Roundup: 5 small ways to start decluttering
Feeling the need to declutter amidst all the holiday layers and gifts? It's easy to get overwhlemed quickly, so start small, tackling one compartmentalized topic/area at a time. Here are five easy ways to get going:
Unless you sew on a regular basis, there's probably no need for an entire box of spare buttons, thread, and so forth. A simple jar or pocket-sized tin can most likely contain the basics that most folks need on-hand to repair slight tears and loose hardware.
While it clearly helps to reduce the number of items in your wardrobe, don't forget to take a fresh look at the closet itself. Cleverly designed, slender, no-slip hangers can help your clothing last longer, while also freeing up much-needed space on the dowel. (Just round up all those old wire and plastic hangers and recycle them at your local dry cleaner.) If you have children's clothing that needs to be suspended as well, opt for recyclable cardboard hangers, which you can drop in the blue bin once your kids outgrow them.
This project takes a bit longer, but it's an easy task to plow through while you chat on the phone, listen to podcasts, or watch a movie. For those of us who don't need to keep physical paper receipts and can use digital copies for our business and personal record-keeping purposes and taxes, a slim, speedy scanner can eliminate binders (or even boxes upon boxes) of old paperwork, freeing up surprising amounts of storage space in the home.
It bugs me that most pens and pencils-- along with other miscellaneous office supplies-- are sold in multiples. Why buy (and store) a dozen duplicates of something when you only need two or three? Consider donating your excess office items to a public school, and just rely on the small number of high-quality, beautiful, practical items that you actually need. Eliminate duplicate charging cords if possible as well, and check your local resources to find tech waste recycling options. Try keeping everything easily accessible and well organized via zipper pouches, or in kits primarily designed for travel use.
Cabinet Beneath the Sink
For years I've intended to make my own cleaning supplies in order to save space. But I have to admit that I just never get around to it. I do, however, make sure to manage our bottle build-up, keeping only what we need regularly on-hand. I don't buy in bulk, and I always make sure that we have no more than what can fit into our small upcycled cleaning crate or repurposed garden caddy. This ensures that we actually go through all the products in our home, rather than losing track of what we have and buying duplicates while older bottles expire and go to waste. Go through your cleaning and beauty items and get rid of anything out-of-date or unhealthy. You'll most likely find that you'll be more mindful of your future purchases once you've taken the time to organize your products back at home.
These are small steps, but in a tiny home or apartment they'll make a difference. And just remember to go easy on yourself-- it's the holiday season! Let's spend less time worrying about our stuff, and more time with our families, friends and/or communities.