Is your storage unit stuffed with...well...stuff? A cluttered, overcrowded storage unit could mean that it’s time to upgrade from a 5x5 to a 5x10, or it could mean that you need to declutter. Self storage is an awesome way to keep your home free from excess junk and keep seasonal items such as holiday decor and winter coats safe until you need them again, but you’re guaranteed to have a much better experience if you purge the things you don’t need from your storage unit.
Whether you’re in the spring cleaning spirit or you’re just dealing with a storage unit that’s so full it barely closes, here are 10 items to recycle, toss or donate:
1. Special Occasion Clothing
Remember that bridesmaid dress that you were told you’d totally wear again? It’s time to admit that you totally won’t and purge it from your storage unit. Special occasion clothing—tuxedos, prom dresses, costumes and yes, even your wedding dress—can all be donated to charity or sold online.
2. Anything That’s Expired
Your self storage lease doesn’t allow you to store perishable food items, but you may still have some products that are expired in your storage unit. This can include makeup, medications, cleaning supplies and a whole host of other surprising items.
3. Anything That’s Damaged
From that shirt with a stain on it to that chipped mug, we all tend to hold onto items that are damaged, but not quite damaged enough to toss. Make today the day you throw out those items instead of hoarding them in your storage unit.
4. Outdated Electronics
It feels weird to throw away an old laptop or an iPod, but you don’t really need outdated electronics. Purge these items from your storage unit and recycle them at a facility that accepts e-waste.
5. Financial Records That Are Over Three Years Old
The IRS says you should hang onto your tax forms for three years, which means you have government permission to toss out that W2 from 1997.
6. Photos You Have Digital Copies Of
Purging photos is tough; it’s like you’re throwing out memories. But look at it this way, if it’s not important enough to store in a frame or album at home and you have a digital copy of it, you can live without it.
Shelves overflowing at home? Storage unit overflowing with books too? Donate the ones you don’t plan on reading again to a local library or a charity that accepts books. Think of it as giving the gift of reading.
8. Hobbies You’ve Given Up On
It’s okay if you bought a trumpet, sewing kit, yoga mat or some other hobby-related item and then realized it wasn’t for you. Donate or sell it and focus on things you actually enjoy.
9. Duplicate Items
Whether it’s something as small as a cell phone charger or as big as a couch, if you’ve already got one at home, you don’t need a spare in your storage unit. Trust us, you will survive without a backup snowboard.
10. Anything That Doesn’t Make You Happy
Those skinny jeans that you feel guilty about not fitting into? That furniture you ended up with after your divorce? That Christmas sweater you pretended to love but secretly hate? If it doesn’t make you happy, it’s not only taking up space in your storage unit; it’s taking up space in your life. Ditch it, and you will feel better.