Moving towards a more ethical lifestyle – as well as learning about minimalist living – can bring with it a strong desire to purge yourself of many belongings. Downsizing your hoard can feel very liberating, especially if you are freeing yourself of items which no longer serve you or make you feel happy. However, there are ways to declutter responsibly which I thought I would touch on today.
1 | Give away as much as you can
When you set out to declutter, it may seem easier to just throw everything out. But in reality that couldn’t be more wasteful, especially if you have things that could be given away and benefit somebody else. Before you part with your belongings, assess which are in good enough condition to live a second life. Donate clothing, homeware, old music and movies to charity shops where others can enjoy those things you no longer have a need or desire for.
2 | Recycle, or responsibly dispose of, larger items and electricals
There are certain rules for disposing of particular items such as electricals and big, bulky things. Depending on where you live, you may have access to a dump, where larger items (like furniture) can be taken. When getting rid of electricals (hoovers, kitchenware, etc.) make sure you’re doing so safely – the government have certain regulations in place meaning that retailers have an obligation to take in old electrical products when it comes time to replace them. Your borough may also offer a collection service to dispose of large items at a cost.
3 | Consider alternative donation avenues
In this age of over consumption, you might end up with spare items that need to be rehomed, like consoles or makeup. High street charity shops are not the only places you can take your unwanted goods to – refuge centres often take in cosmetics in good condition, and children’s wards in hospitals would welcome an old games console in working condition with all the relevant bits.
4 | Propose a gifting ban
It might sound intense, but I’m all for gifting bans over festive periods or birthdays. Speak to your family about your desire to really curate your belongings going forward. Suggest a ban on buying and exchanging material gifts and express the financial and general benefits of it. You’ll be eliminating the potential of future clutter, meaning these tips might not even be necessary to you next time around!
I hope these prompts for reducing clutter in a responsible and ethical way help you curate your space and your belongings as effectively as possible. If you have more tips to add, please let me know in the comments.