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40 Things No Woman Over 40 Should Have in Her House

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But no judgement if you do.

40 Things You Can Get Rid of Without Missing - How to Declutter Your Home

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It’s time to declutter your life.

1 of 40

A Dust Ruffle

It’s basically just an excuse to hide clutter that you probably forgot existed.

2 of 40

Yellow Towels

While washing your towels after every three uses and giving them a vinegar treatment will typically keep ’em fresh, if they’re discolored, it’s time to pony up for new ones.

3 of 40

Shoes That Hurt

No matter how cute they are or how perfectly they pair with your LBD, if your heels hurt so much that you avoid wearing them—or worse, wear them and have to hobble all day—add your kicks to the donation pile.

4 of 40

Shoes That Smell

Like it or not, your shoes are already tracking bacteria all of over your house. Don’t let the stench travel too. If the odor reaches your nose, buy some new sneaks.

5 of 40

Souvenir Shot Glasses

If you can toss back a tipple in one of these and think back fondly on the trip you took, then by all means, keep one or two around for a wild game night. But if your collection is filled with unsentimental gifts, give something else the chance to gather dust.

6 of 40

Bridesmaid Dresses

You have the photos, you have the memories, and you don’t need the clutter. Can’t seem to part with all that taffeta? Turn them into dress-up clothes for your little one.

7 of 40

Bras That Don’t Fit

If your girls are bulging out, your straps are digging into your shoulders, or your cups are gaping, it’s time to give up on your old standby. Same goes for any bras that are really starting to show their age.

8 of 40

“Skinny” Jeans

We’re not referring to the style of your jeans, but rather those jeans you’ve held onto since you were 20, hoping they’d one day fit again. As Marie Kondo would say, don’t keep anything in your closet that doesn’t spark joy. Same goes for things that don’t button.

9 of 40

Orphan Socks

We don’t know why socks always run away after laundry sessions, but we do know that their fallen brethren aren’t worth holding onto. Unless you’re really into puppets.

10 of 40

Old Trophies

Yes, your kid is #1, but if your kid is also no longer actually a kid, take a #shelfie of all of the participation trophies she’s gathered over the years and frame that instead to make room for more memories.

11 of 40

Ketchup Packets

Go ahead and treat yourself to a fresh bottle that won’t make your fingers smell like vinegar every time you eat a french fry. You deserve it.

12 of 40

Frameless Posters

…or basically any decor that looks like you bought it in your college bookstore. If it’s a poster you love, frame it. Any inexpensive frame will do!

13 of 40

CDs on Display

…that is if you haven’t touched them since 2010 because Alexa plays all your music now. If that’s the case, let something more useful take up bookcase space.

14 of 40

Ancient Gardening Gloves

Of course there’s nothing wrong with getting a little dirt on your fingers, but if your gloves are too beat up, you could be susceptible to injuries. Consider repurposing them and the rest of your old tools into pretty DIY projects.

15 of 40

Plastic Chairs

You take pride in your backyard, and the simplest way to show that to your guests is by upping your chair game. And once you’ve swapped out the flimsy ones, here are more ideas for how to beautify the space.

16 of 40

Basic String Lights with Broken Bulbs

With so many dreamy ways to decorate year-round with twinkly lights, why settle for standard strands when bulbs now come in so many different magical styles.

17 of 40

Expired Spices

The rule of thumb is that ground spices are good for about two to three years while whole spices can last up to four.

18 of 40

Cookware With Last Year’s Breakfast Baked On

Some things, like the cast iron skillet you inherited from your mom, can stand the test of time. But that once non-stick pan you bought at the dollar store should probably go if it still has residue or rust even after you’ve given it the white vinegar treatment.

19 of 40

Old Phones

If you upgraded to a smartphone years ago and that Krzr is still sitting in your junk drawer, donate it to someone who can get more use out of it than you will. Contact your carrier to see if they work with any charities, or look into organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers.

20 of 40

Wire Hangers

Those annoying things are always causing dents in your favorite dresses and getting tangled up in your freshly organized closet. Switch to wood or fabric and upcycle the wire ones into a whimsical Christmas craft.

21 of 40

Makeup That’s Past Its Prime

Concealers and liquid foundation can last for six months. After that you risk bacteria growing in the vile (yum!) while mascara should be chucked after three months. The good news is that your favorite lipstick and gloss can keep for two years.

22 of 40

Takeout Containers

Odds are your favorite Chinese food place has an online menu. Trash the papers, but keep the coupons.

23 of 40

Business Cards

If you can no longer remember where you met the person whose card has been living in your wallet for two years, then say goodbye. However, if you happen to be holding onto a stash of contacts you want to network with, then use a rainy Sunday to digitize the good ones and recycle the duds.

24 of 40

Dated Paint

Sure, paint that’s stored properly in a dark, dry spot can last for a decade, but that doesn’t mean you should hold onto that chartreuse can you thought was a good idea in ’99 but never used. Instead, try on a color that will make you happy.

25 of 40

Broken Umbrellas

This one should go without saying, but why are they so hard to part with?

26 of 40

Stinky Tupperware

If it starts to permanently smell like leftovers, gets cracked or is discolored from too much time in the microwave, you should replace the plastic containers.

27 of 40

Scattered Buttons

Unless of course you plan to use those abandoned buttons for a cute craft or have them prettily organized in a mason jar, those stray buttons lingering in old coat pockets aren’t doing you any favors.

28 of 40

Old Holiday and Birthday Cards

There comes a time in every adult’s life when she should say sayonara to cousin Suzie’s generic greeting card from 2013. Ditto for the one with the photo of her sweet kids and Santa—you can cherish that pic on Instagram, anyway. If you’re looking to make your own cards (even though they might be destined for Suzie’s waste basket too) here are some jolly tutorials.

29 of 40

Creepy Old Dolls

If they start to give you the willies, or look like they’re always judging you, don’t keep them around.

30 of 40

Craft Supplies From a Forgotten Hobby

Tried to take up knitting but never got the hang? Thought you’d become a master scrapbooker but got bored after the first page? There’s no shame, but there’s also no reason to keep that stuff from a bygone impulse sitting around.


Deputy Editor, OprahDaily.com
Brie Schwartz is an editor, writer, and content strategist.

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