7 Things to Get Rid of in Your Garage or Basement Right Now

Now’s the time to tackle these long-avoided storage spaces.

The basement or garage is one of those spaces you can easily put off organizing for years (er, decades) until a big move or major life change forces you to face the clutter. By that point, the accumulated lawn equipment, sports gear, outdated electronics, and paint cans have piled up pretty high. And some of them probably have good memories attached. But here's a gentle suggestion: Get rid of these items right now, and you won't miss them. We promise.

01 of 07

Old Paint Cans

Once opened, a can of paint generally lasts for about two years. And the temperature fluctuations in a basement or garage can cause the paint to go bad more quickly. If you open a can of paint, and it has a sour smell or has thickened, toss it.

To safely dispose of paint, turn it into a solid by mixing it with kitty litter. Let the mixture dry out for one hour before throwing it away.

02 of 07

Outgrown Sports Equipment

Get rid of the lacrosse stick from the team your child quit five years ago, and the basketball that hasn't seen a court in a decade.

If the gear is in good condition, consider donating it to your local recreation center. Or sell your items on a site like playitagainsports.com, which is dedicated to used sports equipment and fitness gear.

03 of 07

Baby Gear

Getting rid of a bassinet, baby clothes, or changing table can be difficult for sentimental reasons. Giving these items to a friend, family member, or charity who can use them may make it easier to let go.

One caveat: Check that gear like strollers and cribs don't have any recalls and ditch older items that might not be up to modern safety standards.

04 of 07

Holiday Decor You Haven't Touched in Two Years

As you collect new decorations each holiday season, it can be easy to amass more than you use. Look through your holiday stash, and if you haven't touched that garland or tablecloth in the past two years, it may be time to pass it on.

05 of 07

Ancient Electronics

When you stashed the VHS player in the basement circa 1998, you did so with the best of intentions. Surely, one day, you'll want to watch those old tapes again. Fast forward a couple decades, and you still haven't. Look at your old electronics—record players, stereos, TVs—and decide if you'll ever really use them again. If not, check Earth911 for a list of retailers or recycling centers that will take them.

06 of 07

Never-Used Kitchen Appliances

If you haven't used an appliance in the past few years, it's safe to say you may never use it. Consider that bread maker you were gifted at your wedding, or the juicer that's been neglected since the early 2000s. If they're still in working condition, donate them to your local Goodwill or other local charity. If not, some appliances may actually be recyclable.

07 of 07

Unfinished Projects

Remember that chair you started to refinish—and then never finished? The basement or garage is a likely spot to store in-progress projects, but sometimes those projects get put on permanent pause. When decluttering, it's a good time to let go of any projects you don't intend (be honest!) to complete.

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