50 Essential Items It’s Probably Time to Replace

Source: nirat / Getty Images

Paper documents

Don’t keep junk mail as it just becomes clutter. Scan any taxpayer receipts you may have and any other documents you deem important. You can keep them forever electronically. Make room in your drawer by recycling the physical paper copies, but shred them beforehand in order to avoid identity theft.

Source: EduLeite / Getty Images

Phone chargers for old models

New models of smartphones come out just about every year and many people rush to get the latest version. So what happens to the old model and its charger? Sell them or recycle them. Older phone chargers are rarely compatible with newer models or phones from another manufacturer.

Source: penkanya / Getty Images

Pillowcases

How often you should wash your pillowcases — and replace them when you see yellowing and deteriorated fabric due to frequent washing — depends on several factors. These include sweating during sleep, eating in bed, using a lot of hair and skin products, having oily skin, and going to bed with makeup on, among others. Pillowcases should be washed anywhere between every two to seven days.

Source: PhanuwatNandee / Getty Images

Pillows

How well do you sleep at night? Does your pillow support your head and neck in a way that they stay in a neutral position throughout the night? The answers will determine whether you should toss the one you have right now. The general recommendation is to replace pillows at least every two years. Many textile recycling programs will accept them.

Source: Lengar79 / Getty Images

Plastic bags

Plastic bags pose ecological problems. They take hundreds of years to decompose and pose a particular threat to wildlife. Many animals get entangled in plastic bags and suffocate. A sound approach to retail bags is to decline them when your purchase can be carried or bring your own bags. Eventually dispose of them properly — recycle them if you can.