What might clutter have to do with living more sustainably, one asks? Decluttering is a very important first step as it helps get the mind in a good place to live more comfortably while exposing the sham of the over-consumption lifestyle we live. It tends to be a difficult task for some to do… I know I’ve had plenty of issues with it myself, and still do to this day.
Running around like a chicken with its head cut off to end up throwing away a couple of random pieces of trash/broken things is not the way to go. That was my old method of getting rid of stuff. A method that I found that works really well for me to get rid of items is by starting off with sorting through categories. An example too broad would be to donate some extra clothing. A more realistic approach would be: going through all of your jeans and donate ones you do not wear anymore that are of quality to still be worn. Then when you are ready, tackle another category such as dresses, or jackets, or anything really.
The most important part of this process is that you must mentally be in a good place to be real with yourself and part with items you genuinely do not use/need. Having somebody be a voice of reason is very helpful at times, too. I have probably tried on more than half of my wardrobe for my SO to double-check my thought process. He used to joke around and call me a hoarder… I did not realize that the joke may have had a hint of seriousness to it until I realized that I had about 20 plain-colored t-shirts that I barely wore any of, because I had so many. Crazy how the world works, huh? J
Clothing tends to be a large portion of what people first think of when it comes to reducing, but the decluttering does not stop at the closet door. It can be done for most categories of items you have. You can reduce the number of items in your kitchen, Tupperware drawers/cabinets anyone? Too many pots and pans? Too many lids for those that don’t necessarily have a match? Yes please! These are just a few examples of MANY ways to reduce clutter. Even going through specific holiday decorations and ridding yourself of the ones that no longer suit a purpose in your life is one step closer to living a happier and more sustainable life. If the item is sellable, you can make some money off of it and somebody else will be reusing it. You can donate the items to homeless shelters, places that donate the money they make to good causes or give them to people as gifts that would appreciate/use that item. There are so many opportunities for items you do not use/need anymore. The goal is to not necessarily throw anything away, but maybe recycling old documents you no longer need (don’t forget to shred the important ones!) instead of trashing them, recycled artists can use them, or specific donation programs that repurpose items to help people, etc. Nobody is perfect and not EVERYTHING can be recycled/reused unfortunately. Just doing the best you can is all that matters. This does not happen overnight, so do not overwhelm yourself! Just grab a trash bag, keep it in a place that is not in the way, but is slightly an eyesore, and in a week or so you will want to donate it already because it’s always in your mind. It’s much easier to donate a trash bag at a time. Remember: Rome was not built in a day! Neither are lifestyle changes. Take advantage of what you can do this day and know you have made it one step closer to your personal goal. I challenge you to get rid of a trash bag full of items this upcoming week…and the weekend is the best time to begin! Tag your final decluttered items with #sustainabilime so we can see your successes. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!