I love to declutter.
However, I realise that the thought of decluttering can be immensely daunting for many people. Particularly if they have never tried to do a huge declutter of their possessions.
If you want to start living with less, the key is to start living more consciously – putting intentional thought behind your purchases, habits and attitude to material possessions.
Decluttering can be hugely beneficial. However, for decluttering to be even more successful and sustainable, the other element of the equation is to consciously reduce your intake or stop accumulating more.
Here are 5 ways to start living with less
1. Ignorance is bliss
We are surrounded by temptations in the form of relentless advertising, social media, newsletters and catalogues.
Remove these influences from your life by unsubscribing to all emails and marketing material from your favourite brands, and say NO to the latest Aldi or Target catalogue.
If you’re not reminded of an upcoming sale or special offer, or shown the latest new products, you will remain more content with what you already have. We don’t miss what we don’t know.
2. Stop looking at others
With social media constantly at our fingertips 24/7, we compare ourselves to other people more than ever before. It’s not just our neighbours, co-workers and school friends, now we want what the latest Instagram influencer or YouTube mom has because we are exposed to it daily.
Unfollow the accounts of people who you find yourself envying for their latest holiday, new car, designer handbag, number of likes and happily ever after family photographs. If looking at these makes you unhappy, why would you continue to choose being unhappy?
If it’s someone that you know personally, platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow you to you unfollow or mute that person’s feed without disconnecting altogether and risk offending them.
Live within YOUR means, not other people’s (and who knows, they could be using credit).
3. Say NO to freebies!
Everyone loves a good freebie. I used to be a real sucker for them, and I still feel a little rude or ungrateful today when I say No.
But do you really need that free magnetic calendar, corporate branded baseball cap, key ring or ballpoint pen? Reduce the build-up of clutter in your home by refusing to bring in items that you already have or had no intention of using before it was offered to you. There is always someone else who will take it home (unfortunately!). You don’t need to.
4. One in, one out
This is a popular method of reducing or maintaining the number of items in one’s home.
If something comes in, something must go out. I like to have an allocated space for items, and if I can’t fit additional items into that space, something must go. At one point I was even clearing out more than one item for each item I brought into my home, to reduce my belongings faster.
5. Get creative and savvy with your stuff
Instead of buying a new item for a specific purpose, or keeping multiple items for different purposes – go back to basics. What do you own that would serve multiple purposes?
I often do this with ingredients when I go shopping for a new recipe. Can I use the vanilla bean paste that is in my pantry instead of buying vanilla pods or vanilla extract? Do I really need to buy a new night shirt when I have that t-shirt that shrunk a little bit in the wash and doesn’t look great with my jeans anymore?
I talk more about this in one of my YouTube videos, where I partnered with another blogger to give you 10 tips on how to live with less!
You can watch the video here: