“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like” ~ Tyler Durden.
The quote above, made popular by Brad Pitt’s character in the cult classic movie Fight Club, may be an extreme outlook on consumerism but still has roots in today’s societal reality.
In recent times, the concept of minimalism has gained popularity. Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us.
At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value the most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.
By decluttering your home and adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can actually reap multiple benefits. Among them are:
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Boost productivity and creativity
- Free up schedules and space
- Rid home of allergens
- Help address hidden behavioural issues
- Save money
Organising and keeping things as streamlined as possible are the keys to conserving space.
Furthermore, you should only buy things you really need and discard those you don’t. You can either donate, recycle or sell them off.
There are plenty of preloved stores where you can send these unwanted items to.
Here’s a list of 10 items you should discard from your home for a clutter-free life.
1. Extra toiletries and perfumes
After staying at a hotel, most people take home the mini toiletries.
Here’s the thing, unless you plan to go camping often or have lots of house visitors lined up, you don’t need them.
In your own bathroom, identify any old toiletries or toothbrushes and get rid of them.
How about unused bottles of perfume in your house?
Sure, the bottles may be pretty, but it’s better to give them away.
Also, perfumes come with expiry dates and it doesn’t smell the same forever.
2. Landline phones, old mobile phones and extra cables
Let’s face it, not many people use landline phones anymore.
It’s likely that none of your friends or even your children know your landline number.
Get rid of it along with old mobile phones. And yes, you don’t need to buy a new mobile phone every year, no matter what “cool” new features it has.
It’s okay to have a phone as a backup. But having a backup for a backup for another backup, will just leave the phones gathering dust.
You also don’t need to hoard extra cables and cords in your house. In reality, how many do you actually use?
3. Old booksBook lovers will find it hard to give away old books. But decluttering means you’re only keeping what you actually need. It’s unlikely that you will reread all those books.
Be ruthless and sell or donate books that you haven’t read in years.
Old cookbooks are definitely something you don’t need. If after all these years you haven’t mastered the recipe, you don’t need them. If you only need the recipe for special occasions, there are plenty of online resources such as video tutorials.
4. Too many throw pillows
Throw pillows (or toss pillows) are the small, decorative items that are (loosely) placed on sofas or armchairs. They are also frequently used on beds, daybeds, and floors. From an aesthetic perspective, some people do in fact like the look of throw pillows. However, from a functional perspective, they aren’t really something people find comfortable.
Having few for occasional use is fine, but it’s pointless to hoard 20 in different shapes, sizes and colours. It’s time to toss the unused throw pillows away.
5. Top sheetsHere’s the truth – you don’t need a top sheet over your mattress sheet. Forgoing them will make zero difference to your sleeping comfort. However, you will notice a difference to your laundry load and morning bed-making time.
6. Clothes you don’t wearIf you have a full wardrobe, it’s likely you no longer wear at least half of the stuff in there. Furthermore, some of them are either too old or no longer fit.
7. Old boxes
It’s likely that you have a lot of unwanted stuff stored away in boxes or you might have empty ones because you’re anticipating you might use them sometime in the future.
Instead, when getting rid of all the unnecessary items in your house, these boxes should go with them because they serve very little purpose.
8. Variety of knives and kitchen utilitiesUnless cooking is your passion and you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you don’t need a large variety of knives and kitchen utilities. Waffle makers, China sets, popcorn makers etc, will only take up space in your house.
Also, make sure you check the expiry dates of spices, herbs, and sauces. You definitely can cut down on your purchases.
9. Unused medicinesApart from antibiotics, it’s likely that you have plenty of leftover medications – so fling it.
Be sure to check the expiry dates of your vitamins and supplements while you’re at it too.
10. Surplus USB sticksWith today’s advancement of cloud technology, storing and sharing files is made easier. Make use of services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Mediafire, and more.
Just get rid of old and unused USB sticks after you’ve backed up important files.
This article first appeared in BBazaar.my
BBazaar Malaysia (BBazaar.my) is part of BankBazaar International, the world’s leading neutral online marketplace that helps people decide on financial products such as insurance, credit cards, fixed deposits, saving accounts, mutual funds and many more.