Sunday, 14 January 2018

What to do with stuff

I have a love-hate relationship with stuff. I'm not a shopper by any description but I still find that stuff accumulates and hangs around until it reaches a tipping point that triggers a big declutter.

My approach to decluttering, gardening and housework are similar but not always effective: some is better than nothing. I want to get on top of all three this year. (Yes, I probably say that every year.) While I'll never be Marie Kondo, I plan to look at stuff through different eyes.

Nice but not quite me
I like this approach to decluttering for busy people. It's similar to my own pruning process and got me thinking about different ways to see and use stuff, rather than just insisting it's all gone at once.

You don't have to bin everything

What to do with stuff

I'm going to take this approach in 2018.

Use it
If you have it, use it. Erma Bombeck was right when she urged us to burn the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose. Use the fancy olive oil every day along with the good vanilla extract, the decorative tea towels, the luxurious bath towels and gift vouchers long before they expire.

Donate it
If you're not going to use it, donate it. If you've read it, watched it or not worn it for 10 years, donate it. There are charity shops and causes that need donations of quality clothing, books, kitchen equipment, linen and more. There's no point collecting hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles, individually packaged bars of soap or linen that doesn't fit any bed you own. Your local refuge will make better use of it  rather than letting it all sit in your junk cupboard.

Gift it
But what about that thing that is 'too good' to donate? Gift it to someone you know who needs, wants or will use it. Put it in the present cupboard with a specific name label attached or just give it to the person when you see them next. You don't have to wait for an occasion.

Freeze it
Don't forget to freeze it. (This one is related to use it.) I'm good at stocking my freezer with basic ingredients (meat and vegetables), mostly bought in bulk and frozen in meal-size portions. While I'll never be someone who has a detailed menu planner on the fridge door, I plan to use all the ingredients I already have before aimlessly buying more. I want to freeze more cooked meals, either by cooking double portions and freezing half or just having an occasional Sunday afternoon binge cooking session to take some pressure off during busy weekdays.

Recycle it
There are many ways to recycle it. Use it and recycle the packaging. Regift it to the right person (and not just because you're being cheap). If you're not going to use it, donate it or gift it, dismantle it and recycle the components.

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