Rethink - Sustainable clutter free living
Author: Tanya Lewis
Eco Organiser and Planet Ark ambassador Tanya Lewis encourages us to rethink decluttering, in a responsible and sustainable manner.
RETHINK is Number No.1 in my sustainable organising system The 10R’s© for a very important reason.When it comes to decluttering and creating order in our home, careers and lives, pausing for 3 seconds to rethink a future purchase orholding on to stuff allows rational thoughts to catch up with our emotions. It calms your mind and allows you to evaluate what you need and want in your life.
Hanging onto stuff that does not make us happy is not rational. Likewise, buying something which does not add value to our lives does not make sense. It’s not uncommon to see people shopping for stuff to fill a void in their life. Toys for the kids when a marriage has broken down. Handbags and shoes the celebrities wear because we think we will live the same life if we only have those shoes. Buying the latest herbs and spices so you too can become the greatest chef on the planet.
The next time you go out to buy something, stop, rethink and ask yourself:
Do I need it?
Do I love it?
Does/will it add value to my life?
Why should we “rethink” before we buy something new and accept more stuff into our homes, office or lives?
Every physical thing requires some sort of energy to produce whether it be water and fertilizer to grow wheat for breakfast cereal, chemical dyes to dye cotton for a new pair of jeans or ear buds for your phone. Each of these items takes energy and resources: oil for plastics, trees for paper, metal for wiring to produce products. Did you know a single pair of jeans requires 11,000 litres to produce! Something to think about when you next see “buy one get one free”. Have a rethink and ask if you really need the extra pair?
Rethinking and organising space creates a clear understanding of what we have, use and need. When we know what we have, we are less likely to buy more of the same. With this in mind we can save time, space, money and reduce the impact stuff has on the planet.
Case Study: While working with a client to declutter and organise the kitchen, we started to see multiple jars of jam (36 jars in total!). My client said “I didn’t know I had it, so I went and bought more”. We call this the vicious clutter spiral.
Rethink the vicious clutter spiral
The vicious clutter spiral not only adds to our carbon footprint, it wastes valuable time, costs money and adds layers of stress to our busy lives. Seriously who has time to waste going to the store to buy jam only to discover there is a stockpile at home. Solution: Get in touch with clutter and stop the vicious clutter spiral.
Rethink and save money
No one is exempt from falling into the vicious clutter spiral. An office without a central organised stationary cupboard or a neglected electronic ordering system can easily lead to over spending, slowing down output, costing money and adding to frustration and stress.
Rethink your space
Having a roof over our heads is something so many of us take for granted, so why not love the space you have and rethink the stuff that does not make you happy. I recently heard of the Homeshare Australia program, which matches people in need of accommodation with people looking for support within their home such as the elderly. This allows them to stay in their own home longer without feeling cut off from society. Clearing the spare room may open up a world of opportunities to you and others.
Remember, life is too short to be looking for stuff.
There are many organising systems available and you may have one in place that just requires a few changes or updates to improve the harmony in your home and life.
There is no need throw the baby out with the bathwater if your current system meets some of your needs. Rethink your current system until you feel comfortable and start to see the change you want. If you struggle to see where changes can be made, try explaining your system to a trusted associate or hire a professional organiser. A fresh set of eyes often picks up things we may not see.
No. 1 Rethink- good for you, your finances, relationship and our planet.
The 10R’s© Rethink Responsible Refuse Repurpose Reorganise Repair Reduce Reuse Recycle Reward
The above article was reproduced with the permission of Tany Lewis from the original blog post on her Eco Organiser website.
Tanya Lewis has a simple philosophy borrowed from Gandhi - “Live simply so others can simply live”. Author of STUFF OFF! and founder of The 10R’s© eco organising system, Tanya challenges society to rethink the environmental impact clutter has on the planet. Find out more at ecoorganiser.com.au
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