I tried to do what I’ve done in the past, that is take one of those “get rid of these 30 things” lists as a new year’s step towards minimalism.
I couldn’t get past the woman’s graphics, links to snapchat, etc. It seemed that I would clutter up my life with her or other’s lists about decluttering.
I made my own, smaller list.
- Deal with anything which is broken. Fix it, dismantle it for its pieces if you have a plan for them, or take it to the dump.
- Dispose of or deal with anything which is out of date — almost always consumables, food, health or beauty products.
- Donate things which aren’t broken, have nowhere to be put away (so you’ve moved them around for a while) and you haven’t used: food, clothes, books, tools, etc.
- Shred financial paperwork more than 10 years old unless you have a compelling reason to keep it — keep mortgage and insurance papers which are still current, but shred old paycheck stubs, deposit slips and such. (Ten years is how long the IRS keeps files active.)
- Go through the stuff you’ve kept (this will likely take all year): books, magazines, knicknacks, clothes, frozen food, etc. and decide if you really want or need this now? If not, donate, sell, or toss it. If you keep it, make sure it’s clean and has a spot to be put away neatly. If you try to donate or sell it and it doesn’t work (I’ve tried to donate things thrift shops wouldn’t take, I think most people have!) have a back up plan.
That’s it. This covers everything: furniture, art, clothes, health/beauty products, food, building materials.
If you need to be reminded of specific items to toss, cull, edit or whatever, there are a lot of lists out there. Seems simplier to me to use principles instead of specific lists. I’ve never found a list which fit me, so aren’t they a waste of time?
Hopefully, this list isn’t!
Happy New Year —