There are three key elements to decluttering
- Purging your home of items that are unused
- Being selective with future purchases so you do not end up recluttering you home.
- Staying ahead of the clutter by removing items as they become redundant.
Today I want to talk about #3 on the list above. The key to staying decluttered is to make sure you remove any redundant item from your home as quickly as possible after it outgrows its usefulness.
Redundancy can include…
Physically growing out of an item
- Children are especially prone to this, some more so than others. I was fortunate to have small children so they tended to wear clothing out rather than growing out of them. So I usually got good value out of my clothing purchases. Children also grow out of their sporting equipment, car safety items, beds etc.
- Unfortunately, we adults can also suffer from this problem due to weight gain and loss. It can be very tempting to keep the clothes in hope or fear that we may fit into them again. Sometimes these items only serve to torment us rather than inspire us.
Mentally growing out of an item
- This may apply to children more than adults but not exclusively. As children age, they mentally outgrow toys, books, hobbies, school supplies and pursue new activities.
- Adult tastes can also mature as they gain experience or see new possibilities for their lives that can include books, hobbies, digital media, information technology or a new business opportunity.
Breakages, wear and tear
- There are very few items that we acquire that last a lifetime, so it stands to reason that items break and wear out over time. Unfortunately in this day and age many things are not made to be repaired. It can be hard to part with items that have served you well. It sits in the cupboard while you hope to find a way to make them useful again. Don’t wait, if you cannot fix or re-purpose it today then time rarely changes that fact, recycle what you can and discard the rest ASAP. Quite often there are handy folks out there that can re-purpose the parts so make every attempt to find the item a new home rather than send it to landfill.
- Single use items such as batteries, ink cartridges and pens can accumulate in office drawers. Most of these items can be recycled and there are often drop of points at your local stationary store for this purpose.
- How often does an item of damaged or shabby clothing, which instead of mending or discarding it, ends up back in your wardrobe. Deal with it immediately, is it repairable? Then place it in your sewing area or take it to a tailor. If it cannot be repaired, re-purpose the fabric (search Instructables for ideas) or use it as a rag.
- Newspapers are the main culprit under this heading and accumulate quickly, don’t let this happen. Pass them on to someone else or recycle them as soon as you are done reading them.
- Magazines can be more useful in the long term as reference material but I think it is best to set limits. I have set my limit by not buying them any more but most folks aren’t prepared to go that far. I used to subscribe to several craft magazines that I mainly used as visual inspiration but I find just as much inspiration via the internet for free with no clutter.
Basically there is always going to be clutter maintenance no matter how well purged your house is at this moment. Things become redundant along the road of life. Keep up with these redundant items and you will not have to worry about returning to square one.
Item of 365 less things
5 Things I am grateful for today
- My polish apple pancake recipe –I don’t make them all that often but we always enjoy them when I do.
- A lovely night out – I went out the a friends granddaughter’s end of year dance recital last night and it was amazing. There is some real talent in that school.
- Modern technology – It give me the ability to help people from the comfort of my sofa.
- Butterflies – Aren’t they amazing looking creatures.
- The willingness to learn – Live would be pretty stagnant without it.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.