It's easy to make a New Year's resolution to clean out your house.

I believe most of you know I am a bit of a neat freak. It's true.  I really DO prefer to live a minimalist lifestyle.   Things in their places, anything not being used is pitched or given away.  I'm very comfortable that way.   However, by way of a confession, that is all but impossible when you're raising a five year old!  For every pile of &$#+ you get rid of, three more pop up in their place.  For every floor you sweep and mop, there's a muddy boot just waiting to march. But, I'm getting away from the point of this blog.

If you haven't done that new years cleaning yet, it's probably because you just don't know where to start.   Here's a handy list of 30 things you DEFINITELY don't need to keep any longer.  As soon as you get rid of the unwanted/unused/unnecessary things, the rest of the clean up is pretty easy.

1.  The ice cream carton that's almost empty. (Just eat the rest.  I won't tell anyone)

2.  Anything in your freezer that you don't recognize. (Trust me.  Even though it's in the freezer, someday it WILL stink) 

3.  The extra button packets for clothes you don't own anymore.  (When was the last time you sewed a button?)

4.  Stained t-shirts left over from college. (Stained t-shirts, period.  Yellow armpit stains are NOT sexy.)

5.  Your collections of old holiday cards. (Just pitched ours the other day)

6.  The pile of plastic grocery bags under the sink. (Does it count that I use them for my classy lunch bags?)

7.  Your 2013 calendar.  (You DO have a smart phone, don't you?)

8.  Any cups or glasses you got free from a fast-food restaurant. (Amen to that one!)

9.  All the receipts in your wallet.  (When you carry your wallet in your back pocket, you look like you have an ass tumor)

10.  Stacks of old magazines you've saved, thinking you'd reread the articles sometime.  (Guilty.  The 2012 Camera Buyers Guide is useless, I suppose)

11.  Expired coupons.  (Aren't they ALL?)

12.  Envelopes you kept because you needed to remember an address.  (Screw that.  Send e-mail)

13.  Old Post-It's and to-do lists.  (You were never going to finish that list anyway.  Me either.)

14.  Old invitations to stuff you've already gone to. (We're boring.  We don't get invited anywhere.  Next.)

15.  Anything you've agreed to take out of your parents' house solely out of guilt. (N/A)

16.  Supplies for hobbies you never really get into.  (But SOMEDAY!)

17.  Old textbooks.  Whatever you learned in college is outdated now anyway.  (Even if books are your friends.)

18.  Crappy paperback novels.  You'll never read them again. (They make for a great bonfire)

19.  VHS tapes and DVDs that didn't change your life.  (You'll never do those Jane Fonda workouts.)

20.  Printed recipes you tried and didn't like. (Why WOULD you keep those, anyway)

21.  Expired medicines. (DON'T throw them down the toilet!)

22.  Office supplies you never use.  (Try returning all the pens you've "run off with" to the office.)

23.  Any tupperware without a lid.  (No, you  WON'T ever find the lid.)

24.  Old batteries. (Especially any old 9-Volt.  Those can be dangerous if something metal shorts across the posts.  Really!)

25.  Instruction manuals for appliances you already know how to use.  (Like the one for the VCR maybe?)

26.  Tea that's more than a few months old. (I didn't know it went bad.  The things you learn.)

27.  Cables and cords that don't go with anything. (Guilty)

28.  Shopper loyalty cards.  You always just punch in your phone number anyway. (I never thought of that!  Make my key ring five pounds lighter!)

29.  Your stash of extra chopsticks from ordering Chinese takeout.  (You've never mastered them anyway.  You look like a Klutz!)

30.  And the stash of single-serving condiment packs on the inside of your refrigerator door. (AND in the drawers, AND in the console between the seats in the car, AND the tupperware you keep for picnics.  Just throw em' out)