Weekly Health & Green Tips
Each week, a new letter of the alphabet is introduced that represents a simple idea – a reminder of the small things we can do to make a big difference in the health of our families and the well-being of our planet.
L=Lighten Ur Load
There’s no denying that people in today’s society like stuff.
We love buying things, owning things, and showing off things. Americans are especially known for their consumer mindset. However, one unexpected positive side effect of the recent economic downturn is that more and more people have started to appreciate the benefits of having fewer things.
Minimalism, or the idea of simplifying your life to focus more on what’s truly important, has been gaining popularity in recent years. Advocates of minimalism say that having fewer unnecessary items gives them more time and money to better enjoy what matters most to them. They say they enjoy their homes more, and have less stress. Even children can be less stressed with fewer toys and belongings and a focus on possessions that are meaningful and well-cared for.
There are also environmental benefits of minimalism; consuming less reduces your overall carbon footprint. When you reduce the numbers of items you own, you can more easily focus on and afford quality and reduce the plastics and toxins in your family’s home.
Getting rid of items you don’t use can save you substantial amounts of time and money over the course of your life. Then, when you’ve cleared out the clutter, if you are mindful about what you consume, you’ll easily maintain a lighter load.
Getting rid of clutter eliminates the need for about 40% of the housework done in an average American home.
Simple Steps To Reduce Clutter and Get Organized with Fewer Belongings
- Slow and steady. Don’t let simplifying your life overwhelm you. Start small with one room or space at a time and commit to steady, consistent progress.
- Get rid of your junk drawer. If you have a place in your home designated for “junk”, chances are that’s exactly what you’ll accumulate. Find a permanent home for items that are important to keep and toss, donate or sell the rest.
- Implement the six month rule for household items. Basically, if you haven’t used an item in the past six months, get rid of it. This is helpful if you find yourself holding on to things because “it might come in handy.” If it hasn’t been needed in the last six months, chances are it is safe to recycle or donate.
- Implement the one year rule for your closet. Similar to the six month rule for your household items, the one year rule for your closet says to get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in a year. This allows for changing seasons, special occasions, and any other excuse you might be giving yourself to hang on to something you don’t wear.
- Clear your desktop. Reserve the space on the top of your desk for items you use every day. Store everything else in a drawer, on a shelf, or in a supply closet. If you have an item that doesn’t get used daily and isn’t worthy of storage space, give it away.