Downsizing & decluttering

I shared a Facebook post recently where the writer was suggesting a decluttering plan whereby one would throw out stuff everyday for a month, starting with one item on the first day, 2 items on the second day, 3 on the third, and so on. I said I thought it was a good idea.

A friend commented that by the end of the month I would probably have thrown out everything I own! Well yes, I agree that it was a bit too much to aim for!

So I’ve modified it slightly. I will attempt to throw out just ONE item each day, from here on, until I feel I’ve successfully decluttered my life. Of course I’ll have to balance that with not buying more stuff, or at least giving considerable thought to any new purchases: “do I really need it”. (note: ‘need’ not ‘want’).

Of course ‘throw out’ doesn’t mean consigning things thoughtlessly to the rubbish bin. There are categories and I have established a box for each in the spare room:

  • can go to the op shop
  • can be composted or burned in the fire
  • can be given away
  • can go in the recycling bin
  • can be repurposed
  • can be sold (local market, eBay, etc)
  • and, last resort, can go into the rubbish

(Other suggestions welcome!)

I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s easy at the moment, because there’s a lifetime of stuff in cupboards and drawers to be considered. Amazing how much accumulates over the years and how tastes and interests change as we grow older.

Do I really need that collection of rocks and minerals? It was an interest when I studied geology years ago, but not now.

A shoebox full of postage stamps, still on paper. Nothing valuable (it wouldn’t be there if it was). A good freebie, for eBay or Gumtree. Maybe the neighbour’s kids would be interested? (do kids collect stamps anymore?)

A pile of 3″ floppy discs. Today’s computers don’t even come with 3″ disc drives. Can someone suggest a use for those?

The kitchen cupboards are a minefield. Old rusty cake tins. I don’t bake cakes much anymore and anyway I have a couple of new non-stick ones now. Pots and pans and all the gear we used to take camping. Camping days are over. Just rummaging through the kitchen cupboards will keep me going in throwouts for a year.

Try it. You might enjoy it, too.

5 Responses to “Downsizing & decluttering”

  1. narf7 Says:

    We regularly do a declutter as I regularly bring all kinds of pebbles, cuttings etc. home and if we didn’t declutter, our house would be overflowing with “stuff”. Both of my parents were hoarders (post war babies) so I guess it’s inherent. Try donating anything scientific like those rocks to your local school. You would be amazed at what they can do with recycled things πŸ™‚


  2. Specks Says:

    Could I possibly part with the pair of swimming goggles I’ve been hanging on to for thirty years ‘just in case’??? What about my collection of badges from when I was young and idealistic…


  3. Chris Says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, on this one. If you haven’t already been through your camping gear – consider what you might need to keep for an emergency. My single burner hob and whistling kettle, have saved the day, several times, when the power went out. At least I know I can always have fried eggs, and the kids, 2-minute noodles. A cup-a-soup, ain’t bad for a warm beverage either. πŸ˜‰

    We don’t go camping at all! Not a camping family. We got the stuff more for long days out, and picnics in a park. I lament the fact it’s taking up storage, but we do use it, every now and then, when the power goes out – or relatives come over, and we need extra cooking gear to cater!

    Ideas for recycling floppy disks, can be quite entertaining, to downright useful. See this link, for using them as a canvas, for abstract art. Or this Youtube link, for a more practical way of using them. There are tonnes of ideas on Youtube!

    Good luck with your de-cluttering. πŸ™‚


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I loved the ideas for the floppy disks Chris, Thanks for the link, but you were too late. I had no idea of what could be done with them and unfortunately they went into the bin. I tried to get the actual disks out of the plastic cases, without luck. I thought of tying them to the fruit trees to put the birds off, as people do with old CD’s.
      I have used CD’s for quilling on….a couple of coats of paint and they make a nice plaque with a quilled design on top.

      I still have the little 2-burner stove from camping, but the gas bottle is probably empty. The pots and pans and anything else of use went to the op shop.


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