I wrote a post called “10 Things I No Longer Buy” a few months ago, a list of 10 things I found that I could either live without or replace with something free/recycled/repurposed. As I’ve been decluttering the past few weeks and more selective of what makes it into the “keep” pile, there’s (at least) 10 more things I realized I could do without. Most were items that were cheap to purchase, but costly in other ways like time, upkeep, health, etc.
And so, in no particular order:
1. Fake Plants:
These were a cheap buy. They didn’t make it into the “keep” pile since they get super dusty, are hard to clean, and have small parts that aren’t good for a curious baby. My local grocery store has small fresh flower bunches for a few dollars, so if there’s a time that I really want flowers, I get a small bunch and put them in a water glass.
2. Fruit Bowls aka “Paperwork Bowls”:
I actually liked my fruit bowl until I realized that because it was a cheap buy, it wasn’t actually green glass- it was green coated glass (didn’t know that was a thing), and so the coating had started to chip. It was holding more paperwork than actual fruit, so it was time to let it go.
3. Bed Risers:
Back when it was hard to say no to other people’s unwanted things, I had these odd little things under the feet of my bed to boost it up so that storage containers would fit under it. With less stuff, they aren’t needed. They kinda look like traffic cones, now that I think about it. A standard length bedskirt doesn’t hide them.
4. Physical Books:
These take up so much space, and are a pain to pack and move. After getting an e-reader as a gift, I only buy a physical book if I have a specific person in mind to pass it on to when I’m done reading it.
5. Novelty Kitchen Items:
That cheap avocado holder seemed like a good idea at the time. But it got used maybe once. Retail stores will try to convince you that you need more kitchen gadgets. But really, anything beyond the basics will probably not get used that often. Novelty items take up space and have you thinking that you need a bigger kitchen, when in reality, your kitchen is probably fine, you may just need to pare down some things. For example, while going through kitchen items I realized we had 18 glasses for a family of 3 who never has dinner parties for 18 people, haha! So some had to go.
6. Ice cream:
Not keeping ice cream around means that it doesn’t get freezer burn and we aren’t mindlessly eating it late at night. When we really want ice cream, the drive-thru ice cream place just down the road has more options than we could ever fit in the freezer, in reasonable portions.
7. Pre-packaged bakery items/sweets:
If you’ve ever looked at the long ingredient labels on these, there are many questionable ingredients- artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, partially hydrogenated soybean oil- the list could go on and on. I’ve started buying healthier box versions that I can add ingredients to if I feel like it.
8. Recipe book stand:
With the availability of recipes online, this rarely got used.
9. Home decor that has no “meaning”:
This stuff is everywhere at the Targets, Walmarts, and Marshalls of the world. Much of it is quite eye-catching and pretty, with enticing prices. However, these items start to fall apart after awhile- the paper peels, the engineered wood starts to split, the paint or coating chips. I realized that these types of items had no sentimental meaning for me: they were just cluttering the walls, or I had picked an item in pursuit of a “decorated” home because it was cheap and the right color.
10. Craft supplies:
While I’ll always love crafty things, I just don’t have the time anymore for making them. I felt better passing the supplies on to someone who would actually enjoy them. I realized that hobbies that don’t require a bunch of extra “stuff” are actually more enjoyable for me: things like walking, blogging, cooking, yoga, sightseeing, etc.
One question I’ve seen pop up several times is, “What do you do with the things that no longer fit your life?” Consider these 5 options before placing something in the trash:
- Sell on Craigslist, at consignment shops, or look into Facebook buy/sell/trade groups
- Find a local non-profit thrift store that fits your values
- Recycle as much as you can
- Donate worn out clothes to Goodwill (they say they get recycled)
- Swap items in good condition with a friend’s items
What items do you find you no longer need? Please share!
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