Here’s the thing, I was supposed to make a declutter in December post but well, you know the holidays. Anyway, I thought since the new year has just started, let’s start the year fresh. I don’t actually do New year resolutions but I do make intentions. And for 2018, I envision more calm in my life. How? Well, first I need to get rid of stuff that I don’t need and those that don’t, as the author and renowned organizing consultant Marie Kondo puts it, “spark joy.” I actually cleaned on New Year’s Day!
To be honest, I’ve actually been struggling to keep our clutter under control. I feel there’s too much stuff we don’t need but still have and it drives me nuts. I know I have to get rid of them asap. For starters, I think I need to do something about my daughter’s toys. I seriously get annoyed when it’s time to pack them up. Her toys are organized in bins but I feel like it’s time to let go of more toys. It’ll save my sanity for sure! Plus I don’t want her to remember me as the cleanaholic mom.
Not Picture Perfect
Let’s face it, we all want a clean and comfy home. But many of us struggle with clutter. I think we need to minimize clutter consistently so that we can go about in our space and find the things we need when we need them. Our homes don’t have to be picture perfect or clutter free to be enjoyable and functional. A place for everything and everything in its place, as they say.
It saves time, money and effort
Can you imagine how much time you could have saved trying to find missing keys? picking up your kids’ toys? It’s a lot. I once wasted a week looking for my missing phone which was actually under our laundry basket. I know, we might have a clutter problem.
Besides time, we can also save a lot of money by decluttering. Ever missed a deadline because you couldn’t find your phone bill? Bought another nail cutter ‘coz the one you have went “missing”? That’s money wasted!
It helps you enjoy your space more
I don’t know about you but I’m not so comfy around clutter. For some reason, I feel like their invading my space even if they’re just lying there. Too much clutter makes a space feel cramped and less inviting. That’s why we really need to make room for the stuff we love instead of all the sentimental junk we have.
It makes you think and feel better
According to research, having a lot of clutter around is stressful, especially for women. Physical clutter bombards our senses with a lot of things to process that we feel overwhelmed and unable to focus. Now I know why it’s sometimes difficult for me to do my thing. The scattered toys on the floor and the clothes lying around distracts me from what I want or need to do. I know it’s a process, but I have to start somewhere. Keep calm and declutter!
I really love what Dominique Loreau, French author of the book L’art de la Simplicité (How To Live with Less) said,
“Throwing things overboard is the best way to stay afloat,” ~ Dominique Loreau
Less is More
Ready to get your life back and your home in order? Check out this list!
Expired Items ( Food, Medicine, Makeup Items, Household Products)
I got down and dirty and searched through our cabinets for expired items. I started with the refrigerator since there might me age old sauces and dressings that have gone bad. I moved my way to the pantry, under the kitchen sink, our medicine cabinet and under the toilet sinks for household products. I got rid of expired canned goods and biscuits. I also checked my makeup bag for cosmetics that I needed to throw away. I trashed some lipsticks because they were more than a year old.
I have a stash of old toothbrushes under the toilet sink. I keep them just in case I find use for them like for cleaning running shoes or dying someone’s hair. But then I realized, do I really need 10 old toothbrushes? Same goes for hair brushes, stuff toys, and kitchen tools. Ask yourself if others might find a better use for them.
When I go to events and fairs, they sometimes give away samples. I didn’t realize that I had samples of rash creams and lotions tucked away in junk drawers since early last year. Most of them just have the manufacturing date but no expiration date. If you have such samples too, better safe to let them go.
Have you ever read one appliance instruction manual twice? I rarely do. This is because you’d probably get the “how-tos” from the appliance’s official website or on Youtube. Just take note of the model of the gadget or appliance so that you’d know what to look up. Yes, these instruction manuals better go to the junk shop or recycling center than use up a lot of your precious storage space.
If you often do takeouts, I’m pretty sure you have a stash of condiments (hot sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise) in the refrigerator. We got ours in the top compartment near the butter. The problem is like the samples, most of them don’t have expiration dates, so it’s safer to throw them away, unless of course you keep track of when you got them.
Random Cords/Chargers/ Headsets that don’t work
I must confess we have a drawerfull of electronic devices and cables in our spare room. Over the years, like us, you’ve probably unknowingly collected a number of broken devices and I think it’s time for us to check if they’re still working. If not, better look for recycling stations or people who accept junk devices. If you’re in Manila, you might want to check out UP’s e-waste project.
By this I mean, broken ones , those with missing parts or those that your children have outgrown. You could opt to give them to junk shops or donate them to projects such as Segunda Mana, a project by Caritas Manila. They have big bins in churches where you could simply place the items you wish to donate. They accept old items of value, used items and even new ones. So if you have a lot of cookware or utensils that are duplicates, then you could donate it there.
Old Books and Magazines
I love my self help books and my husband loves his car magazines. But we both agree that we need to get rid of some of them to make room for more important stuff. I plan to donate most of my books while he’ll probably give away some of his magazines to his friends. These days, we actually look up information anyway. But before you start getting rid of your precious books and magazines, ask yourself if you really find their content still relevant and useful for the future. If not, maybe they could help other people instead of gathering dust in your shelf.
Shoes that hurt your feet
Yes, you need to let them go because later on, you’d regret still using them. I actually gave away a pair of black flats because no matter what I do, they hurt my feet. For me, it’s just not worth it. Comfort first. In the long run, my health is at stake. But that’s just me.
I recently realized that I have a stack of takeout containers in a cabinet. Some probably have their lids missing. These are great if I repurpose them but the reality is, they are just there. Sometimes, I’d use them to store some left over food or when guests take home food from parties. So, they have to go– well at least a lot of them. I’d give them away to the the junk shop nearby.
Unused/ Broken Stuff
Do you have broken appliances tucked away in one of your spare rooms, not seeing the light of day? You put them on your “to do” list but never really got to fixing them. Maybe it’s time for these appliances to be recycled or given away. You could also have them fixed asap then sold in thrift stores.
Dried out pens and markers
Do you get annoyed testing out which pens work? I do. So, better throw out those that don’t unless you can have them refilled. Don’t let dried out pens ruin your morning.
We had a bag of socks without pairs back in my family home. Being a family of seven, I guess some socks were bound to be “lost in the laundry”. Every week, I kept hoping to find their pairs in the batch but never did. So what did I do with the matchless socks? A few were used as rags to shine shoes but the rest were tossed out.
Out of date vouchers and coupons
If you’re kinda thrifty like me, you probably have a stash of discount coupons and vouchers in one junk drawer. The problem is, we’re too busy to check which ones are still valid. Better go through them now! Who knows, that buy 1 take 1 deal at your fave store is still on!
Your collection (Old CDS, DVDS, Video Games, Yarn)
Gather your collection and get rid of the ones you don’t use anymore. Find people who can appreciate them more, perhaps a good friend or neighbor. As for my yarn stash, I plan to sell some of them or maybe do a giveaway. You could also sell them online or in a garage sale. Allot a space in your home for your collection but remember to declutter when that space gets filled before bringing in something new.
So, how do you feel about decluttering? Are there things you want to add to this list?