THE start of the new year is a great time to take stock of your surroundings and carry out a bit of tidying up around your home.
The thought of confronting the old stuff you have accumulated can be daunting, but think how good you will feel when you slowly work your way this list of unwanted things that really do need throwing out.
1. Expired pantry items
Go through your pantry and check out all your package products, looking for Use By dates. If a product is past its Use By date, throw it out.
While you are at it, why not do a bit of organisation so that you can find what you have stored in your pantry. It might help you not go out and buy something you actually already have in your cupboard.
2. Old mobile phones
If you have old mobile phones laying around the house, collect them up, along with associated charging and computer cords, and head down to Officeworks where you can put them in one of their recycling bins.
3. Used batteries
Start by finding a place in your house where you can collect all your used handheld batteries.
4. Fridge contents
Take everything out of your kitchen fridge, give it a good wipe down with a damp cloth and then only put back those food items that are still fresh or haven't gone past the Use Bay date shown on the packaging.
Next, head to the fridge in the garage and give that a good clean out too.
5. Old medications
Gather up all your old medications from the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom - both prescribed and purchased across the counter - and take them to your local pharmacy. The pharmacist will put them in a special bin so they can be safely destroyed.
It's not recommended to stockpile these items as they can inadvertently be used incorrectly.
6. Unnecessary clothing
Go through your wardrobe and be honest about what shoes, belts, scarves, ties and other clothing you really need to keep and those that you can give away.
Take the 'give aways' to your local charity where you can leave them in the allocated donation bins.
7. Old buttons
While a few emergency buttons are good to have, when you find you have accumulated an over-supply of them, bag them up and take them to your local charity shop.
8. Plastic shopping bags
Gather up the plastic shopping bags from around the kitchen and take them down to the local supermarket where there is a recycling bin.
9. This year's Christmas Cards
It won't be long before we won't be getting Christmas cards in the mail, but while we still do, why not rip off the section of the cards where you can use them for shopping lists or notes, and the put the coloured section in your recycling bin.
10. Old business cards
It's surprising just how many business cards you collect over a year - doctors, dentists, mechanic, electrician, handyman and more. How about sorting through them and tossing in the recycle bin all those cards you don't need anymore, never plan to use again, or really can't remember why you have them anymore.
Feeling better now? I will be once I work through this list.