decluttering handy things

Will it really come in handy one day or should you declutter it?

decluttering handy things

Once upon a time I saw a brilliant project to make a dragon out of loo rolls. I cut it out of the magazine and put it ‘somewhere safe’. By the time I had collected 4 carrier bags of loo rolls I had forgotten where I left the instructions but I kept the 4 filled carrier bags ‘just in case’ for about 6 months. I moved them out of the way many times, fell over them, replaced their carrier bag when it split… until finally I realised it would never happen and I put them in the recycling box.

What are you saving it for?

Things we save for the future can be a varied bunch of clutter. Have you got:

  • Chargers for phones long dead? – Sorry but they are probably obsolete now.
  • Empty jam jars/bottles – Are you really going to make that jam? How long will it take you to replace your jar collection?
  • Half empty pots of paint? – Top tip – decant into one of the empty jam jars and label with the room and paint colour. Then throw away the half empty pot.
  • Ends of wallpaper rolls? – If you are keeping it for patching up walls how feasable is this? And how much do you need?
  • Random bits of string/elastic bands/paper clips? – Can you find anything like this when you need it?
  • Tins of beans for when all the shops close? – Eventually they rust, and are inedible.

It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that we can save money by keeping things. It is far too easy to keep so many things ‘just in case’ that we can’t actually find them when we want them. They take up space in our minds and in our homes.

I keep a box of things that might be good presents for people so they are all in one place. This is very useful when you get a last minute invite to a birthday party, and it’s a good way to re purpose things you don’t need yourself but someone else might love.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need it?
  • Will I ever use it?
  • Do I like it?
  • Is it obsolete?
  • Is it out of date?
  • Is it still usable?
  • Can I find it if I do need it?
  • Is it cheap and easy to replace?

Your 5 things can go in your box, in the recycling or in the bin. You can count multiples singly or as a group depending on your mood.

Getting rid of 5 things a day is enough for this course so if you want to keep going be careful not to take on too much. It is possible to declutter in small manageable doses and get more done than a total overhaul that takes days.

Lisa Cole

Want to talk about it?

I'm Lisa Cole. I'm a designer and writer who lives in Bristol. Less-stuff is about my journey to live a more organised life. I document little things I can change to live more sustainably. I'm not a minimalist!

If you found this post interesting and want to discuss it you can find me in the less-stuff Facebook group or you can Tweet me here.

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