We live in a consumer society full of things we “need”, and we find ourselves largely unaware of how much stuff we accumulate in our homes. We fill our homes with too much stuff, spend too much time organizing and thus end up throwing too much away. Over consumption not only has a negative effect on the environment, but also on our happiness. I’ve spent the last couple months trying to simplify my life by buying less, owning less and simplifying my home. My new rule is, if you don’t use it in a month, lose it. I’ve created a simple room-by-room guide to help you simplify your home so you can simplify your life.
- Clear off kitchen counters, they are working spaces not storage spaces.
- Stop buying disposable items such as paper towel, paper plates, napkins, coffee filters, and water bottles. Replace them with durable items that will last. You will save time by not having to replenish them as well as decrease your environmental footprint.
- Clean out your fridge, use what’s been sitting in the back of your cupboards or get rid of items by donating to your local charity shop or homeless shelter, just remember to check the expiry date.
- Make a meal plan and stick to it. Try to recreate meals with different seasoning and accents. Not only will it will make your life simpler, it will involve less back and forth to the grocery store and decrease your food waste. When you make a meal, make extra for your lunch tomorrow it will save you time and energy.
- Throw away old or expired products, check expiry dates of medication and ensure you return them to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.
- Pull out all the stuff you only use occasionally and store it under the sink. This will help keep surfaces clear and easy to clean.
- Limit your choices in the shower; you don’t need a vast assortment of shampoo and conditioner.
- Invest in items that are easily cared for, washable and versatile.
- Create a capsule wardrobe – one item in, one item out, it will force you to be thoughtful in the way you buy (more on this to come).
- Stop buying fast fashion; it’s terrible for the environment and the world. When purchasing items invest in quality products that last verse the cheaper more disposable alternatives. My partner is French and lives by this assertion. He buys less frequently because when he decides to purchase, he invests in quality and it lasts longer. He buys well-made clothes and spends more on signature pieces.
Be ruthless when you go through your home and remember it’s better to donate than to accumulate! If you don’t think you can part with an item, try a 21 day trial. Put it in away and see if you really need, want or miss the item. Remember if you don’t use it, lose it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this is easy room-by-room guide to simplify your life. If you have some good tips and tricks that have helped simplify your life and your home, please share in the comments below.
Are you looking for more inspirations? Check out my Pinterest board on Minimalism for more inspiration.
Read the blog on Everyday Actions for a Sustainable Future. It mentions the R’s”… refuse, reduce, reuse, refill, repair, re-gift, recycle and most importantly repeat.
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