De-clutter your life (and help the planet)
There’s no denying that most of us are buying too much stuff. It’s fun to go shopping! But this mindless consumerism is bad for the planet, and it’s cluttering up our homes. This issue has spawned a whole new industry, storage facilities, where we can leave all this excess stuff that we’ve bought. Many a friend has retrieved the things they spent a fortune storing only to find they don’t really want this ‘treasure’.
So let’s look at a few areas where we can reduce clutter, and help the planet at the same time.
This is going to earn me some criticism from my friends and family. I love books, they are a valuable resource, and we can only encourage kids to read more. But do we have to buy them all? How many books that you own have never been opened? I’m afraid that to actually achieve personal growth, you need to do more than just buy the latest book on how to change your life.
If you LOVE a book, especially kids’ books that you will read often to them at bedtime, then definitely buy and treasure them. But you can use the library for books you’ll only read once or borrow them from friends.
Clearing out books you don’t want
* Sometimes your local op-shop will take them.
* Drop them at one of the local small free libraries that are in parks and community centres for someone else to enjoy. Pick up something new to read while you’re there!
KIDS CLOTHES AND TOYS
This is another category that can quickly get out of hand, thanks to kids that just keep growing! If you’re wanting to clear things out, there are always the usual suspects: passing on to friends and families, op-shops, and Trade Me.
Clearing out kids’ items you don’t want
* There’s a great charity called Little More (www.littlemore.co.nz) that will take used items for kids 0-12 months for families that need them.
* Sometimes your local maternity ward will take newborn clothes.
* Your local toy library will often take any good quality toys. Extra points for this option because then you're cycling toys through many different families.
In the thirties, women had an average of nine outfits, now it’s over thirty. In England there are an average of 22 unworn items in a woman’s closet.
Here is a method to figure out what you aren’t wearing anymore. At the start of the year turn all your hangers the opposite way that you usually have them. Swap them over as you water that piece. At the end of year, you will see what you actually wear.
Clearing out clothes you don’t want
* Same thing as kids clothes – they can be sold or donated.
* For work clothes, Dress for Success (dressforsuccess.org) will take new or near-new clothes that women can borrow to wear for job interviews, or to help them re-enter the workforce.