10 Things Everyone Should Get Rid Of

I am not a stereotypical minimalist. My Instagram feed is full of “traditional” minimalists, who own only 30 things, one pair of jeans, or who can fit everything they own in one backpack. I have things that I don’t need, things that I like for reasons I can’t explain (a Patrick Star stuffed animal, a motion-detecting fake fish that sings “Take me to the river,” weird earrings shaped like leaping fish). I have many books in my small college room, extra bedding, and many pairs of shoes. However, over the past year, I have reduced my belongings in half. I threw out, donated, or gave away more things I could count, things I had kept since my first year of boarding school five years ago, things I never used. Letting go doesn’t mean you have to live in scarcity; letting go of things you don’t need can help you appreciate what you do have. We can all afford to let some (at least ten!) things go. 

Here are 10 things to think about ditching: 

1. Samples, samples, samples!

As HC writers, we receive lots of samples from great companies all the time. It’s fun to try something new. It’s less fun to not be able to close your ‘junk’ drawer when you have too many. Throw them out! 


2. Old high school t-shirts

We all have a few of these shirts, usually with a gaudy print from a cross country team, middle school dance, or theater camp. We never wear most of these, usually keeping them around in case we need something to sleep in. Let’s be real, they’re taking up too much room and you’ll never use them. Donate! 


3. Pamphlets and various junk mail 

I know I used to keep around a ton of paper that I didn’t really need. Make sure to shred anything with confidential info. Consider scanning and storing important documents in the cloud, rather than your overstuffed desk drawer.

4. Clothes that no longer fit

We all have that pair of small “skinny” pants in our drawer from years ago. Keeping clothes that don’t fit doesn’t motivate us —  it deflates and discourages us. 


5. Gifts that you don’t use

You might feel guilty for donating gifted items that you don’t use, but the reality is keeping or donating these items doesn’t change the quality of your relationships. Pass them on to someone who needs them.

6. Doubles

I used to have about fifteen pairs of black leggings — my high school staple. I only wore about three of them. Cutting back on identical items that fulfill one purpose is not only efficient — it makes you more conscious of your consumption. If you love candles and have a stockpile, don’t buy any more until you’ve used what you have. 


7. Relationships that don’t fulfill you or bring you joy

Being selective about who we give time and emotional energy to is a crucial skill of preservation for ourselves. Learn to distance yourself from toxic individuals, and make your social life more fulfilling. We only have one life to live, don’t give your time and energy to people that don’t appreciate it. 


8. Everything in your junk drawer! 

Okay, maybe not everything, but turning over your junk drawer on the floor and realizing you don’t need most of what is in there is incredibly therapeutic. Ditch the clutter!


9. Negativity

Ditch complaining! Take control of your life. We can't always help our circumstances, but we do get to decide what we do with them. Don’t waste your thoughts or focus on things you can’t control. Focus on what you can. 


10. Time wasters 

Whether it be social media apps, solitaire, or Netflix binges, re-evaluate what you allow to take your time, and get rid of unproductive habits.


Minimalism is more about materialism. It’s about being conscious of our consumption and energy. We shouldn’t spend time doing things, or having things, that don’t have a purpose or that deplete our emotional, financial, or physical resources. 


Image Credits: Feature, 1, 2