#parent | #kids | I’m a home expert – these are the ten items you should be throwing away now to get your home clutter free

JANUARY is the time to declutter your home so you can start the new year fresh.

But aside from the annual wardrobe clear-out and reorganising the kitchen cupboards, there’s so much more you should be chucking – probably more than you think.


You should be throwing these ten things out every single year, according to Elizabeth GrantCredit: Elizabeth Grant

As a professional organiser and founder of the decluttering service Declutter on Demand, Elizabeth Grant knows a thing or two about how to cull your things.

And according to her, there’s a list of items we should be throwing away every single year.

Speaking to Fabulous, she said: “The beginning of a new year is a great time to declutter as it gives you the chance to start the year as you mean to go on.

“Not only will it transform your home into a relaxed organised space to live and work in but it will also improve your mental well-being, helping you beat the January blues.”

Here, she reveals the ten items you should be letting go of each year which will instantly help you streamline and tidy your home.

1. Expired medicines and vitamins

We can’t be the only ones with a drawer (or two) filled with medicines and vitamins we haven’t used in years.

But Elizabeth reckons we should be chucking them frequently because many become ineffective when they pass their expiry date.

What’s more, she warns that expired medicines can pose a risk to your health so there’s no need to hang on to them.

“You should take decluttered medicines to your local pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely,” she advises.

2. Kids artwork

It seems our kids’ artwork collection gets bigger and bigger by the minute.

but admit it, we can’t be expected to hold on to all of them forever so clear them out yearly Elizabeth says.

“This builds up so quickly across the year. Be ruthless and only keep the really special items,” she says.

“Your kids won’t thank you in the future for keeping everything they ever made! Take photos or scan artwork instead so you keep digital copies but can let go of the physical pieces.”

3. Coins from countries you won’t visit again

We’re all guilty of it, hanging on to the foreign coins we didn’t get the chance to spend while on a trip overseas.

While you might have every intention of using them when you (eventually) return, the pro organiser says they’re just cluttering drawers.


What’s more, they’re not often taken by currency exchange bureaus, according to Elizabeth so they’re pretty much useless.

She did note though that you can donate them to a charity of your choice at Leftover Currency. 

4. Cosmetics (including sun cream and perfume)

If you’re a beauty fan, you might be housing a collection of make-up, skincare and more.

While our intentions are always good, we don’t always end up getting through them quite as quickly as we think.

But cosmetics all have a used by date and “you can often tell from their smell or texture when these are past their best”, says Elizabeth.

But if not, she explains: “A lot of toiletries and cosmetics also show on the back of their packaging how long after opening they expire, for example, ‘18M’ is 18 months after opening.”

5. Invitations, greetings cards & event programmes

“Sort through these and let go of any that don’t hold a truly special place in your heart,” the decluttering queen advises.

Adding: “Only keep those that are really sentimental in a special box dedicated to such items, a ‘memory box’.”

6. Houseplants’ soil

You might not think it but your good ol’ houseplants need some sprucing up every now and then – and what better time to do it than the start of the year.

In fact, Elizabeth says to replace the soil in your indoor plants to ensure the dirt drains well and there’s enough nutrients in the soil.

Plus, doing this helps you see that the roots haven’t become too pot-bound. 

You need to chuck out old soil in your plants and replace it with new soil3

You need to chuck out old soil in your plants and replace it with new soilCredit: Getty

7. Loyalty cards

Costa Coffee, Marks and Spencer or Starbucks, whatever popular chain you’ve committed to in the form of a loyalty card it’s time to say goodbye.

Elizabeth says: “Cut up or shred any old loyalty cards in your wallet that you no longer need or use.”

Instead, she says to store the cards you use on an app like Apple Wallet or Stocard.

This means you can “declutter your wallet and swipe points cards using your phone when shopping.”

So it’s a win-win for you and your wallet.

8. Old prescription glasses

A new set of frames can cost you a chunk of cash, but when your eyesight changes, so does the frames you wear.

This often means we end up with glasses we no longer wear but are too afraid to get rid of – but Elizabeth has an alternative.

“There’s no point holding on to old prescription glasses unless you want to keep the frames,” she says.

“You can donate old glasses and sunglasses at most opticians and some charities as well.

“Alternatively, you could sell your designer glasses on eBay and Depop as many people love a designer bargain!”

9. Presents

Christmas time often leaves us with a pile of new gifts, compounded by the unwanted pile still hanging around from last year.

But the new year is the perfect time to rid your home of that massive stash and it’s time to be brutal.

Teh organising pro says: “If you have a box or drawer of presents to give to other people, have a clear-out and let go of any that aren’t looking their best.

“Donate ones that you can’t think of anyone who you would gift them to.”

10. Old keys

When you never quite know what to do with a key you no longer use, they usually end up in a tray, bowel or box somewhere you’ll soon come to forget.

But if you end up with a pile of keys and have no clue what they’re actually for, then, my friend, it’s time to say good bye and throw them in the bin.

“Check your home locks and suitcases to make sure they don’t fit in any of them and then discard any that don’t fit,” Elizabeth advises.

Adding: “Label keys you are keeping so you know what they belong to!”

You don't need a bunch of keys laying around if you don't know what they unlock3

You don’t need a bunch of keys laying around if you don’t know what they unlockCredit: Getty

We also revealed the easy ways to store your Christmas decorations so they’ll last year after year – and save you time & space too.

Plus a budgeting expert revealed how YOU can save £100 per week without any effort.

And you can make up to £2k by renting out items you don’t use – so do you have any of these things lying around?

Declutter queen shows all the things that you could be throwing away to clear out your home

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