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January 07, 2019

Although I’m not a 'proper' minimalist, I’ve always strived to live with less and clear out clutter. That doesn't mean just clearing out the wardrobes, but also getting rid of kitchen items I don't use any more, and home decor that no longer serves a purpose.

Did you go shopping after Christmas and get things that were a 'good buy' but you knew deep inside you’d probably never use? That ‘it will be good for work’ shirt that never makes it to your office, or a kitchen knife that was cheap (for a reason - it will be blunt and/or rusted in a month) will make it to the landfill fast. And that’s the primary concern for first world countries - our landfills are growing while we keep living in cluttered homes, stuffed with things we don't need (and often don't even like).

Make it your priority in 2019 to declutter, and to get to a minimalist level you are comfortable with. Don't buy quantity, but quality! It will cost you less in the long run, and will make you feel lighter and better about yourself and the impact you’re having on the environment. 

Here are a few tips on decluttering efficiently:

  1. Get rid of any items you have in multiples but don't need more than one of - e.g. pens, bottle openers, scissors etc.
  2. Get rid of old cables, telephones, laptops, small kitchen appliances, TVs etc - drop them at places that recycle, or donate them.
  3. Gift books and ornaments you don't need or enjoy any more. A lot of libraries will accept books. Some charities will accept ornaments that they can sell to support their cause.
  4. Ask younger members of your wider family if they need kitchen items you no longer need or use - cutlery, crockery, small appliances etc will come in handy for young people moving out of home. You on the other hand will finally be able to see the bottom of that cupboard or drawer.
  5. Have a good hard look at your wardrobe - and be merciless! If you didn’t wear something at all last season, chances are it will not make it to the short list this season either. Give it to charity if it’s in good condition, otherwise take it to a clothing recycling bin (H&M shops have these).
  6. Support women from disadvantaged backgrounds by donating office clothes to charities like Fitted For Work (in Australia).
  7. Clean up your medicine cupboard - a lot of expired medications, cough syrups and ointments are found in the dark corners!
  8. Give away all those perfumes that you bought but didn't end up using or got as presents and never even opened - omeone else will love and use them!
  9. Get rid of old make-up and cosmetics. Unopened and unused cosmetics (and all those samples you got as presents while buying what you normally use) can be donated to a charity like The Beauty Bank.
  10. And last but not least, ask yourself for each item you are unsure of "Do I need this" and "Do I love looking at this". If the answer to both is "no", then in most cases you can safely get rid of it.


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