6. Author Hazel on July 9, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Anyone with babies or young children or who is in poor health or disabled should never get rid of their land line. One never knows when there could be a medical or other emergency and a fixed land line does not run out of battery or develop a dodgy reception so is far more reliable than any mobile.

    1. Author Colleen B on July 14, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks for your comment Hazel, a good point.

  7. Author Margaret Lamb on July 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    How can you advise people to get rid of books if you have not read them over a certain time, I love the look of a library, I think they can be part of a room's furnishing. Keep your books, yes sort through them and get rid of the ones you did not like or maybe out of date text books. Try to see them as more than books to read.

    1. Author Colleen B on July 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Sorry Margaret, we didn't mean to get rid of all of them - just the ones you don't want to read anymore!

  8. Author Petra Meeson on July 15, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Homeless centres are always delighted to received individual shampoos et al. if you are homeless you don't want to carry around a big bottle of shampoo, but personal pride is really important to many

    1. Author Colleen B on July 21, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Brilliant tip, thanks Petra!

  9. Author Jojo on July 31, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I wouldn't throw old toothbrushes I use them to clean grout

    1. Author Colleen B on August 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      That's a great tip, thanks Jojo!

  10. Author Ian on August 4, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Don't get rid of your phone / tablet / electronic gadget packaging. When you get bored of them and eventually sell them on eBay or elsewhere, a boxed product will sell for 10-15% more than an unboxed one.

    1. Author Colleen B on August 4, 2016 at 10:47 am

      10 - 15% more - that's a lot! Thanks for your tip Ian.

  11. Author Henry on October 16, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Superb Tips , i was just looking for the same , because i have my flat locked for many years with lots of furniture , clothes , and things .

    1. Author Colleen B on October 18, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Good luck with the sort out Henry, you'll be happy once it's done!

  12. Author Jane on January 2, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I have a rule- 1 in, 1 out- if I buy a new anything, the old one goes to the charity shop Put hotel toiletries in the food bank box at the supermarket- they really need soap, shampoo etc Keep a bag in your wardrobe for charity shop donations and take there when it's full

    1. Author Colleen B on January 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Great tips Jane, thank you. I especially like the bag-in-the-wardrobe idea!

  13. Author Lizzie Justice on January 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Join a freegle or recycling for free site. This matches people who need something with people who need to avoid it going to landfill. Everyone is a winner and there is no cost but the person who needs to pick it up. In our large block we also put things out near the bins but on show to give people a chance to pick it up. Again that works well and think smart and make sure it does not include out of date medical products or dangerous electricals.

    1. Author Colleen B on January 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, brilliant tip.

  14. Author Sue on January 2, 2017 at 11:50 am

    When sorting things out to give to charity, don't be afraid to donate things that you may think that no one will buy because it's old fashioned or unusable (such as used underwear, etc) Charity shops sell unsellable items to 'the ragman' to be recycled, The charity shop I used to work in made at least £180 a week from recycling unsellable clothes. If anyone is embarrassed about giving these items them pack them in a separate bag and when you drop them off tell the assist that they are for recycling and they will go straight into the recycling hopper. Your favourite charity will benefit from your donation instead of it going to landfill.

    1. Author Colleen B on January 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you Sue, a wonderful tip for everyone. :)

  15. Author Chris Larkin on January 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Its a bit silly saying get rid of the landline, most home broadband requires a landline. Maybe think again on that one?

  16. Author Monica Gilbert on January 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I had loads of toiletries floating around. I used up the open ones, starting with the ones closest to empty. Then I started using the smallest unopened ones and worked my way up, disposing of the packaging as I finished. It let me try different products and saved me so much shopping time and money. And it's so motivating watching the supply of clutter dwindle. I've been doing the same with my perfume and makeup. It really makes a difference.

    1. Author Colleen B on January 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Easy does it Monica, good luck with your decluttering!

  17. Author Kaeren on January 3, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Sadly, I have a husband and son, who just collect 'stuff' won't let me get rid of anything, it's very frustrating, I binned most of my rubbish, and sold lots on ebay. Got any advice on tearing junk away from them?

    1. Author Colleen B on January 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      I have an idea... store away their "stuff" for 2 months, and if they can tell you what it is they're missing, then you can give it back to them! ?

  18. Author Lucy P on February 7, 2017 at 10:47 am

    My mum and her family swap books with eachother, it saves them all buying lots of new books!

    1. Author Colleen B on March 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      That is a great idea Lucy, thanks for your comment.

  19. Author john on July 7, 2017 at 4:17 am

    this did not help me at all it was crap!

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Sorry to hear you weren't a fan of this one John, hopefully you'll enjoy some of our other articles more. :)

  20. Author Lesley on January 1, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I decant the little hotel shower gels into a dispenser and use as hand wash. Hadn't thought of the homeless shelters, that's a great idea

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 2, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Hi Lesley. That's a great way to use up all those miniatures without them cluttering your home - good work! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Author Kartika Sari on January 5, 2018 at 3:33 am

    Love...love...the idea of giving or selling the things that you already don't need any more, my mom is the one who alwasy say " you never know if you need it someday" sometimes that day come and many time they don't and all the stuff is just sitting in my house for years. its make my house clutter all the time even though I already sweeping and moping but it still looks clutter. Thanks for this informative article Love from Indonesia

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Hi Kartika. We're so glad you liked our tips! The New Year is the perfect time to make positive changes in your life. Giving away things you don't really need not only clears clutter from your own home, but will also benefit others in the process. I wish you good luck with your decluttering mission and send love back to you in Indonesia :)


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