12 Things You Won't Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today

I'm a frugal person. I also love to upcycle. So how should you handle items in your home that you aren't using now, but are worried may come in handy someday? While it's a good idea to make a personal assessment of most every item in your home, there are some items you shouldn't waste your time considering. (See also: 10 Useful Items You Should Never Throw Out)

Here is a list of 12 old things you can safely part with, minus the regret.

1. Outdated Clothing

Imagine my surprise when I saw some very 80's looking shirts hanging up at a local Target store; they brought me back to a time when I wore very similar items! The fact that clothing goes in cycles is not reason enough to keep them around, however. In addition to the fit being an issue (can you really wear the same clothes you did 30 years ago? Should you?), there are modern details that most vintage-inspired pieces depend on to be trendy. Your acid wash jeans, for example, may have too much of a "mom fit" to qualify for cutting edge today. Donate, sell, or toss.

2. Cables, Cords, and Wires for Old Electronics

I was just as surprised as you when the government made digital TV a thing, and people started buying up rabbit ears to get their local news. This was an anomaly, however, and most of the accessories you used for your television in the 90's are seriously defunct. Toss out that RF modulator and coaxial cable adapter. Even Goodwill won't want them.

3. Toys That Take Specialized "Cartridges"

Brands like Leapfrog and VTech are notorious for releasing the hot new toys each holiday, complete with a line of games and upgrades that only work with that year's new thing. Unless you have the complete collection with enough entertainment hours to keep someone happy for awhile, most kids don't want to try to round up the matching components for 2009's doorbuster deal.

4. Underwear or Lingerie That Might Fit Someday

Unless you recently had a baby and are certain you may squeeze back in within the next 10 months, ditch the dainties from a skinnier you and buy something that you feel comfy in. If you do, indeed, drop the pounds, you can celebrate with a nighty or briefs that reflect your new physique. Think of it as a celebration!

5. Old Makeup

Once opened, cosmetics last for less time than you think. Give it a toss if it's been longer than six months since you bought it. Sooner if it smells or is truly out of season.

6. Old Paint

It's possible to blend similar paints together for a cheap coverup for a single wall or outside shed. Most people don't aspire to do this, and if paint has been exposed to extremely hot or freezing temps, the paint won't be good anyway. Be sure to dispose of it according to the rules and regs for your area to avoid any hazardous consequences to the environment. This includes cans of spray paint and spray foam, which lose their propellant over time.

7. Old CRT Monitors and Televisions

These clunkers suck energy and take up precious desk space. Considering that a decent LED monitor can cost under $100, it's best to set these dinosaurs out on the curb.

8. Spices

Not sure when you'll ever use ground lemongrass? If you have opened spices that don't fit your cooking style, you might want to give them a sniff — and throw out the odorless ones. Dried spices that have been stored around your stove, and have been exposed to high temps, should be the first to go.

9. Textbooks

Professors can be prickly about letting college students use older editions of textbooks, especially for those which are updated often (like law books.) Skip the odds of getting misinformation — or a bad grade — and opt to borrow or rent the most revised edition.

And if you've been keeping your college textbooks around since you graduated — why? If you haven't cracked them open again yet, you aren't going to.

10. Medicines

If your OTC meds don't have an expiration date, have been opened, and don't come with any memory of when you last used them, dispose of them responsibly. If they came with an Rx toss them as soon as your prescription expired.

11. Canned Goods

Follow the same rules for canned food as you would for meds. No date? Don't bother keeping it around.

12. Kitchen Appliance Piecemeal

That blender without a lid? Coffee machine that requires expensive pods you can't seem to find in the store anymore? Both are just taking up precious kitchen counter real estate and should be gotten rid of. If an appliance is missing vital parts, just scrap them; otherwise, your local used store can likely sell donations of a complete unit.

Tossing stuff is hard, especially if you have fond memories of using it. If you don't remember the last time you put it to good use, or you really don't care for it much, anyway, you can add even more useless items to your "toss it" box!

What are you keeping around that you know you should toss? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture

Setting a CRT Monitor or a TV on the curb around here will get you a $500 fine. You need to deliver it to the recycling center (20 mile round trip) and pay $25 for the privilege.

Guest's picture

Before you do that, try Best Buy. I think all their stores will recycle old electronics, TVs etc. at no cost.

Guest's picture
Jim S

A company in the Omaha area called http://throwoutthejunk.com/ takes CRTs, computers, scrap metal, wire etc for no charge. They have helped me a lot. And for valuables to give away, Salvation Army is a wonderful cause to support, much better than Goodwill.