If you have balls for the kids or grandkids, check that they are still in good condition. If they are deflated, will they hold more air when inflated? Before replacing that soccer ball or playground-style ball, consider the last time your kids or grandkids went looking for the items. If it’s been a while, don’t worry about holding onto the old items or purchasing new.
Reusable water bottles are one of those useful freebies that gyms, physical therapists, and conferences hand out to participants because they help cut down on disposable plastic bottles. However, after a while, you may discover that you have a cabinet full of these bottles, most which you never use.
Sort through what you have and keep the best. If you have kids who are always forgetting their water bottle on the bus or at camp, then chances are you appreciate the extra bottles (because you know they aren’t really extras but items waiting to be used and lost). If you know someone with kids, see if they need the water bottles you don’t.
If the spout isn’t chewed, you can donate your extras
Do you have two sets of five-pound hand weights? Similar resistance bands and exercise tubes? Two stability balls? Yoga mats in different colors?
Question if the duplicates serve a purpose. Save the best and pass along the duplicates.
If this doesn’t apply to you: Think twice about making a purchase that would bring a potentially unnecessary item into your home.
Gather in one place any sports equipment that you own. Encourage your family to do the same.
Do you still participate in these sports?
If so, do you have duplicate equipment because you upgraded without getting rid of the older items?
Do your kids have equipment that they’ve outgrown? (Could you sell these items?)
Is the equipment in good condition?
Do you use everything you have or are there pieces that could be sold, donated, or, perhaps, tossed? If you are telling yourself that you will get back to participating in a sport, when will that be? Can you block out your schedule … or, is it time to acknowledge that your life has changed, and you can enjoy your memories and release some expectations?
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate one kitchen gadget you don’t use.
I know, it’s easy to think that if we own a piece of exercise equipment it will be convenient to use at home any time of day. Unfortunately, these good intentions don’t always keep us motivated.
The piece of exercise equipment that you decide to eliminate from your home could be something large, like a treadmill, or small, like resistance bands. It could be that oh-so-enticing as-seen-on-TV workout gear.
If the item is in good condition, you could sell it, give it to a friend, or donate it. Chances are you won’t get what you spent for the equipment, particularly larger pieces.
If you think you’ll get around to using this piece ‘someday,’ make that day today. Can you use the item three times this week? If not, release it.
Like anything broken, get rid of the item. Particularly if you’ve purchased a replacement. Even if you haven’t replaced the item, if an item doesn’t work, why are you keeping it?
Today’s item can be an old bathroom scale or kitchen scale that you no longer use because for whatever reason the item doesn’t work.
Don’t have a broken scale? Do you have some other damaged item that you’ve been keeping instead of tossing?
(Every time my parents bought a new toaster, the old one went up into the attic. Why? The only reason they replaced the toaster was because it wasn’t toasting the bread or was burning it. What situation did they imagine that would make them want to use something that didn’t work the way it was supposed to?)
Only if this doesn’t apply to you – delete 5-10 digital photographs.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.