Professional Organizer Shares The 9 Things People Should Throw Away Immediately

Organize your home to ease your mind.

woman sorting clothes Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Keeping your home clean and organized is no easy feat. Everyday clutter can build up in a way that feels totally overwhelming. 

Allyson Cartwright, a professional organizer, has devoted her career to helping people clear out items they no longer need to make sure their homes are as comfortable as possible.



The professional organizer shared 9 things people should throw away immediately:

1. Empty electronics boxes

With every new iPhone comes an iPhone box that inevitably gets shoved in a drawer, just in case you need it someday. But Cartwright wants people to get rid of those boxes. “You’re likely not going to sell that old electronic, and if you are, you don’t need the box,” she insisted. 


She advised taking a photo of any warranty information for your records and then getting rid of the boxes because all they’re doing is taking up space. 

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2. Old mail

“I can’t tell you how many people have piles and piles of old mail just taking up space in their house because they’re scared of getting their identity stolen if they throw it in the garbage can,” Cartwright shared. “If that’s something that you’re worried about, buy a shredder and shred that [expletive].”


Professional Organizer Shares The 9 Things People Should Throw Away ImmediatelyPhoto: Usoltsev Kirill / Shutterstock

3. Clothes that don’t fit

In a world of fast fashion, it’s not uncommon for people to have more clothes than they actually wear. Cartwright shared her top tip for culling your closet, starting with getting rid of the clothes that no longer fit.

“Throw away the clothes that don’t fit you," she advised. "It is so beyond unhealthy to have clothes in your closet that you feel like you need to shrink or grow into. Have clothes that fit you and make you feel good!”


4. Wire hangers

The organizer also advises people to get rid of the wire hangers that come with your dry cleaning. 



“These hangers were designed to get your clothes from point A to point B, not to store your clothes on long-term,” Cartwright explained. “They bend and break so easily, and overall, they’re just terrible at storing your clothes.”

5. Plastic garment bags

“On that note, I also want you to throw away those thin, plastic garment bags that the dry cleaner gives you,” she continued. “I know these give the perception of your clothes being protected from the elements in your closet, but they can actually trap some harmful gas that can cause discoloration in your clothes.”


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6. Old socks and underwear

In keeping with the theme of cleaning out closets, Cartwright wants people to treat themselves right and throw away old, misshapen, and unmatched socks and underwear.

“These are items that can be replaced pretty easily, and these are items that should be replaced regularly,” she explained. 

She gave a quick breakdown of exactly how to know which socks and underwear to throw away, including “Anything with a stain or a hole in it” and “Any socks that don’t have a partner.”

She shared a tactic to sort these items with ease, advising people to get all their socks together, dump them into a pile, and then “shop through and actively choose the ones that you’re keeping. Everything else gets thrown out. Repeat with your underwear, and you’re done.”


7. Expired food

“Go into your kitchen and throw away all the expired food that’s existing in your refrigerator, your pantry, and your cabinets,” Cartwright said. “Take everything out, touch everything at least once, and while you’re at it, give your cabinets and fridge a good wipe-down.”



“This old and expired food is just taking up space in your kitchen, and it’s making you much less efficient,” she explained.

If you have food that hasn't expired but you don’t think you’ll use it, you can always donate it to a community fridge if your town has one


Expired medicine

Cartwright advised her followers that extra care should be taken when getting rid of old and expired medication, saying, “A lot of this stuff is not safe to flush down the toilet or put in the garbage can.” 

She suggested putting all expired medicine into a bag and bringing it to a drug take-back program, which is often located at pharmacies.

9. Old beauty products

The last thing she asked people to cull was their makeup and beauty products. She explained that makeup and lotions expire and “can harbor some pretty gnarly bacteria, so give yourself permission to get rid of the things that you’re not using.”

She told people to look up safe disposal methods, as some products can be hazardous to throw away.


In addition to offering practical guidance on how to stay organized, Cartwright shared her philosophy on organizing in general. 

“I’m using the phrase ‘Throw away’ as a blanket statement,” she explained. “Anything that can be donated should be donated; anything that can be recycled should be recycled. But some things are just garbage and should just go in the garbage can, and that is okay.”

Professional Organizer Shares The 9 Things People Should Throw Away ImmediatelyPhoto: RDNE Stock Project / Pexels 


“I also want to point out that organizing is not one-size-fits-all,” she added. “It’s really important to evaluate your own needs, your own habits, and your own goals when deciding what you want to keep and what you want to throw away.”

She revealed her reason for sharing these cleaning techniques with the world, saying, “I know so many people struggle with clutter and overwhelm in their home and I wanted to create some digestible content to help people take action today.”

Having a cluttered home can cause stress and anxiety. It can also make it hard to focus on other important tasks. Decluttering your environment can help ease depression and make you feel more at home in your own space.

As Cartwright shared, starting small is the best approach, so consider what you need versus what you don’t use anymore, and let what’s not serving you go.


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture and all things to do with the entertainment industry.