Zero Waste Your Space Part 2: Less is more!

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  ~William Morris

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

I am one of those people who tends to keep things because I feel like I owe it to the item or to the person who originally gave it to me. Is this rational? Maybe not. I also give sentimental value to items that don’t typically deserve it. I don’t know how I got this way, but I have been this way my whole life. Every Christmas Eve I get a new pair of “Christmas Eve Pajamas” from my mother. It is one of my favorite traditions. Over the years, I have accumulated A LOT of pajamas, but it has only been with my wife’s influence that I have finally donated a good amount of them. I mean, what does a person do with 12 pairs of pajama pants?

According to The Environmental Magazine, consumerism is responsible for up to 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. When we buy a new product, we must think of the product itself, the energy used to create it, the transportation needed to get it to you – even the packaging used, which is often plastic. Buying less can make a BIG difference and less really can feel like more.

The everyday world often makes us feel like we need to compete with the Jones’ and we consume way more than is truly necessary. We do this with our clothing, our homes, our knick knacks, and so much more. Fast fashion encourages us to purchase more clothing and get rid of clothing that is still wearable. I truly believe that buying new clothing on occasion is realistic, but we must make sure that we are buying quality clothing that we plan to wear for a very long time. If you can find a great buy secondhand – even better.

Even the size of our homes makes a difference. The Environmental Magazine states that those who live in average to large sized homes will spend $3,000 to $14,000 annually on repairs, compared to tiny home owners who may only spend about $250 to $1,000 each year. Although living in a tiny home, or even a smaller home, may not be feasible for everyone, living like you have less space may be a good idea for all.

Less stuff = less clutter, less repairs, less waste, less to clean, and more time for YOU!

Having clutter in our homes takes our time, our money, our energy, and so much more. You know that feeling you get after you clean, organize, and vacuum your home? Why not have that feeling more often?

Four Easy Ways to Get Started (Get the full plan here!)

  • Step 1: Think less about what you are giving up, and more about what you are gaining. Mental clarity, more time, more space, etc.
  • Step 2: Work on your entrance way/landing zone. Design a space in your entrance way to be your catch all for those items. Your shoes, your keys, mail, jacket, etc. Maybe some quick hooks, or a small basket? Organization is key in this area to prevent piles from arising.
  • Step 3: Start with clear counters/flat tops. These surfaces are like magnets and tend to attract more clutter, especially if items already live there. Give a home to those items another home and you’ll be less tempted to add more.
  • Step 4: This is, by far, the step that I am going to take the most advantage of. Melissa of Simple Lionheart Life calls this “Use One, Get Rid of One.” For me, this means getting rid of travel mugs that I never use. We have a key few travel mugs that we use weekly and continue to wash/instead of reaching for a different one. This means it is time to get rid of the others. She advocates for you to get rid of duplicate items and have an on going donation box so you can remain organized in between donation runs. We have been doing this as our daughter grows out of clothing and have found it immensely helpful.

From there, just keep it up on the regular and remember that less is more. Happy Decluttering!

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~Socrates

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