8 Things to Get Rid of in January
Okay, the fruitcake might last awhile. But here's what won't—or what just needs to go in the first 31 days of the year.
The Guides That Helped You Hit Your 2016 Goals
Look through your bookshelves; if you're ready to part with any nonfiction books on love, work or money, now's the time to do it. According to sales data from the online used-books emporium AbeBooks.com, the top sellers from the past three Januarys have included The Art of Public Speaking, by Stephen Lucas; The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron; The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman; and, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money— That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!, by Robert T. Kiyosaki.
The Storage Units That Held Everything You're Purging
Once you've cleared out some books, you may want to move out the containers that held them. This is your moment, since many people are inspired by decluttering resolutions in January and are looking to purchase storage-related furniture, such as bookshelves, dressers and credenzas. Vanessa Londono, community director at the classified advertising site Krrb, says sales of these types of items surge in the beginning of the year. Especially popular right now are reclaimed-wood shelves and midcentury modern shelving units.
The Greetings That Have Outstayed Their Welcome on the Mantel
You can clear out holiday cards without actually tossing them in the trash. If you're not going the crafty route of upcycling them into gift tags, you can donate them to a charity. (This one creates new cards out of them, which they then sell to support programs for children—and they only use the front part of the card, so you don't have to worry about sharing personal information.)
The Pans That Have Been in Rotation Since the Aughts
According to Martha Stewart, nonstick cookie sheets—like all nonstick cookware—must eventually be replaced, because the coating wears off. And assessing your inventory could be a good reminder that there are items you just don't use. If you haven't used them in years and they're scratched, with the nonstick coating visibly coming off, then toss the pans and don't buy new ones until you need them; if you just put yours through their paces for yet another holiday-cookie marathon in December, it may be time for replacements.
The Shoes Everyone (Except You) Wants Right Now
If your New Year's resolution includes cleaning out your closet, consider parting ways with any boots you no longer wear, or the ones that you bought months ago but have still never worn—which professional organizer Marissa Jacobs calls "PMs," or Purchasing Mistakes. In most parts of the country, winter apparel is in demand at least through February, which means there's a good chance someone wants your cold-weather gear. In particular, says Joanna Riedl, director of public relations for Poshmark, an online fashion marketplace for buying and selling, L.L. Bean duck boots, Hunter rain boots and any boots from Frye and Ugg are sought after.
The Ingredient You Bought Way Too Much Of
Many of us buy flour in bulk and store it until we need it for holiday baking—giving pantry pests plenty of time to creep their way in. Because flour has a shelf life of three to six months (up to eight months if stored properly), we typically don't think twice about letting it linger in our cupboards; but unless you have it stored in a glass or airtight container, reddish-brown flour beetles can easily make their way inside and lay their hard-to-see eggs, says Andrew Callaghan, a Terminix pest-control company branch manager in Chicago. These pests can be up to six millimeters in length, so they are pretty easy to spot; but if that crumpled flour bag leaves you in doubt—toss it out. And even if your flour is in an airtight container, you should inspect it carefully before using.
The Tools That Glammed Up Every Party This Season
It's fun and festive—but chances are you're not going to wear that sparkly eye makeup this spring or summer, and by the time the holidays come around again, it may have expired. The general rule of thumb for liquid or gel eyeliners is three months; shadows can go about six months. After that, bacteria may start to grow, which could cause eye infections. And you'll want to keep an eye on organic beauty products, as well—they can go bad even more quickly, since they generally don't contain chemical preservatives.
The Edible Presents You're Still Indulging In
The box of chocolate truffles someone gave you is definitely worth savoring—how can one really say no to a vanilla dulce-de-leche truffle? But you can (and should) if the candies dry out before you try to eat them. Once you've opened the box, truffles are at their peak freshness for somewhere between one and two weeks, though you can freeze unopened truffles, wrapped well, for about four months.