15 Things You Should Throw Away Right Now

Photographed by Anna Alexia Basile.
Forget spring cleaning, now is the time to clear the clutter out of your life. Instead of scheduling an all-day, marathon housekeeping session, kick off the New Year by simply throwing out all of the obsolete stuff you’re hanging onto. It doesn’t actually require any scrubbing, but it will definitely clear up your home — and headspace.

To make your life a little easier, we've put together a list of household items that are a lot more expendable than you probably think. Some can be sold or donated (timeworn clothes and outdated technology), while others should be disposed of immediately. Either way the bottom line is the crap has got to go. From expired sauces to dried-out mascara, here are 15 things you need to get rid of ASAP.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
We all love hanging on to sauce freebies — shout out to Mickey D’s — and half-empty bottles of paprika, but the truth is, they’re taking up valuable fridge and kitchen storage space. So check the expiration dates on those old spices and condiments, and handle accordingly.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Sure, you paid 10 bucks for that pack of Tylenol PM two years ago, and we feel you, but if it’s past its expiration date, good riddance. Along with occupying much-needed space in your medicine cabinet, taking expired pills could do you way more harm than good. Just make sure you dispose of them properly.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Unless you’re planning on using them one last time for a blowout cleaning sesh, your shabby bath and kitchen towels have got to go. Not only can they make your place look less-than put together, after time, they can grow mold and mildew. Yuck.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Dish sponges are a breeding ground for gross germs and bacteria. A good rule of thumb is to throw yours out every two weeks — or the second they start to smell — to keep your kitchen sanitized.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
We don’t care how often you scrub down your shower curtains and liners, after three months, they need to be replaced. Though often touted as “mold-resistant,” most plastic curtains are still mildew magnets. So unless yours are made of cloth (and can go in the machine), just say sayonara.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
While throwing out mail might seem like a no brainer, chances are you’re still hoarding tons of unopened credit card applications and already-paid bills. Now’s the time to finally invest in a cheap paper shredder, enroll in online bill-paying, and say goodbye to all those pesky papers once and for all.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
As much as we’d like to believe you when you say you’re going to make something special with your stockpile of empty wine bottles, we know better. If you plan on putting those pins to action in the next day or two, excellent. If not, we suggest you only save the cork and finally bid those bottles adieu.

Same goes for the nearly empty alcohol bottles cluttering up your bar cart. That tiny bit of vodka is never going to be used for baking. Make a night of it, and take the half-shot — or save yourself the hangover and just pour it down the drain. We won't judge you either way.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Since there’s always a chance we may need them later, it’s only natural to want to hang onto some of the peculiar but expensive-looking cords we accumulate over time. However, if you haven’t the faintest clue what that curious charger or plug belongs to, let it go.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
You and your fringe mini-skirt have a lot of great memories together, but be honest, you haven’t worn it in over a year and you probably aren’t planning to again. If the same can be said for most of your wardrobe, you’ve got some serious selling and donating to do.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Like it or not, most of your beloved beauty products have a surprisingly short lifespan — especially eye makeup. Sort through all of your cosmetics and toss any foundations, creams, powders, and lipsticks that are over a year old and any eyeliners, mascaras, shadows, or lip glosses you’ve had for more than six months. And it's definitely time to toss any unused samples that are cluttering your makeup bag.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Even if you start out with a full set of dinnerware, at some point pieces chip, break, or get misplaced. And chances are your cabinet is stocked with a mix of free coffee mugs you've collected here and there. Take a few minutes to clear out the unused dinnerware you don't like very much and make room for a few fresh pieces.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? Stop what you're doing, make a dentist appointment, and then swing by the drugstore to get a new toothbrush. Make good dental hygiene a priority in 2017.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Look, we love collecting cool magazines as much as the next millennial, but unless you’re looking to fill an empty bookshelf, the bulk of them need to go. So pick out your favorites (or better yet, just tear off and save the covers) and recycle the rest.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
True, your unused turntable and Gossip Girl DVDs might look super dope in your apartment, but do you really need them? Do yourself a favor and start the year by recycling any outdated or broken technology. There's no reason to be holding onto that iPhone 5S with the shattered screen. Recycle!
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
If you haven’t already made a habit of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, now is the time to start. Not only can your stash of plastic shopping bags grow out of control quickly, they’re seriously hurting the environment.
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