How to Let Things Go: 5 Things You Need to Get Rid Of Now

by Simplify

If you’re looking to live a more minimalist life it’s important to learn how to let things go. Getting rid of stuff is never easy. It takes time and consideration. But there are certain things that are clearly a waste of space and need to go.

Start with those easy decisions to help get you in the habit of letting things go, following the lead from Mia Danielle.

Teflon pans are a great example of something that should be easy to get rid of. Teflon is a PTFE product, which means it’s made up of PFAS. PFAS is a toxic non-biodegradable chemical that most Americans unfortunately already have in their blood.

Teflon is tempting to buy because it’s cheap, but a lot of people don’t realize how bad it is for us. The bottoms of the pans get scraped and that releases even more of those bad chemicals. Getting rid of materials that are putting toxic chemicals into your bloodstream, increasing risks like cancer, should be a no-brainer.

Filing cabinet

Let go of your filing cabinet. Filing cabinets may have been practical back in the day, but we are in the digital age now. We don’t need hard copies of most documents like we once did. Use a binder for the few documents you need. This will save you space and make paperwork simpler.

If you’re still holding on to printed photos, consider digitizing. Printed photos are simply not necessary these days. You can get a digital frame and keep all of your photos in one compact, easy-to-manage device.

We hold onto so many things unnecessarily. We keep books we’ve already read and all sorts of things we no longer use. Seeing those things lying around filling our spaces is weighing us down. It’s time to toss the obvious waste with which we clutter our homes.

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3 of 59 comments
  • Shirley Dykes Shirley Dykes on May 29, 2023

    I got rid of teflon cookware years ago.

    Will NEVER get rid of photos and books. As a historian/genealogist, I have used the printed words and photos from the 1700s and 1800s many times, but have lost digital photos and information almost every time technology changed or failed.

    If you are old enough, think back to reel-to-reel recordings, 8-track tapes, and cassette tapes!

    • Vicki Vicki on May 30, 2023

      Agree w/Shirley: I, too, am historian/history teacher/genealogist. Much of our new technology is a fickle friend for 5 minutes, then evil when it wipes out years of digital files or becomes suddenly “unsupported” by design. I’ll never purge my hands-on paper files. I hope I never live to the day when no one knows what the Constitution actually says (b/c they can’t read cursive and will have to take some one’s “digital word” for what it says) but I know it’s going to happen.

  • Karen Brown Karen Brown on May 29, 2023

    I agree with this, although I've procrastinated scanning the family photos I have (as has my older sister, who is the official keeper of our family photos.) But we - my brother, sister, and I - are all in our 60s and none of us has any children to pass our memorabilia on to. So it makes no sense for us to keep photos or paperwork. I have an 81-year-old friend who has SO MUCH paperwork and so many photos, and she refuses to part with any of it even though she is a spinster like me and has no one to inherit it. She insists on keeping old cards, programs, receipts, etc. even though she finds it stressful to keep up with it all. "That's the way I've done it for decades" is not a good enough reason for continuing impractical and archaic practices. But it's her cluttered and stressful life, so if that's how she wants to spend her final years, I guess that's her prerogative. Personally, I think the Swedes are right on target with their practice of dostadning, or death cleaning. Unclutter now to simplify the remaining years of your life, and to be considerate of those who will have to clean up all your useless crap* after you're gone.

    *I'm not referring to family photos, letters, cards, or other items that can be passed on to the next generation. But are your grandchildren really going to want a bunch of manila folders filled with old receipts for things you no longer have, or copies of emails you printed out?