Some homes have that certain je ne sais quoi. You know the feeling that washes over you? You feel calmer, at peace, joyful, clearer-headed. That’s partly due to what’s not there – the lack of clutter, the absence of shabby linens and obsolete technology. Here are a few things happy people don’t keep in their homes.
Published March 18, 2019, Updated January 16, 2020
There’s nothing more depressing than the brown, crispier-than-Cornflakes fronds of a palm tree in a room. Give the poor, once-healthy plant the burial it deserves. Doing so instantly improves your home’s feng shui – and makes you think twice before dropping a mint on a plant that you have no idea how to keep thriving.
Related: 15 Plants That’ll Help With Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Overflowing Dish Racks
A tangle of plates and cups – whether clean or dirty – does nothing for your counters, except hog up valuable real estate. You could have a nice (healthy!) plant in its place, a trio of shapely cutting boards or a sparkling clean countertop. Anything is better than a messy dish rack. Check out these ways you can organize your kitchen like Marie Kondo.
Junk Mail and Other Miscellaneous Papers
Product manuals, long-dead appliance manuals, takeout menus, old greeting cards, expired coupons and ancient receipts. Are any of these papers hanging around your house? Then it’s time to you embark on a paper-eradication mission immediately! Conquering the clutter satisfies the soul – as this gorgeous room proves! These productivity hacks will motivate you to do those pesky household chores.
Old Clothes That No Longer Fit
Sorry to break it to you, but those pre-pre-pre pregnancy skinny jeans you’ve been hanging on to since you were 25 aren’t going to miraculous allow for extra thigh room. Good riddance! You deserve to have clothes that boost your self-esteem anyway. You can also try these tricks to instantly reduce stress at home.
Tattered or Painful Shoes
Hooray for the sneaker trend! Comfy shoes rock. There’s really no point in hoarding heels that threaten to snap your ankle in two every time you take a step in them. Pack up the lot to donate (or take them to a consignment store) and don’t think twice about it. As for the worn-out shoes, unless you’re angling after a hobo chic look, you should cut yourself loose from them once and for all.
Related: 10 Ways Your’re Making Housework Tougher Than it Needs to Be
Expired Beauty Products
You know that little symbol that has a 6, 12 or 24 denomination on your foundation and such? That’s there for a reason. It means that if you picked up that ruby-red lipstick in 2014, it’s not a great idea to smear it over your mouth now. We’re not quite sure what happens after those seemingly arbitrary dates, but we’re guessing makeup that’s years off its mark is a spoiled candidate for the trashcan. Check out these inclusive beauty lines to know and love beyond Fenty.
Set aside an afternoon to pull everything out of the fridge. Is there an inch of glued-on sauce at the bottom of a bottle? Toss it. Ditto the miso paste you used once five years ago for that deeply unsatisfying recipe. Replace only the items you will actually use this century back in the fridge. And be sure to wipe everything down first, including the fridge itself. Now do the same with the pantry. Don’t forget to chuck the ancient spices that have lost their zing. No, cardamom doesn’t last for five years. You can also check out how these nutritionists organize their fridge.
Mismatched Food Storage Containers
Isn’t it the absolute worst when a lid goes MIA for a specific vessel? If it’s truly MIA, as in you haven’t seen it since your ex-boyfriend moved out last year, chances are you will never find it again. Come to think of it, lots of lids and containers mysteriously vanished and became mismatched when Mr. Wrong moved out. Hmmm…. anyway, start fresh with a new batch and try to keep it under control this time.
Related: The Healthiest Meal-Prep Lunch Ideas That Won’t Get Soggy
Unnecessary Small Appliances (or Doubles)
One good can-opener, one excellent garlic press, one great rolling pin. You get the drift. Your drawers don’t need to be stuffed with doubles or triples and if you haven’t used that little yet oddly bulky mechanical onion chopper, you should get rid of it. Liberate your shelves!
Related: Our Editors Share the Top Kitchen Appliances They Can’t Live Without
Unless it’s serving as cool decor (hello, Remington typewriter, you steely demi-god), then you don’t need a dud of a discman hanging around. It’s time to cast off the past and head into the future with simple, sleek technology.
Old Towels and Bedding
Animal shelters and vets are always on the hunt for towels and bedding for our fuzzy friends. Make a few calls and get rid of those old textiles. You’ll be doing a good deed and freshening your pad at the same time. For more inspiration, check out the biggest home trends in 2020, according to HGTV Canada stars.
HGTV your inbox.