I’ve been reading a lot about how it is necessary to address the issue of clutter before you can start making real strides towards a waste-free environment. As a graduate student, an artist, and probably a closet hoarder, this part is obviously the most challenging.
Alas, I am headed to Salvation Army today to drop off my first round of donations! The two areas I focused on this week were my linen closet (where we also keep extra toiletries and medicine), and the kitchen. Because I am taking this SLOW I will probably come back to these areas again in another few weeks…but for now, these are some of the things that were taking up space in our life.
- Travel size toiletries, which I have been hoarding from hotels. I used to keep these for guests, but now I’m going to get some permanent guest toiletry staples and store under the guest bathroom sink (refillable shampoo, conditioner, wash, and lotion). These babies that are cluttering up our life can go to people who can use them now, instead of the occasional guest in our home.
- Unopened over the counter meds. I am not sure if they will take these, but Corey and I rarely medicate. Somehow we have ended up with several packages of unopened Nyquil, off brand cold medications, cough drops, and allergy medication. I hope someone will get some good use out of these before they expire! That being said, I also threw away (:-() several medications that had expired years ago, so meds are a good place to do some decluttering.
- Cotton balls and cotton pads.
- Old towels that need to be transitioned to cleaning rags.
Kitchen (Phase 1):
- Plastic plates, cups, and bowls. I have been wanting to get new dishes for a lonnnnng time! I’m hoping now that our collection has been cut in half by getting rid of toxic plastic dishware– new stuff is on the horizon.
- Plastic to-go silverware and paper party plates (we rarely use any of this stuff and it just takes up space under our counters)
- Canned food. I didn’t have any of this, but I think this would be a good donation to make in Kitchen Phase 1
- Coffee mugs, to-go cups. I got rid of 2 mugs, 2 plastic commuter mugs, and 2 plastic to-go cups with straws (a small dent in my unwieldy collection, but…SLOW).
- Plastic tupperware. I also went pretty conservative on this, since we still use tupperware everyday for lunches. I got rid of just enough so that on our next few paychecks we can slowly replace with one green lunch storage option at a time.
- Clean out refrigerator for expired goods.
And this was enough for us this week! It was just enough that I could get it done in between writing breaks and feel good about the small things that I was able to accomplish. If you are unconvinced you can actually pull off the whole waste-free life-style– I get it! Corey has been giving me side-eyes for days since I have started taking the actions I have been lip-servicing for years. Especially for my family and close friends, start small with me! Spring is around the corner, let’s declutter!