Starting, Midway, or Finished?

Happy New Year everyone. If you want to simplify your life in 2016, I'll offer a few personally hard earned tips. If you are already part way through your journey to de clutter, I have some thoughts for you too! If you have finished the process to get organized, have you considered going all the way to a Zero Waste Home? (or as I like to think of ourselves, a Low Waste Home).

1. Just Getting Started:

Congrats if you are jumping in for the first time. I salute you. Start with clothes, as Marie Kondo suggests. Though to be honest I started by going room to room in our home and doing a few trips to the thrift store with stuff I wanted to part with. It was a few days later that I learned about and read her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Clothes are usually emotionally easiest and by piling them all up on your bed, you will see a stack much larger than you would have thought. Most of us own way more than we think we do. Among many benefits, paring down our possessions forces us to consider if we really need to continue buying things in the future. When we opt out of the consumer life, we save money, free our time for making memories with loved ones, and help the environment.

2. Midway Through

It's very liberating to pare down clothes but it doesn't always give us the momentum we need to work through ALL of the other things we own. It's hard work to put your hands on everything you own and then make decisions about what to do with those items. Pick another category and work at it. I promise you will stumble and fall, but if you keep getting back up your life will forever be changed. There are few things more freeing than releasing out of your home all of the things that you don't truly love or use. I remember saying to my husband years ago that "I know I have creativity in me somewhere, I just don't know how to access it". Freeing the clutter from my life set free my mind and spirit. I have never been happier. Put in the hard work my friend, you will be deeply rewarded.

3. Nearly done?

If you have finished getting yourself organized, consider living a Zero or Low Waste Life. A low waste Life does not require many purchases (glass parfait jars and a few other small things, but only if you want). A low waste life DOES, however, ask you to question and change your purchasing decisions. See the salmon and cheese in the jars pictured above? Those are from the counter at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. It was my first time filling jars at this particular store. Yes, it was nerve wracking asking the man behind the counter to fill my jar with salmon filets when I could have grabbed the fish already packaged in plastic and styrofoam. It's easier though, at home to NOT have to deal with trash. Its also incredibly beneficial for our health and the health of our earth. It takes resources after all, to make plastic and styrofoam, and after a brief shelf life those things spend many, many years in a landfill. Beyond changes in the kitchen, a zero or low waste life asks you to buy second hand, or to find satisfaction in the things you already own. Try the low waste lifestyle and let me know what you think-  you have so much to gain. In fact, we all have much to gain by just one person transitioning to a low waste life.