13 Most Useless Things in Your House That Are Just Wasting Space

It may be time to declutter your home and get rid of those useless things that found their way into your living space.
Updated April 17, 2024
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You may have looked around your house recently and thought you were drowning in stuff. You aren’t alone.

There are plenty of things in your home that may get one use and then sit there to collect dust. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about giving them away or finding a new home for them. 

There are also many ways you can boost your bank account by selling items that you don’t need or want anymore. So sit down and find ways to get rid of useless things like these that are just wasting space in your home.

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Single-use appliances

Di Studio/Adobe  woman pouring raw dough to waffle maker

You may have thought it was a good idea to buy a panini press or a waffle maker for your kitchen. But your dreams of hosting events when you actually use that appliance never come true.

If the appliances are still in good condition, you can pick up a little extra cash by selling them on an online marketplace like Facebook or Craigslist. Cleaning out several pieces like that at once could add up to a surprising amount of cash. 

You could also donate any unwanted appliances to a place like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to get a tax deduction.

Office supplies

bramgino/Adobe school utensil

You may have collected things like pens, notepads, paper, tape, scissors, and all kinds of other trinkets in your office space. It may be especially noticeable if you’ve been working from home for the past few years.

Check with a local school or after-school program to see if these are items they may find helpful for students. And test all of those old pens. It may be a daunting task, but just toss them if they don’t work anymore.

Exercise equipment

manow/Adobe training at home with equipment

Instead of paying for a gym membership, you may have thought it was a good idea to buy a treadmill or stationary bike for your home. But your exercise plans may have become a bust, and your treadmill might be a place to store boxes or hang clothes to dry now.

Exercise equipment can be costly, but it can also make you money if you sell it as used equipment for a lower price than what you paid for it.

You may be surprised at how much you can get for a working treadmill from someone else who might want to try to get in shape.

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agcreativelab/Adobe clothes on racks in a fashion boutique

Our closets can end up getting packed with things that we don’t wear anymore or perhaps don’t fit like they used to.

Consider cleaning out your closet each season and putting clothes that don’t fit or pieces you haven’t worn for a while in a giveaway pile. You may be able to schedule a pickup for things you no longer want or donate them to someone who can give them a second life.

Old towels and sheets

cceliaphoto/Adobe a pile of cotton towels on white shelf

Towels and sheets may start out warm and cozy, but wear and tear can turn them into threadless messes that need to be discarded.

Check with local animal shelters to see if they can take some of your towels and sheets to give them a new life for rescue dogs and cats. You also may want to look into recycling programs in your area that take overused fabrics and repurpose them.

Plastic cutlery

marcinm111/Adobe plastic disposable cutlery

You may have picked up way too many forks and knives over the years from ordering delivery food. You might also have extras from parties or barbecues that you’ve hosted over the years that are filling a kitchen drawer.

They may be able to get a second life with a local homeless shelter or outreach program that needs these types of cutlery to add to meals for those in need. You would be cleaning out your plastic utensil drawer and helping someone else in need.

Food storage containers

Tetiana/Adobe plastic kitchen trays on the shelf of the kitchen cabinet

You may have reached a point where you have food storage containers and lids that don’t match anymore or have been warped by too many trips through the dishwasher. It may be time to get rid of these containers taking up too much space in your kitchen.

Your local recycling center may take hard plastics like storage containers but check with them first before you drop them off. And think about talking to local schools that may be able to benefit from containers to help kids paint or sort items as they learn.

Power cords

NorGal/Adobe electrical power strip

Have your power cords become a mess of spaghetti? Do you even remember why you have them and what they plug into? 

Before you toss them, get some zip ties or twist ties that you can use to fasten those wires to get them organized. You may be surprised by how easy they are to store with a little organization.

If you still don’t want them, find out if your local recycling center will recycle them as electronic waste. It would save them from hitting your local landfill and may be able to get them a second life.

Crafting supplies

donatas1205/Adobe paint brushes and crafting supplies

You thought it was a good idea to start knitting and scrapbooking, but now those crafting supplies are just taking up space.

It may be a good idea to sell these or give them away online to someone who wants to take up a new hobby. You could also check with a local store or art center that may gladly take them to inspire kids to make art.

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Bathroom items

vnlit/Adobe bathroom

When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom drawers and under your sink? Set aside some time to sort through everything and see what you want to keep and what needs to go.

Items that you haven’t used like deodorant, lotions, small tubes of toothpaste, and other toiletries may be good donation items for a local homeless shelter. 

And check the expiration dates on bottles of vitamins, aspirin, or cold medications. If it’s past the expiration date, just put them in the trash or flush them.

Plastic bags

mykolastock/Adobe colorful plastic bags

While some areas may have limited the use of single-use plastic bags, you still may find plenty of them at local grocery stores, take-out restaurants, or other retail spaces.

Local homeless outreach programs may want these bags to create mats that can help those on the streets have a softer place to sleep. And you can check your local grocery store to see if they have a collection spot for plastic bags that can be recycled.


Rawpixel.com/Adobe set of kid toys on a white shelf

It may not just be you who’s collecting junk in your home. Your kids may have a stash of toys that they don’t play with anymore or just don’t want to keep around.

Toys can get a new life in plenty of different places. You may want to check with local childcare centers that could use toys or sell items that you think could get you some extra cash. 

And if they’ve been played with too much, consider trashing them or recycling them at a local recycling center.


thodonal/Adobe messy and cluttered desk

One piece of paper here or there is fine, but sometimes papers just attract more papers, and it can lead to a paper pile. It’s OK to toss worksheets from your kid’s school or limit the amount of your children’s artwork that you keep. 

You may even avoid making mistakes like forgetting to pay a bill that's buried under a pile of envelopes if you set time aside to collect all those random and trash the ones you truly don’t need anymore.

Bottom line

Halfpoint/Adobe woman sorting wardrobe indoors at home

There are clever ways to crush your debt by selling things that are junking up your home. You also may want to give things away or check with local groups about upcycling things. 

Consider different options that may get rid of the clutter. It may take time, but it will be worth it to you and maybe to an organization or a new owner.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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