Maybe you’ve figured out, like I have, that material things don’t make you happy. Yay! But, like I was last year, you’re wondering where to begin. So. Much Stuff. Right?
I hear you! I feel you! And perhaps I can help. So here are 10 things you can do now:
- Start by reducing items. Look in your linen closet – how many towels, how many sets of sheets, how many tablecloths? Do you need all of them? Betcha you don’t. Keep what’s necessary – you also don’t want to be doing laundry every day – but donate or ditch the rest.
- Get in your closet. Remember when I wrote about Project 333 ? I did it, for the summer, and I love it. I have a few work-appropriate pieces for when I go into the office where I work one day a week, and the rest of my clothes are simple pieces. I’ll do this again in the fall.
- See if you can donate something to a well-deserving charity each week. The extra set of dishes that you never use. The winter coat and the boots that you don’t wear.
- Sell your unwanted but still good stuff. Yard sales and online auctions work for some, and you might pocket a little cash in the process.
- Have cloth shopping bags in your car always. Use them wherever you go, not just the grocery store, but everywhere. If you do have plastic bags, find a place to recycle them.
- Living minimally also means spending mindfully. If you keep track for even a week of your mindless spending, you’ll be shocked.
- Getting rid of paper has been one of my biggest challenges. I’m still working on digitizing everything, from photographs to insurance policies to tax returns.
- Unplug when you can. And you can more often than you think. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that clog up your inbox and never get opened. If the news in your feed is making you angry or depressed, let it go. You can still be informed.
Borrow books instead of buying them. Or buy a digital version, if you like that. I read both, and I like to support independent authors by buying their books (both print and digital versions), but if I buy a print book, I pass it along to someone else. For better-known authors, I’ll use the library.
Do you give a lot of gifts? How about an experience instead? Treat your girlfriend to a manicure, send your parents to their favorite restaurant, give your kid’s teacher movie coupons.
I’m sure there are plenty more ideas you can come up with!