Look around your home: Our homes are filled with things that remind us of all the events this year, of memorable times in our lives or with someone else, or of the accumulation of all our hobbies, interests, and purchases–regardless of whether we really use them or not.
But as the year comes to a close, we can do one last assessment. If you want to begin your new year on a complete and fresh start, not only personally but also environmentally, here are a few things you should check around your house and consider letting go:
This one’s a no-brainer. At the start of the new year, it’s time to throw away things that are so old they’re practically dangerous items, such as the moldy leftovers in your fridge that you swear you’ll eat or that container of product in your cabinet that’s been expired longer than you care to admit, and especially expired medicine which runs the chance of being consumed accidentally. Certainly, health and hygiene are a must for the coming year, too.
We all have a few broken items in our house that we swear we can still use or fix up later: remote controls that don’t work, earphones with only one working earbud, keyboards that only work half the time, a quick YouTube or Google search here and there. We all want to be DIY and repair masters, but most likely those objects are just taking up space somewhere inside your house. If you really think you can fix it, that’s great, but honestly, why haven’t you?
Things that don’t serve their purpose
We have things that are slightly broken, aged, or defective but still work as they usually intend to. But maybe it’s time to let those things go, before they become another broken thing in your home or an impending fire and health hazard. Spring cleaning also means taking inventory of your items and assessing how long they’ll still work.
Dirty linens, ratty towels, and ancient cooking utensils don’t particularly promote health and well-being, and neither does a fan that sounds like heavy machinery whenever it starts up. Letting go of old and subpar things allows us to make room for better things.
Items that you don’t use anymore
These can range from things like sports equipment from a hobby you used to love but no longer do, an old perfume bottle of a scent you used to like, or a shirt from a band you don’t really enjoy as much. It’s time to pack these things up and send them off to charity, recycle them, or maybe even sell them. Maybe someone else will enjoy it as much as you did, but it certainly isn’t doing anything in your home.
Perhaps you bought something after seeing a cool video of it online, such as a device that cuts five apples at once. You probably made an impulse purchase while strolling through the mall. We all have purchases we use once or twice and never see the light of day again. Sometimes we don’t even use them at all, and those items become just another thing in your house, collecting dust and taking up space. Resell them or use them, make space for your new favorite thing.
Things that are just taking up space
The old figurines and decorations that you don’t even like, a humidifier that you don’t use but keeps looking nice in one corner of your house, or even memorabilia from an event or trip you only vaguely remember are things that just take up space but serve no real use or value for you. Come to think of it, you could use their spaces for better things or even just declutter to make areas of your home feel more comfortable and more spacious, freshening up your view and mind.
Regardless of how understandable it is to collect receipts and documents, we should understand that the world has gone digital. Reduce the amount of the paper mountain in your home by digitizing and scanning documents that don’t necessarily need a physical copy, as well as getting rid of documents that you’re certain have served their purpose. Throw away receipts that you don’t need. No one needs a reminder of a donut purchase from nine months ago anyway lmao.
This also includes invitations, cards, or even photos that don’t hold any sentimental or important meaning for you. Curating the documents and papers in your home will help you find important things more efficiently and reduce the fire hazard in your home.
If you have two of the same thing with no practical difference or purpose, then the other’s only function is to take up space. This also applies if you have an upgraded version of a device or tool; dispose of the other and save yourself time searching for which of the five identical things does its job better.
Electronic accessories and devices
If you have one that does something better, then dispose of all the others. With electronic devices, having an extra cable or two for your devices is adequate, a hundred cables and ports all tangled up like a snake pit don’t help with organization or efficient use of your time. Consider disposing or selling devices that are phased out or obsolete, or ones you no longer use.
Obviously, important things and gifts will always be with us, but letting go of things for a new year doesn’t just mean removing what is unnecessary but also appreciating things that we do enjoy and value. A clean environment fosters a more relaxed and peaceful mind. It can also give way to creativity and productivity, a positive mindset to bring on the coming year!
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