Or more aptly titled, "Learning To Let Go."
A recent magazine article I read pointed out that the first step in the 'Reduce ~ Recycle ~ Reuse' cycle is to REDUCE. As in...STOP BUYING MORE 'STUFF!' OK, that's how I interpret it, anyway, because I really like 'stuff!' And use what you have, for goodness sake. Look for new uses for old things, "shop" your house when you want to redecorate or spruce up and give the items you no loner use away to someone who needs them. Some of that fits under the recycle and reuse categories, of course, but that's the whole idea--one thing leads to another!
I'm saying this passionately because I've really got to get myself in gear to begin the reduction process. I do this occasionally, and ruthlessly (that's what my mom and I call it) go through my STUFF and give stuff away or throw stuff out. I just took two huge shopping bags and two garbage bags full of stuff to the local Goodwill. Mostly clothes and housewares I no longer enjoyed. but now I'm thinking of other things that are cluttering up my life that #1, I don't need, enjoy or have space for anymore and #2, that someone else could really use. And it's time to let go of that STUFF.
Example #1: See the white canisters on the counter, right of the sink? I had a friend over almost two years ago, to help me reorganize my kitchen and I told her I never used these and wanted to get rid of them, but she said 'every kitchen needs a set of canisters' and that they looked nice, so I kept them. Haven't opened a single one of them since. It's time to let go.
I'm finally realizing that I'm a visual person and to actually use something like a canister, I need to see what's inside--otherwise, I'll forget about them altogether. If I can't see what's inside, it's like they don't exist! Anyone getting rid of clear canisters??? :) I really think that if I can see my flour, tea bags, etc. on the counter, I'll use them more and they'll be more visually appealing.
Here's what I'd like to replace them with. These are from
The set of 3 is $99! Whoa!
Maybe I'll opt for these, affordable at $10 for the set of 3! From
Cost Plus World Market
Aaaah, but I'm wary of plastic...so maybe these square, glass guys from
Example #2: A white rocker I bought while pregnant with our first son. I had illusions of sitting in it and nursing him, rocking him to sleep...the usual delusions of a new mom. Little did I know that I wouldn't be able to sit in a hard chair for over a week after he was born and that I'd quickly became a pro at nursing laying down, thus eliminating the need for a night-time nursing hang out beyond our bed. Plus, he never did like to rock, he preferred being bounced on my birthing ball! To top it off, our live-in sister-in-law received a beautiful Cracker Barrel rocker as a gift last year and we definitely don't need two rocking chairs. Not to mention how they tend to get too close to the wall and chip away at the paint. It's time to let go.
So I'm really trying to look at my surroundings with new eyes and decide what items I can REDUCE. And I'm going to try to be better about not bringing in new STUFF unless it is something that is both useful and beautiful. If it happens to be Earth-friendly, all the better!
I'm by no means a 'tree-hugger' or an environmentalist or any of that...just a person trying to care for the planet Earth God has given us.
How about you? What STUFF do you need to let go of?