Mom LifeHacks: 30 ways to own less and love what you have

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This is post is part of a month-long series about integrating minimalism into your lifestyle. We started off with three basic tips: buy less, do not own anything that you do not need, and question what’s normal; last week, I gave you 30 ways to manage your spending to get started: buy less, do not own anything that you do not need, and question what is normal.

minimalismToday, we plunge into the world of weeding through your possessions. You are becoming a pro already, so I am taking off the gloves. Let’s get to it!

  1. Fact: if it is worth keeping, you would use it. If you do not, it is not.
  2. We tend to hold onto memorabilia that echoes who we used to be, the friends and family we used to have, and important events. Most of it is not necessary and is rarely revisited, since we have memories that do not take up precious closet space.
  3. The stereotype of women being shoe-obsessed might be insulting, or in your home, true. In mine, it is that my daughter has tons. Odds are, anyone who owns more than the basic few is overdoing it.
  4. Same goes for bags, ladies.
  5. If the golfer in your family hits the links less often than you change your car’s oil, they don’t need their own clubs.
  6. In most kitchens, you need only the supplies here.
  7. If you need a coffee pot, especially a large, expensive one, keep in mind that most connoisseurs will tell you that a French Press is best.
  8. Would you die without a slow-cooker, hand-mixer, food-processor, stand-mixer, bread-maker or rice-cooker? No, you would not.
  9. A dishwasher will save you time and super-heat your dishes to bacteria-free status. It will also cost you money to run, eliminate the relaxation that lazily washing dishes with your spouse can create and add noise pollution to your home.
  10. Wondering if you can give something up? Put it in a box with other questionables, seal it and date it. If the box remains unopened six months later, toss it without even sorting through it.
  11. Your kids do not need more than a week’s worth of outfits for each season. Neither do you or your spouse.
  12. For cold weather, you need a winter coat. For the spring, you need a jacket. For rainy days, something reasonably waterproof. Period.
  13. Owning a car in a city with good mass transportation is usually unnecessary. There are car co-ops and rentals for when you really need one. Walk, ride a bike, or take transit!
  14. Having shelves full of books seems glorious. It also takes up a lot of space and adds clutter to your environment. Donate books you do not truly worship to charity, sell them, or swap them.
  15. Decluttering is not just for March. Do it quarterly – yo would be surprised how often you pick up new things that you do not need.
  16. Follow the one-in, one-out rule: Every time a new possession comes in, get rid of one.
  17. Yes, you can buy a three-pack of mustard for $6.00, and the single is $3.49. If you will not use it within six months, do not buy bulk.
  18. If you have clothes kicking around from when you used to and you no longer do, get rid of them.
  19. Business clothes can often be donated to a shelter or charity linked to helping low-income and homeless gain employment.
  20. Keep the most precious of baby clothes and get rid of the rest: the gear, accessories and toys. Odds are, even if you have another, only a crib or travel set will be irreplaceable.
  21. Truly, what is not irreplaceable? Consider this as you look around at everything you own and do not touch, that you keep just in case.
  22. How many computers do you own? TVs, mp3 players, video game platforms, telephones, and other electronic devices? Do you not sometimes feel like they are suffocating your house?
  23. If you buy something in bulk to get a cheaper price, donate or give away the extra that you will not use. Someone needs it.
  24. Limit the amount of toys your children have. Why? Because too many leads not only to larger messes, but less attachment to (and appreciation for) what they do own.
  25. Regularly visit the library for media such as books and movies. Then return them once consumed. It is free and requires no long-term storage.
  26. Find a skin/hair/makeup routine that works and stick to it. You do not need products everywhere.
  27. Choose to use natural household products for cleaning and ix-nay multiple bottles of cleaners.
  28. A stocked-to-explosion linen closet is not needed. Own a max of two sets of everything for each family member and one for guests, and one or two great toss blankets.
  29. I love wrapping paper more than chocolate, but truthfully, you do not need more than a half-dozen rolls to cover nearly any occasion. Store it in a compact, out of the way fashion, such as in an under-bed tote.
  30. When yo are getting rid of anything, try to donate it or sell it. If it is too much effort to orchestrate, call a major charity that collects households and leave it out for them on pick up day – you might qualify for a tax receipt if it is a large donation.

Check back next week for tips and tricks to minimize your lifestyle!

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