Okay, the last post I made was all about decluttering. At this point I will confess that I am at heart a minimalist. I love my toys, but would be equally happy bumming around in my one pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts.
When I was a child, at two points in my life, I sold off or gave away all but 3 possessions. I am fascinated by the concept of minimalism and think we would enjoy life a lot more if we had less and spent less.
Confession over. My belief is that less gives you the opportunity to experience more. I am a huge fan of Kirsten Dirksen and her alternate living YouTube channel. If minimalism and being happy with less appeals to you, I encourage you to check out her channel if you haven’t already.
Here are a few short decluttering tips as promised.
- Shed- Dispose of chemicals, old paint, old tiles/bricks, equipment etcetera that you will never use again. There is often a lot of junk in a typical shed that are stored for ‘maybe’ moments. Chuck it. Chances are that you’ll forget it was even there when the time comes to use it.
- Kitchen- How many spare plates and bowls do you own? Got 30 forks? How many salad servers? Cull your excess platters, utensils and appliances. You will have so much additional space in your cupboards as a consequence. But don’t stop there! Go through your pantry. Throw out that 10 year old spice which has needs a chisel to loosen.
- Vanity units- If it’s hard and crusty, dump it. As you throw it out work out the approximate value of the disposed goods. This is meant to be a shameful task and will stop you spending $20 on that latest fad skin care cream that is extracted from rare, high altitude Himalayan mud.
- Kid’s Rooms- Why hang on to boxes upon boxes of baby clothes? Sort them into genders and sizes. eBay them as bulk lots or sell them separately if you have the time and patience. Alternately, just donate them. The amount of toys that most kids have nowadays is insane. Based on my own family, I know for a fact that 50% can easily be given away or on sold. The best way, but the slowest, is to remove everything from their rooms and only put back what will be used again in the future.
- Garage- Do you have old bikes you’d never use, car parts, tools that have been replaced with superior items? Photograph your unwanted goods and post on Gumtree, Craig’s List or eBay.
- Study- Scan important paperwork and begin to develop a digital file system. Burn or shred banking records older than the government taxation requirement. Dispose or give away the 3 staplers and 30 pens you might have. Don’t keep that old 486 computer with a VGA monitor that sits in the corner.
- Book Shelf- This is up to you. Some people would prefer to lose an eye than dispose of a single book. I am an avid reader and felt this burden when I had to shift countless books as we moved homes. Consider reader PDF files, eBooks or even listen to the text on Audible (my personal favourite). I have now read (listened to) over 45 books in the past 4 months thanks to the brilliance of the Audible program.
I know I said I am a minimalist at heart at the beginning of this post. I will also confess that there is an element of me that loves to learn a new hobby and skill. Currently I am enamoured by kayak fishing and longboarding and am keen to someday learn how to paraglide. These items take up space and cost a reasonable sum of money.
You can’t do it all, but you are also risk becoming quite a boring person if you do nothing of interest. My advice is to limit your passions and try to do things that include others. The more family members or friends you can incorporate into your hobby, the more chance you will do it with greater frequency and share the enjoyment.