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13 Things a Professional Organizer Would Get Rid of Before Winter

If an expert wouldn't keep this stuff, why would you?

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Woman organizing clothes from a small closet Yuliya Apanasenka/Getty Images

Toss without a second thought

If you turn your home into a cozy oasis, you’ll be a lot happier with spending lots of time indoors. Organizing your space is really the key here, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a professional organizer. Clear the clutter by tossing old, broken, and used-up items to transform your abode. One word of warning, though: Avoid these things professional organizers never buy so you don’t accidentally create more clutter.

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Old spices

The time for the BBQ spice rub has passed, and whatever you have in your pantry won’t be nearly as tasty next summer. While you’re at it, ditch the expired spices, the jars with too little left to use in a recipe and the flavors you just don’t like. So, how long do spices really last? We’ve got the definitive answer.

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Leaky water bottles

Is your kitchen cabinet a cluttered mess of unused water bottles? Declutter your drinkware cabinet by tossing the ones that leak, the ones that are missing a lid and the ones that sweat. By the way, here’s how to wash your reusable water bottle.

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A crumbling fall wreathGETTY IMAGES, VIA AMAZON.COM

A crumbling wreath

Sure, it’s beautiful in its prime, but if the wreath hanging from your front door loses leaves every time you open and close said door, it’s time to toss it. Let go of the crumbling one you’ve had forever and trade it for a stunning juniper pine wreath. The greenery is a classic for the winter and can easily be dressed up for the holidays. Find the best holiday decor based on your zodiac.

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Disintegrating party suppliesGETTY IMAGES, VIA AMAZON.COM

Disintegrating party supplies

Prepare for your New Year’s celebration now by decluttering the decorations bin. Discard torn, bent and broken leftover banners and balloons from Independence Day and Halloween. It may seem early, but it’s smart to take care of this before the craziness of the winter holidays hits. And it will be well worth it since you can ring in the new year on a clutter-free note. Did you know about these fascinating New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world?

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Rusty barbecue toolsGETTY IMAGES, VIA AMAZON.COM

Rusty barbecue tools

Get rid of those rusty tongs that just can’t be cleaned, as well as that super old grill spatula. Over the winter, you’ll be whipping up comfort food on your stovetop, where you can prepare just about any meal with ease. Check out how you can organize your bedroom in an hour.

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Tattered towels

If your pool and beach towels aren’t in tip-top shape, it’s time to say goodbye. But don’t just throw them out—donate them to a local pet shelter! Shelter volunteers are constantly cleaning and can put those old towels to good use. By the way, this is how you can best support your local food bank.

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Damaged tote bags

If you have a tote bag with a broken strap, it’s time to upgrade. Yep, you’ve been meaning to fix it, but let’s get real: If it’s been sitting in the back of your closet forever and it still has some beach sand at the bottom, it’s never going to happen. Read up on these brilliant organizing shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Old baseball hats

The time has come to toss those baseball hats that are too worn to make it through another season. These are the secrets personal organizers will never tell you for free.

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Unused and broken outdoor gamesGETTY IMAGES, VIA AMAZON.COM

Unused and broken outdoor games

With the cooler weather approaching, you’ll be more focused on indoor activities like jigsaw puzzles. Instead of packing away those outdoor games that are broken or missing pieces and saying you’ll deal with them next season, do it now. You’ll thank yourself in a few months. While you’re at it, also get rid of things like the dusty horseshoe game that no one has played in years. Here are some fun things to do with kids indoors.

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Your seashell collectionGETTY IMAGES, VIA AMAZON.COM

Your seashell collection

If you’re holding onto summer by holding onto those seashells you collected on your beach trips, it’s time to let go. Crafty types might want to put them to good use in an actual display they can take out year after year. If you’re the furthest thing from crafty, clean house. These are the most inspiring home organizing makeovers.

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Faded swimsuits

A chill in the air means it’s time to pack away the summer swimwear and bring out the sweaters. Before boxing up your swimsuits, be sure to discard the faded ones and the ones with stretched-out elastic. By the way, this is the best way to organize a small closet.

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Broken flip-flops

The time has come to throw out the flip-flops with the uncomfortable toe peg and the ones that are so well-worn, they won’t make it to next summer. Make space in your closet and organize the shoes and sandals you do enjoy wearing. Then invest in a pair of cozy slippers that will keep your feet snug and warm all winter long.

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Flimsy rakes

Do you have a rake with missing tines? Or one that’s too flimsy to actually get the job done? Dump it and make room for a more useful tool. Next, read up on these smart refrigerator organizing ideas.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest
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