YouTube. That place where it’s so easy to go from one topic video to another. Until it’s 2:00 AM and you wonder how you landed on the last video you clicked. Several months ago, during a 2 AM stint on that social media site, I stumbled into the world of zero waste, low waste, decluttering and general life management videos.
I’ve never been an environmentalist, and I used to think that I was doing pretty well with what I chose not to buy and what I actually used in my house. Not too long ago one of my interviewees, Sarah Price, put up a post in the Journal section of her website called “131+ Items I Recently Decluttered This Year.”
It got me thinking: “How much do I REALLY have that I don’t use? What can I let go, if anything? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?” The thing is, I LOVE watching decluttering videos, where folks get rid of everything from expired or overflowing makeup, to cleaning out closets of kids toys, and even videos on how to properly clean out your car. But was I doing any of that?
Truthfully? No. I wasn’t. I was inspired by the videos, but I wasn’t applying any of the concepts I claimed to be interested in into practice.
Now I know this is a very different kind of post for my site, but I thought I’d share with you the results of the last few months of purging, cleaning, and decluttering my 625 sq ft home. My list isn’t as impressive as Sarah’s, but my home, and my soul, feels lighter and happier because of it. So here are 62 things I’ve decluttered or stopped buying (so far):
Excessive cleaning products
Toxic social media accounts
A winter coat that no longer fits
Broken yard lights
A bucket or rocks from my porch
A spring form pan
A bundt pan
Extra linens/old towels (see video below)
Bath & Body Works candles
20+ items of unused clothing
Liquid body wash
Single use lens wipes
A jewelry tree
Jewelry I never wore
A shoe shelf from Target
Two candle holders
Prime time television
My sister’s treadmill (with permission)
Loose recipes from magazines
Oils and vinegars I never used
Individually wrapped dishwasher tablets
A bamboo cutting board I got free-with-purchase of a cookbook
Ice cube trays
Extra pens/desk supplies
Adult coloring books
Hair oils and sprays that didn’t work
Beauty products that come in foil packets
Gaming apps on my phone
Subscriptions to multiple YouTube channels
Two stacks of hangers
Old birthday cards
Long lists of TV shows to “watch later but never do”
Extra reusable straws
Old Christmas cards (with their envelopes)
A stained Tupperware container with a cracked lid (10+ years old
All but two sets of chopsticks
All vitamins except iron (anemic)
There you have it. 62 Things I’ve Decluttered or Stopped Buying. I’m far from perfect in practicing certain things represented on this list, like forgetting my reusable grocery bags and having to revert back to plastic. Or forgetting to take my water bottle to work.
I still have moments where I feel I need “retail therapy,” but those usually come when I should be sleeping or just watched a YouTube video that recommends certain things. All in all, I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve been able to pass on, sell, donate or just toss since I started this journey. Some extra things I forgot to mention that I don’t buy anymore: Swiffer duster sheets, dryer sheets (swapped those out with wool dryer balls), and fast fashion.
These changes have helped me be more mindful when I do head out to shop. To use up what I own and think about more sustainable alternatives. I don’t think I can completely go into a full on minimalist or zero waste lifestyle, but changing habits slowly and keeping up with them feels good for the soul. What makes yours happy?