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Are you wanting to try the minimalist approach to life?
Simplifying life seems like a great idea to me right now. I’ve recently been on a purging streak. If you aren’t quite sure where or how to start or are just plain overwhelmed, here are a few pointers. The list below is a small starting point for each room/zone in your house. Even if you just start with these, you’ll feel lighter and hopefully like you’ve got your $h!t together. Because let’s face it…we all need to feel like we are somewhat in control of the hustle and bustle, that is life. Here are 7 simple ways to declutter your home. Are you up for the challenge?
Set aside a time to try on your wardrobe. Obviously, you can skip the items you KNOW you wear on a regular basis. Try on anything you are unsure about keeping or anything you haven’t worn in the last year. Donate anything that is too big or too small. For the items that fit, use this one tip: If you were at the mall and saw the article of clothing in question, would you buy it today? If the answer is no, it goes. Simple.
Lost socks. Just let ’em go. If you are holding onto a pile of socks that haven’t had matches for weeks or months, that match isn’t coming back. Either wear those single socks together as a new pair or use them as dusting/cleaning rags.
Cookbooks. Let’s be honest. When was the last time you actually opened a cookbook? There are millions of recipes at our fingertips thanks to Google and Pinterest. Unless you have one you use on a regular basis or treasure it because it belonged to your dear departed grandmother, donate them. If you are having a hard time with it because maybe you do use a couple recipes from each book, you can always take a moment to flip through to your favourites and bookmark them. Get those recipes photocopied and put them all into ONE place, like this Recipe Organizer Binder. Or write them out onto recipe cards and get a recipe box. One binder or small recipe box will take up way less space than a collection of cookbooks that you only use once in a blue moon.
The Living Room
Old DVDs you’ll never watch again. Take a look through your entertainment unit and check out your DVD/VHS collection. When I went through mine I discovered that the majority of movies I owned were available on Netflix. Storage free! Keep your faves that you do watch on a regular basis…if you must. Just keep in mind that you can stream pretty much anything now online. As for VHS tapes, I had 3 tapes of home movies from my childhood. I’m currently making arrangements with a local company to have them converted to DVD since I don’t currently own a VCR.
You can buy this handy dandy little gadget to convert VHS to DVD, USB, YouTube, etc. if you want to do it yourself.
Makeup and beauty products. Go through your makeup. I know you’ve got some lipstick and eye shadow floating around in there because you purchased it and didn’t like the colour. You probably tossed it into your collection because the thought of putting it in the garbage was too much for you to bear. What a waste of money! Just be honest with yourself. If you haven’t used it or don’t like it, just toss it. Also check the expiration dates and chuck anything that’s expired. How about hair styling products? Did you buy that fabulous mousse that promised gorgeous, natural looking curls that would hold for hours? But it was a total flop? I did too!! Toss it.
Dried up pens and markers. Get a piece of paper and do a scribble test. Toss any pen that doesn’t work. So simple! I did this recently and feel so much lighter. I had a whole pencil case full of old pens and markers. I’d say about 90% were dried up! You could even get the kids to help with this one. It’s easy and a quick way to lighten your desk drawer. Have the kids go on a pen hunt. Find all the pens in the house, test them, and throw out the dead ones. They can do that while you are trying on your wardrobe 😉
The Junk Drawer
We all have one. That place where all the things that don’t have a place, go to die. In my case it’s a junk basket on our kitchen counter. Do a quick sweep and get rid of any receipts you don’t need, expired coupons, buttons for shirts you don’t even have anymore, business cards, chargers, dead batteries, decks of cards with missing cards, empty rolls of tape, empty lighters, (any of these sound familiar?). I bet half the stuff in there isn’t needed! If you do need all these misc. items, try getting a few storage bins from your local dollar store just to organize things a little better.
If there is too much stuff in your kid’s room, it will NEVER be clean. Start with their wardrobe and use the same rules you used for yourself. Unless there is a younger sibling to hand clothes down to that no longer fit, donate them or give them to a friend who may have use for them.
Toys. Ask yourself (and your child, if you choose to involve them) these questions. When was this last played with? Is it broken or missing any pieces? Will a younger sibling eventually use it? Your answers should help you decide what stays and what goes. If you are really on the fence about some things, put them in another location like a shed or the garage. If your child doesn’t miss or ask about those toys after a few weeks, you know it’s okay to let them go.
So? Are you overwhelmed or motivated? Maybe a little of both? I know these little tips won’t make you a zen, master, minimalist. But they are a good starting point that will hopefully get the ball rolling for further progress. I listed tips for 7 areas. There are 7 days in a week…hint hint. Give it a try. I dare you!
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