10 Things You Should Throw Away Before 2018

The best way to usher in fresh and better things in the new year is to make room by purging your apartment of all the unwanted mess that's been taking up space in the past 12 months (or longer).

While we desperately want to simplify and get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose in our lives, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you prep for a total home cleanse, we've tapped Erin Rooney Doland, editor-at-large at Unclutterer.com, to share the top 10 things you should bid farewell to before the end of the year. And, we're not asking you to dump everything in the trash: Doland has also included brilliant suggestions for recycling. Click through for a much tidier 2018.

illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Unwanted Toiletries

Do you have a drawer full of unopened travel-sized shampoos you've collected during your travels? Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, and other unopened toiletry items are often welcome donation items at homeless and women's shelters.

Or maybe you decided you really don't like a face wash after you've used it a few times. Doland recommends posting a photo of what you're looking to toss on social media. "What you no longer want might turn out to be a friend's favorite product."
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Worn-Out Bedding And Towels

These well-used items can take up a lot of room in your closet. According to Doland, the best place to give them a second life is an animal shelter or vet's office. "Animals often need to be bathed in these facilities — they'll need tons of towels and blankets to find comfort in."
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Spare Hangers

Unwanted hangers take up lots of space. If your closet is overflowing with metal ones from the dry cleaner, take them back to the cleaners — most have collection bins right inside the door.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Spices And Spice Packets

You might not notice this, but there are manufacturing codes on the bottle packaging of your store-bought spices. Most spice producers have an online feature where you can check the freshness of your specific container using the code. This will help you determine whether it's time to throw out the contents and recycle the bottles. Only repurchase spices as you need them.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Cookbooks

Are you keeping a cookbook around because you love a single recipe in it? Photocopy or photograph the recipes you like and donate the book to your library, favorite used bookstore, or friend who will take full advantage of every page.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Glasses

Old glass frames, with or without prescription lenses, might be cluttering up your drawer or nightstand. "If your eye doctor's office doesn't participate in a recycling program, stores like Target and Walmart will gladly take them," says Doland. "Approach the customer service desks to find out where the donation receptacles are located."
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Outdoor Equipment

Biking, camping, and sports equipment are bulky and likely to be quite expensive. If they are in good condition, bring them to a consignment shop. If there aren't any sports gear resale shops in your area, selling the item online is the next best option. The last resort? Your local scouting troop might be open to donations.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Formal Wear

Evening gowns, tuxedos, dress shoes, and rhinestone jewelry take up tons of space and has very little everyday use. If you're looking to get rid of unwanted formal wear, Doland suggests approaching the theater department at your local high school to take them off your hands.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Framed Artwork

Is there artwork on your walls that no longer interests you? Try selling it on Craigslist. "If you don't want to deal with the hassle of selling the piece, contact your local library," says Doland. "Many libraries have artwork loans where you can check out works of art, just like books, and they accept donations to their collections."
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Product Packaging

Unless you plan on reselling certain electronics you purchased (having the original packaging increases the item's worth), your product packaging should always be recycled. "Collecting cardboard is a fire hazard and takes up a lot of space unnecessarily," says Doland.
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