They say that we are constantly learning, growing and adapting to our surroundings and lifestyle, and I’ve believe that now more than ever.
When I got my first full time job at the age of 17 I would get paid every Friday, and every Friday evening I would go out to the shops, spend all of my money on clothes, makeup and shoes and have no money left for the week.
I bought my first home two years ago and I was convinced that the more I could fill my home with, the more homely it would be. I shortly learned that this isn’t the case, and if I could take back half of the purchases I made back then, I would.
The truth is, the more stuff you have the more stressful you feel. Everything we buy will eventually become rubbish, and the thought of that makes me very sad. Over the last year my spending has dramatically reduced, because I ask myself “Do I really need this or is this a unnecessary, impulse buy?”, and nine times out of ten it’s the latter.
We hold onto things that we will never use because we tell ourselves that we will use it eventually, the truth it we probably wont. So here are the 7 things I have learned SO FAR about living low waste, consumerism, and the damaging effect it is having on us and our planet.
- Empty space means an empty mind-I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean that the less clutter we have taking over our homes leaves more room for our mind and body to focus on the important things.
- We don’t need half the things we are told we do need-With our lives completely taken over by the media we are constantly bombarded with this need for the latest trends and products. Trends are wasteful. It will change after a couple of months and then you’re back to square one purchasing the next big trend.
- You can never throw anything ‘away’- There is no such thing as ‘away’, there is only ‘elsewhere’. When you want to get rid of something try your upmost to repurpose it, gift it, donate it or sell it. Our planet needs a circular economy, it cannot handle the amount of pointless rubbish we are accumulating in our homes.
- More storage simply means more stuff-If you think that getting a new fancy storage system is going to help you de-clutter i’m sorry to tell you that this isn’t the case, this will just create more room and more places to store clutter.
- De-cluttering isn’t a one day job-If you’re looking to de-clutter your home, you must understand that this won’t be a quick one day process. You will de-clutter your wardrobe and a couple of months later you realise you still have so many clothes, shoes, bags and other items that you never wear or use. Understand that de-cluttering is a process that takes time.
- To take a couple of days to consider a purchase-If you really feel you want to buy something, take a step back and give yourself 2 or 3 days to really think about whether you want it, whether you need it, whether you’ll use it and how long you will have it for. Companies try to make us think that if you don’t buy straight away then the product will be gone the next time you go in store or go to their websites. This is just a marketing technique, don’t fall for these money making schemes.
- To spend money of experiences, not things-I’ve saved so much money over the last months especially, and I love being able to spend my money on days out or weekends away rather than something that will just sit in my wardrobe for a year and then inevitably end up in landfill.
This is a process for everyone, and we need to take it at our own pace, if you’re de-cluttering do it mindfully, find a home for things or find another use for them. Don’t go throwing everything in the bin, this will be counter productive.