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Beginners Minimalism: 5 things you need to throw out today.

Spring has sprung. The seasons are changing, it’s a time synonymous with new beginnings and new life. In other words it’s the perfect time to make a change in your life.

Over the past few months I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism. It all seems very chic, but a little bit clinical. I must admit my house has a lot of trinkets: art work on the walls, ornaments on the shelves, books absolutely everywhere.

But I do like the idea of living in a less cluttered house. Especially now we have a dog, the house would be so much easier to clean! So, it seems it may be time to start embracing minimalism.

I must admit though, the thought of throwing away some of my things, especially the books, daunts me a little bit. I do have a little bit of an emotional attachment to some of them. But I also really like seeing them, so for now I think the books will stay.

But there are so many things around the house which could go, and I bet a lot of other people out there have the same things lingering about. So, TA-DA, my list of the 5 things you need to throw away today.

beginners minimalism

1. Old magazines/newspapers/leaflets

Not sure about you, but I tend to hoard magazines to read at a later date, but then never ever read them. Where we live we receive a magazine every few months filled with ads for local companies. I like to read these as I like to keep my spending money in local pockets. But I never do actually read them.

Same with local newspapers and takeaway leaflets that come through the door. They gather in a pile either by the front door or on the coffee table. These should be the first things to go. Especially magazines you’ve already read.

If there are things in there which you are keeping the whole magazine for, take pictures of the information on your phone. That way you can keep it to hand without the clutter.

2. Unused/broken clothes hangers.

Every time I go shopping for new clothes I never refuse the offer of clothes hangers (although, has anybody else noticed they aren’t offered out as much anymore?). Hence my wardrobe now has more clothes hangers than actual clothes.

If you’re like me and have exactly the same problem then it is pretty easy to remedy, and leaves you with a surprising amount of space for more clothes in the future. I’ve also started thinking about longevity and being more eco friendly through sensible purchases. Wooden coat hangers are the way forward.

But for the time being, bag them up and throw them away! Or you could always check and see if one of your local charity shops would like them. Unless they’re pretty broken, in which case better just to throw them away.

3. Unworn clothes.

Wardrobes are one of the first places in a home where clutter manifests itself. Clothes which no longer fit, or are getting a bit grubby looking tend to stay there until you can’t squeeze anymore clothes in. Or that may just be me.

But this is a good place to start when it comes to removing clutter from the house. Take out all of your clothes and put them into 3 piles: keep, charity, bin. Obviously the keep clothes are the ones which still have life in them and are worn regularly. The charity pile is for the clothes which are still in good condition but either don’t fit or just aren’t your style anymore. Bin is for the tatty rags which haven’t been worn for years. (When I say bin you can recycle them, find a local recycling centre!).

Be tough. Don’t keep something that doesn’t fit just because you like the colour or may wear it again someday. Today is not that day. I had a dress in my wardrobe which I kept for years just because the colour was lovely. The dress is going to a charity shop and hopefully someone else will wear it.

4. Empty bottles, jars, containers etc.

Another one that me and my partner are terrible for is hoarding jam jars and empty shampoo bottles. Not because we’re lazy, but because we think they might have a use further down the line. The jam jars do generally get used as storage containers (we’re trying to move away from using so much plastic in the home) but some of the smaller ones we’ll never use.

And with empty toiletry bottles, for some reason we always fail at throwing them away. Mainly because I’m never certain if they can be recycled or not, and I hate throwing something away if it could’ve been recycled.

It’s no good though, holding onto things which essentially are trash. You could try repurposing some things, but then you’ll probably end up with a tonne of plants in glass jars which you don’t want either. It’s nice to not waste anything, but the crux of the issue is that you need to not buy so much to begin with.

5. Unnecessary trinkets.

I’m a bit of a bugger for holding onto trinkets. Shells picked up from the seaside, cute boxes from the charity shop and art I’ve bought with no plan of where to put it. All of these things are unnecessary purchases and are cluttering up our space.

Now, it’s here where you need to make a clear definition between items which bring you joy and which you don’t want to throw away because it seems like a waste. The number of items which bring you joy should be small. If everything is bringing you enjoyment then you’re not enjoying it for the right reasons.

Much like with your clothes, make piles. Keep, charity, bin. Anything which you adore should stay. Who wants to live in a barren home without the slightest hint of personality? Not me. But limit yourself in this pile for only the best of the best. Charity shop is good for old paintings. And bin those little trinkets like sea shells. Be ruthless.

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