What are the top five things you can do
  1. DONATE: Time to turn what's old for you into a gift for someone else.
  2. DECREASE: Pare down those extra, under-used items.
  3. DISCARD: make a decision on what to do with them ... and take action!
  4. DISPOSE: get rid of the things whose use has expired.
  5. DIGITIZE: make your data far more accessible

4. Dispose
Other things that have outlived their useful lives are easier to get rid of. At least once each year, do a ruthless purge of your office supplies, kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers to get rid of things that have expired, are no longer in peak condition


  • Foodstuff. Spices that are more than a year old (they don't have much "spice" left anyhow), remnants of bags of staples (noodles, rice, etc.) and items purchased for particular recipes that you are not likely to use again.
  • Medicines and personal care items. Makeup that is more than a year old, medicine that you no longer take and things like combs missing half their teeth should all go.
  • Office supplies that don't really serve any purpose can include old rubber bands that have become brittle, bent and rusted paper clips, pens without caps, dried-up markers and oddly-sized or colored envelopes purchased for a one-time project.

The Smart Slant:
Before you toss it, consider whether it can be donated or repurposed. With school budgets under pressure, supplies such as pens may be welcome. Soup kitchens may be glad to get your spices. Things like pill bottles can be used for storing coins in your car or small items like safety pins anywhere you may need them (wash the bottles and remove the labels first).

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