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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s Springtime! And in Austin we actually had a Spring as opposed to going from Winter to Summer as we usually do. When Spring arrives everyone usually gets the urge to purge (except for me as I usually get the urge to purge every season 🙂 ) so in the next few posts I plan to give you some tips on how to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

First up – Reduce!

When I think about the word Reduce, I mean it in a couple different ways: first, reduce the amount of clutter in the house and second, reduce the amount of stuff coming into the house.

Spring de-cluttering can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of areas that need help. My advice is to start small. Start with a drawer like I recently did. I have a cord drawer that was getting out of hand. Every time we purchase any type of electronic device these days it seems like they are all powered with a micro USB cord. We would put all the cords in this one drawer as well as USB plugs and external battery packs. A couple years ago I tried to organize all of the cords with binder clips and rubber bands but that tactic did not work and the system was not sustainable. I knew that I should probably purchase a drawer organizer this time to really maximize the space as well as help maintain moving forward. I really love the InterDesign Rain Organizer Tray (affiliate link). I’ve used it in several drawers because it’s sturdy and high quality.

My process was to empty the drawer and only put back the cords that we are currently using. Instead of having 15 micro USB cords, I pulled out three of varying lengths and put them in one section. I put iPhone cords in the next section. Then a section for headphones and a cord for one of the boy’s toys. Another section for an old iPhone cord (the boys use the old iPhones for music) and another cord for a toy. And then finally a section for the USB plugs. Now the drawer only has the cords we currently use on a day to day basis. As far as the rest of the micro USB cords – I put about 5 more in the other cord storage we have and got rid of the rest.

My 5 tips for reducing the clutter within your home:

  1. Start small so that you can feel like you accomplished something ~ it doesn’t have to happen all in one day
  2. Go through all of the items and decide if you are currently using it, if not get rid of it (I will provide a list of recycling resources in the next couple of weeks)
  3. After you have decided what you will keep, determine if you need some sort of organizing solution, like a drawer organizer, divider, bin or basket, etc. – remember to shop your home first
  4. Put everything back and with the most used items near the front for easy access
  5. Moving forward, before putting something new in the space, determine if it should really be there

I love the phrase – a place for everything and everything in its place – because it is so true, if you make a place for everything it will be easier to keep things in their own place. Another bonus is that you will also begin to reduce the amount of time you spend looking for things!

So how can you reduce the amount coming into your home? Believe me, I know it is hard, especially in the times we live in with Amazon Prime a short click away! However, reducing the amount that comes in to your home can help you reduce the amount of clutter in your home and hopefully save you money as well.

My 5 tips for reducing the amount of stuff that comes into your home:

  1. Only buy what you need – easier said than done, thanks to Target; however if you really do have a goal of reducing the amount of stuff that comes into your home, then make a shopping list and stick to it
  2. Don’t purchase something just because it’s on sale – see point #1 above about making a list, then resist the urge to buy those cute note cards that are on 30% clearance at Target since you know you have plenty of note cards at home
  3. Don’t purchase clothes in a wish-ful size or shoes that are kind of comfortable – if the outfit doesn’t fit and make you feel fabulous in the store and the shoes don’t feel like slippers then don’t purchase them
    • Consider a one-in/one-out shopping method – if you do end up purchasing that fabulous top or comfortable shoes consider donating one of your current tops or pair of shoes
  4. Sign up for Amazon Save & Subscribe (if you have room in your home for bulk purchases) – Amazon’s Save & Subscribe is a monthly delivery service where you can get everything from a refrigerator water filter to razors and everything in between; when you sign up for a service like this you can adjust your delivery items each month so you can check your supplies for what you need and get only that delivered [this also helps with point #1 above]
  5. Reduce the amount of mail you receive – sign up for online statements for all of your bills; consider subscribing to online magazines and newspapers (especially if you keep falling behind on reading them)

If you need help reducing the amount of clutter in your home – please give me a call so we can discuss how I can help ~ 512.924.1619!

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