50 Things Retirees Should Throw Out
Once you retire, you've hopefully got a lot of years of relaxation and enjoyment ahead of you, but there's nothing relaxing about a house that's full of things you're no longer using. This makes retirement a great time to go through your possessions and see what's it's time to get rid of.
Whether you need the extra space or the extra money, here are all the things it's fine to let go of in retirement.
If it's money you're concerned about during retirement, you probably don't have anything of larger value than your home. It can help provide some cushion if you're lacking in the savings department.
Selling your home can be a big and emotional decision, but it can really pay off too. Even downsizing from a $250,000 home to a $150,000 could save you over $6000 a year.
Your Children’s Old Stuff
This topic may be a bit controversial because no one wants to let go of the past, especially when it has to do with their kiddos. But, as life meanders the time will come when we must make that hard decision. Which refrigerator crayon picture is worth keeping, and which isn’t.
This decision definitely needs to be handled with a lot of care and thought. But, not every piece of macaroni art is a Picasso. Pick the ones that have memories tied to them and let the rest go. If you don’t have the guts to throw them away yourself, have someone else dispose of the reject pile. Or, box it all up and give it to your kids!
It's finally time to say goodbye to the stuffy, formal business clothes you were forced to wear when you were working. We're sure you're just heartbroken about that.
Getting rid of these clothing items is a great way to free up closet space. And while you probably won't make a killing off of them, you could always donate them to a friend who isn't fortunate enough to be retired yet.
Having a collection of some kind is a common, fun hobby. Having multiple collections that you can't even keep track of is not.
If your house feels like it's more kick knacks than a house, it's probably time to say goodbye to some of those collectibles. You might even luck out and have some rare stuff and make a pretty penny in the process!
Staying active during retirement is important, but that doesn't mean you need a fully stocked home gym. Getting rid of exercise equipment that's been collecting dust for years is another great option for downsizing.
Obviously keep what you'll use, but don't forget that exercising can be as simple as getting up and moving. And are you really going to shed a tear over that exercise bike?
Fine China used to be a family heirloom passed down through generations. But that trend has all but died at this point.
Unless you plan on becoming a master host, it's okay to part with the good China. It's more trouble than it's worth, anyways.
If you've got so much stuff that you can't even fit it all in your house, downsizing could be a great way to save money. No more monthly storage payments!
Even if you're not ready to part with everything you've got in storage, you can still make some inroads. Getting rid of some stuff and moving the rest into a smaller, cheaper unit might be all you need.
If you cook at home frequently, you know how the spice cabinet can get a bit crowded. You have your staples that you always go to, but then the rest of that stuff you may use once a year. If you didn’t know, those spices can and will expire before you know it! There are probably a few in there you didn’t even know about.
If you’re moving and downsizing, now is the perfect time to dig through those spices and throw away the ones that are past their prime. Spices are relatively cheap, so if you need a new one it’s no big deal to buy. But, housing all of those spices is nothing but a liability, and these days that’s the last thing you need.
No, you don't have to downsize to a horse-drawn carriage, but retirement is a good time to rethink your car situation. Things might have changed since your working days.
If you or your spouse don't plan on driving as much, it might be time to cut down from two cars to just one. Or if you've just got the one, it might be time for a more budget-friendly option.
When it comes to bed sheets, quality trumps quantity. So why not get rid of those old, ratty linens with holes in them?
If you don't want to toss them outright, sheets are perfect for repurposing into rags. At least they'll still have some value!
Cooking is a common hobby for people to take up during retirement, but if you have visions of fine dining and waiters taking care of your every need, then it could be the right time to ditch some of your kitchen equipment.
We wouldn't suggest going to the extreme--silverware could still come in handy! But any major appliances that you haven't used in forever could probably go.
Dirty Old Shoes
Listen, a good pair of shoes is hard to come by! And nothing can beat a good couple of years to break them in. However, if you find your closet overran by shoes that aren’t doing anyone any favors these days, you may consider letting them go live in the consignment store.
Or, maybe have a yard sale and put the proceeds to a new pair of shoes that make you feel your best! The older we get, the more we understand the importance of decent footwear, so even if it’s an investment spare some cash for a few good pairs that you can wear comfortably.
There's no need to burn your scrapbooks, but most people typically have more sentimental items than they want or need. Do you really need every stick figure drawing your kid made decades ago in first grade?
Going through sentimental items like these can be good for two reasons. For one, you're going through them all to make sure you've saved the really important stuff, but you're also giving yourself some peace of mind by decluttering your home.
At this point, you know what works for you. You’ve reached your pinnacle style and stick with your makeup staples. It’s great to explore sometimes with new looks and products, but for the most part, it’s the old favorites that get you by day today. Anyone regardless of age should do a makeup cleanup every now and then.
By retirement age, there are quite a few products that have made their way in your makeup bag that got used once, but never saw the light of day again. Like most things, makeup also has an expiration date and should be thrown out when it’s past due, so let these products go in grace.
Retiring is a major change, so why not change up the way your home looks in a major way? Getting rid of your old decor and bringing in something fresh can be fun and exciting.
If you're still rocking the same wallpaper you were when your kids were in diapers, it's time for a makeover. Your house will thank us!
Antiques You Don’t Care About
Over the years you find yourself with a menagerie of wonderful things you’ve collected. You’ve got your priceless prized possessions that someone will have to fight for after you’re gone, the not-so-prized items that just make you happy, but then you’ve just got the random old stuff that isn’t important to anyone.
Antiques are wonderful to have around, but if they’re not “bringing you joy” it may be time to tell those old friends buh-bye! Retirement is all about you! It’s time to downsize and let go of some of the things that served you well throughout the years…but is becoming more of a burden these days.
That giant Windows 95 PC you're keeping in the basement hasn't been usable for years. Getting rid of old computers and other electronics can really free up some space.
It seems like technology gets obsolete faster and faster every year, which means that it just piles up faster. Thankfully, you probably don't have any fond memories of that broken mouse, so parting with it shouldn't be too painful.
We get so used to having family dinners and feeding the masses, so shopping in bulk becomes a necessity! However, most people find in retirement, there’s no need for all those groceries! Besides, who wants to do all that cooking just to turn around and wash dishes for an hour.
If you wanted to do all that work, you’d have a job. We’re not saying that you’ll never cook at home ever again, but it may not be as much of a daily task as it used to be. Cooking for two, or even one, becomes a hassle in its own right, and we guarantee you’ll be taking it to-go more than you ever thought.
Once the kids are grown and out of the house, it can be tempting to preserve their bedrooms just like they used to be. But you're not doing them or yourself any favors!
It's time to toss out that uncomfortable twin mattress and turn the old kid's room into something you'll actually use and enjoy during retirement.
The days of the home phone have officially gone. It’s time to part with those yearly phone book subscriptions and contact info and definitively commit to the smartphone. It’s like a home phone and phonebook all in one! Besides, half of those phone numbers have probably changed since that book was published.
These days, we really need to be having conversations centered around preventing deforestation and climate change. So, cutting out something like a phonebook could decrease your household’s impact on the planet! If you still use your phonebook, just keep the most recent issue and recycle the rest.
You never know when you're gonna need those important documents you keep filed away. But something tells me that it's probably safe to toss your 1980s tax return at this point.
Old, unimportant files add up quickly, until your office looks like a warzone. Plus, keeping all those useless ones around just makes it harder to find the documents that you actually do need.
Anything That’s Too High-Maintenance
Listen at this point in time, you’ve been dealing with high-maintenance all your life. So, if you’re tired of being stressed or devoting all of your time and attention to the needs of others, consider ditching anything that’s too high-maintenance. It’s honestly the best way to live.
High-maintenance people can totally derail your day, so protect your peace and set some boundaries before you waste all your time trying to help someone who won’t help themselves. But, people aren’t the only things that can take up your time. Your possessions can too. Consider getting rid of anything that you don’t enjoy taking care of. Who needs that stress?
If you're a collector of good jewelry, you probably want to keep it. It's likely you paid handsomely for it, and it's got sentimental value.
However, if you're more a fan of bargain bin necklaces and rings, retirement is a good time to let go of some of that stuff, especially if it's broken. And don't worry--you can always replace what you toss with more!
Whether it's socks or lids and bowls, retirement is the perfect time to get rid of your missing pairs. The washer is never going to give you back your missing sock, so quit trying.
Save yourself the frustration of looking for a lost lid by just getting rid of the corresponding tupperware bowl. Problem solved!
If you went all out for Christmas because your kids loved it, that's wonderful. But you're retired, and they have kids of their own at this point. It's okay if your house doesn't look like Santa's workshop during the holidays anymore.
Getting rid of old holiday decorations can help you save space, but it can also help you stay safe. That string of Christmas lights you've had for 20 years is probably not fit to be plugged in at this point.
A bookshelf full of books you know that you'll probably never read can be more depressing than no books at all. If you haven't gotten around to Moby Dick by retirement, it's almost certainly not going to happen now.
Getting rid of old books is a great way to free up some extra shelf space. And if you want them to go to a good home, you could always make a donation to the library.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t finish their antibiotic prescriptions…this is an intervention to encourage you to take the full thing. Storing it in your medicine cabinet to use at a later date isn’t doing anybody any good. You need that full dose to really get the benefit your health insurance pays for.
Like all little cubbies in our house, after years and years, we can get an absurd amount of medication hoarded before we know it. Medications do have an expiration date, especially topical creams and ointments. So, it would be wise while you’re downsizing to weed out any expired medications.
If you're not a frequent or high-maintenance traveler, you probably don't need a 10-piece luggage set. Getting rid of extra bags and suitcases could be a great way to fund a staycation.
Keep the essentials, but everything else should go. That's especially true if your luggage is damaged.
Whether you're a retiree or at any other stage in your life, useless odds and ends are a constant struggle. And they're not going anywhere unless you do something about them.
Whether it's a simple junk drawer or your entire house, you'll feel better once all those knick knacks and loose ends you don't actually care about are gone.
Old phones don't take up as much space as some other useless stuff, but that's still no reason to keep them around. But here's a quick heads up before you go tossing.
Typically, it's not safe to just throw an old phone into the garbage. Because of the chemicals in the batteries, you should always check to see what the disposal process is for your particular brand.
Whether it's lawn darts or football pads, that sports equipment isn't doing anyone any good boxed up in the garage. It might be time to say goodbye.
Sports equipment is great yard sale fodder, and getting rid of it is yet another way to keep your clutter worries at bay.
It's fine if you want to fancy yourself a Bob Dylan-type. But let's be honest--that guitar hasn't been out of its case in years.
If they're high-quality and in good condition, selling your unused musical instruments can be very profitable. And I'm sure your neighbors would prefer you get rid of that trombone, too.
If you've downsized to a smaller home for retirement, it's likely all your outdoor equipment won't need to make the trip with you. And it's some of the stuff that can take up the most space.
Does a small lawn really require a massive riding mower? Probably not!
DVD and CDs
Unless you're a collector, you've probably moved from CDs and DVDs to streaming some time ago. So if you're no longer using them, why not get rid of them?
If your collection is big, selling your discs online could net you a pretty penny. But even if it's not worth millions, you'll make some room for things you actually use.
Retirement is supposed to be when you relax. So why not put down that power drill for good?
Free up some space in your garage and say goodbye to some of the tools you've accumulated over the years. Some are definitely worth keeping, but a few useless ones have probably slipped through the cracks!
National Geographic might be an exciting reading, but you definitely don't need every issue since 1970. We promise you won't miss yesterday's news.
Old magazines are an excellent and easy choice for the recycling bin. Just remember to cut out some letters if you've got any ransom notes to write.
Candyland might have been fun when your kids were six, but something tells me you're not playing it on a regular basis anymore. Donating old board games to someone who will actually use them is much better than letting them collect dust in your house.
But if you've got games with missing pieces, don't be afraid to just toss them right in the garbage. Those aren't going to be fun for anyone.
As the years go by, the likelihood of you having an old film projector lying around decreases dramatically. But if you're one of the 12 people who still have one, it's time to say goodbye.
Don't toss your old home movies too, though! They can be digitized so that you and your loved ones can continue to enjoy them for years to come.
Hopefully, by retirement age, we’ve figured out that towels need to be replaced after a few years. They get used, abused, and more often than not…washed completely wrong. Before you know it, you’ve got ratty-looking towels that absolutely no one wants to use.
Any person with half a brain knows when it’s time to get new towels…it’s not finding new ones that are the hard part, it’s letting go of the old ones. Every time we’re faced with ditching those old towels we come up with some excuses to keep them. Plot twist, you don’t need 32 towels to clean up those big messes…just a couple.
That Old Camera Recorder
Before the age of the smartphone, we all had those crazy video cameras that we filmed family holidays and get-togethers on. At the time, you could videotape right onto VHS so that you can enjoy your home movies! If you’re still recording on your video camera in hopes to keep all the footage together, don’t and we’ll tell you why.
Take your footage to a film specialist and have it saved digitally so you can have it on your computer for good. Then start videotaping on your smartphone! We understand the value of having your precious memories on something tangible, but why don’t we upgrade from a VHS tape to a DVD?
Old VHS Tapes
Unless you’re a certified film specialist chances are you don’t need all those VHS tapes cluttering up your closet. Get rid of them asap! They’re just taking up space and gathering dust. We love old movies as much as the next person, but now with this wonderful thing called streaming, those movies are a click away.
Beef up your internet package and subscribe to Amazon Prime Video and you can rent or buy pretty much every movie known to man! If you purchase the movie, it’s available at any time in your personal library on Amazon. This free’s up space in your house and also clears the clutter.
Everything in that Junk Drawer
Every house has one, that drawer full of random things that just happen to pile up there over time. Sometimes that drawer overflows and becomes two junk drawers! That’s how you know it’s becoming a problem. Retirement is all about cutting back and cutting down, so this is a great opportunity.
Chances are, you haven’t touched 90% of that stuff in that drawer. Keep the things that are really important, organize whatever you can, and get rid of the stuff you can’t. If you haven’t touched it in six months, it doesn’t deserve space in your drawer.
Servingware is one of those things that everyone gives as a gift. Miraculously, you look up one day at a mountain of platters, Corning ware, and dishes and think to yourself “How did this happen?” All those years of birthday parties and Christmas gifts were dumped into one cabinet, that’s how that happened.
Our advice to you is to take them all out of the cabinet, and if they dust on them…take them to your local donation center for someone else to use. Now, we all have our favorite pieces for when we are using our nice china, definitely keep those, but the rest need to find a new place to call home.
Anything That’s Not Yours
Retirement is a time when you can finally be all about yourself. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do, don’t talk to anyone you don’t want to talk to, and don’t be bothered by things that aren’t worth your time. It’s nice to allow someone (even family) to store their stuff in your space…but not after retirement.
No one really wants to be bothered by someone else’s stuff, most really don’t even want to be bothered by their own! If you’re holding on to your sibling, or child’s belongings, it’s time to make that phone call. Retirement is a time to downsize, and that doesn’t leave much room for someone else’s stuff in your house.
Miscellaneous Chords and Chargers
After buying a new gadget or console, we can’t even fathom that device not being a part of our daily lives. However, the way technology goes these days means that new devices and accessories are made every year! So, if you always want to keep up with the trends, you’ll be swapping out those devices frequently.
The problem is…these things aren’t cheap, at all! It’s hard to let go of those devices after their obsolete, and somehow even when you do, those chords and charges seem to stick around. Our advice is to do the big chord cleanout. Go through every drawer, cabinet, and storage bin. Find the most important chargers and chords, then find the strays. If they don’t match a device that you use, put them in a bin to be recycled.
It’s always smart to have your own office supplies around the house. You never know when you need to print something, staple some papers together, or mail a letter. However, after retirement, you may consider cutting down on your office supplies, especially if you were working out of your house.
Keep the essentials around, but the rest can go. Keep your office supplies to a minimum so that you can have what you need without the typical clutter that office supplies bring to a space. A small desk for your computer and one drawer of office supplies is all you need.
Those fake ficus trees and ivy plants that became popular in the ‘90s need to go. We know it feels luxurious to have wonderful greenery in your home, however, silk plants are not the way to get that earthy look. Fake plants do nothing for your environment but take up space and collect dust.
Plants can bring life to any space, but fake plants do something completely opposite. They just look dingy and dead. Now that you’re retired, you have the time to devote a little extra T.L.C. to a plant friend to brighten up your space. Consider getting something easy at first like a golden pothos or a Chinese evergreen.
The days of packing your lunch before you have to punch a clock are over! Thank goodness. So, all those lunch pales may need to go find new homes. The chances you’ll ever use those little lunch pales again are pretty slim, so don’t hold on to them.
We know it’s hard to let go of something that was once so useful, but like all good things, they’re good for a time and then it’s time to let them go. That trusty lunch box was by your side for probably decades, and it might be a little bitter-sweet to let go of, but we promise you’ll love the free’s up storage space.
Keepsakes You Don’t Care About Anymore
Being a sentimental person is a great attribute. It’s great to remember the past, and oftentimes little items can help us do that. But, at some point, we may have too many of those little keepsakes, and the sweet memories of the past start becoming more of a burden.
Here’s a little secret, your memories aren’t kept to those little keepsakes, your memories are in your heart! We’re not saying to get rid of all your precious trinkets, but if a few don’t bring the same joy that they used to, maybe consider passing them down to your children.
Bulky Old TVs
Holding on to that TV you bought in 2003? Can we ask you one question? Great, why though? TVs were seriously overpriced twenty years ago, so we understand the sentiment of holding on to a significant investment in your entertainment. However, times have changed and you can pick up a decent TV for a pretty fair price.
Besides, when your eyeballs can enjoy better picture quality and all the perks of a smart TV, you’re going to be asking yourself, “why in the world did I not do this sooner?” If you’re not currently using your old TV, but you’re holding onto it for a rainy day, this is your permission to go ahead and drop that puppy off at the donation center.