People tend to focus on the negatives of growing older, which is fair because there are plenty of them! But at least in my experience, there are also a few good things about getting older that help balance out the bad ones.
One aspect of growing older that I’ve been enjoying is that my patience for nonsense seems to be decreasing all the time! I not only feel more confident about what I want, but I also care less about the judgments of other people. I also have less patience for junk cluttering up my house, which brings us to the subject of today’s post!
Today we’ll be talking about the sort of junk that’s taking up space around your home, with a specific focus on things that you should know better than to keep – whether you’re 30, 40, or 50+! Far from being one of those judgmental lists that makes you feel bad about getting older, the purpose of this list is to empower you to get rid of the sort of unnecessary clutter that can build up over time.
As an older woman, I have found that the experience, wisdom, and maturity that comes with age can open up a more practical chapter in our lives…and our homes should reflect that! And believe me, it’s never too early to start.
So get those garbage bags ready, because by the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll be ready to do some serious decluttering.
15 Things That No Woman Over 40 Should Have
1. Shoes That Hurt
If you have shoes that make your feet ache or give you blisters when you wear them, get rid of them. There comes a certain point when the pain just isn’t worth it (no matter how cute they are!) Donate the shoes or sell them, and use the extra space to store your shoes that aren’t painful to wear!
2. Bras That Don’t Fit
One of the most frustrating things about bras is how many different ways they can not fit properly. At this point you should have a good idea of what your true bra size is, so you shouldn’t be hanging on to bras that don’t fit!
If you aren’t sure of your correct bra size, take the time to get fitted for one at a store you trust. (And hopefully it goes without saying, but if you have bras that are stretched out and worn through, toss those out as well!)
Related: How To Find Your Best Fitting Bra
3. Bridesmaid Dresses
We often keep bridesmaid dresses for far too long because we talk ourselves into believing we’ll actually wear them on some future occasion (yeah, right.) But if you’ve have one or more bridesmaid dresses hanging in your closet for a few years, it’s probably time to donate them (or add them to your little ones’ dress-up collection!)
4. CD Collection On Display
Unless you listen to CDs often, there’s no reason to have a huge stack of them out on display (especially if you use music streaming services!) Donate them and use the space for something else, or if you can’t bear to part with your CDs, store them in a space-saving CD binder instead. (The same might be true of your DVD collection!)
5. Flimsy Plastic Chairs
If you’ve got an outdoor space, you want your guests to feel at home while enjoying it. One of the best ways to do that is to give them something to sit on that isn’t made from flimsy, rickety plastic! Invest in some sturdier outdoor furniture that will look great and serve you well for years to come.
6. “Skinny” Jeans
I don’t mean the slim-fitting style of jeans—I’m talking about too-small jeans, especially the ones you cling to in hopes that you might fit into them someday! Keeping clothes that no longer fit is a slippery slope towards having a closet full of clothes you don’t actually wear.
It’s best to get rid of clothes that don’t currently fit, even if it means giving up those “aspirational” jeans. (Then if you do end up losing weight or improving your fitness for health reasons down the line, a new pair of jeans could make a nice reward for your hard work!)
7. Expired Spices
When was the last time you checked the expiration dates on your spices? Ground spices are usually okay to keep using for 2-3 years, while whole spices can stay fresh longer, up to 4 years or so.
8. Wire Hangers
Hanging shirts on wire hangers can result in unintended damage, especially when the thin surface of the hanger wears out the shoulders of shirts. Clear out all the wire hangers from your closet and replace them with wood or cloth hangers, and your clothes will thank you!
9. Concert Posters
Concert posters can indeed be hard to part with, especially if that U2 show really DID change your life! But if you have one or two posters that you simply must hang onto, you can make them a bit more display-worthy by putting them in a frame.
10. Expired Makeup
If you have any makeup that is past its expiration date, it’s time to toss it! Expired makeup can become a breeding ground for bacteria, and you don’t want to put that on your face! Concealers and liquid foundations should be good for around 6 months, while mascara should be replaced after 3 months.
11. Supplies From Abandoned Hobbies & Crafts
There’s no shame in trying out a new hobby and not sticking with it. In fact, good for you for trying something new! But if you have a stash of yarn somewhere you haven’t touched since, or a stack of scrapbook paper you haven’t used, it’s just unnecessary clutter you just don’t need anymore (but you can always give it to someone who does!)
12. Tax Records From 5+ Years Ago
It’s a good idea to hang onto tax records just in case, but you only need them for about 3 or 4 years in most cases. If you have a box of tax records from 2015 or earlier, shred them (and recycle the paper shreds, of course.)
13. A Box Of Cords
So many of us keep a box of random cords and cables somewhere because we “might need them!” But if you don’t know what those cords are now or where they came from, odds are that they won’t come in handy anytime soon. Keep the ones you need tidy and get rid of the rest.
14. Cheap Hair Ties
If you have hair ties that cause knots or yank out hairs, it’s time to upgrade. Replace them with gentler hair ties like yoga bands or scrunchies. (They are making a comeback, after all!)
15. Old Perfumes
While perfume doesn’t necessarily expire, the scent can change over time. Go through your scent collection (my current favorite is Michael Kors Wonderlust) and smell each one. If you don’t like the smell or it doesn’t smell quite right, toss it out.
Do you have any clutter or junk that’s been sitting around for years?