Clutter is a slow posion. Drip-by-drip it appears in all of our lives and slowly robs us of clarity, control, and freedom. Today’s post is about taking action against this mini-uprising. The following decluttering projects are quick yet valuable mini-projects that you can finish today.
- Audit your medical supplies. If you don’t have a basic first aid kit or a basic supply of medicine for yourself or your family, now is a great time to get one. If you already have a basic first aid kit or medicine drawer, now is a wonderful time for a quick audit of your supplies. Check and replace items based on expiration dates and supply levels and take action to prepare for the future now.
- Audit your refrigerator or freezer. – Most modern refrigerator-freezer units cool the refrigerator by passing cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator (among other methods). If this airflow is blocked by too much stuff or ice in either unit, the unit is going to need to utilize additional electricity (money) to keep your goods cold. Keeping your freezer full doesn’t actually make it more efficient so don’t feel the need to keep it full unless you are in an area that experiences frequent blackouts. (In this side case, keeping your freezer cool helps prevent against relatively rapid temperature changes as more energy is required to cool or heat the contents of the freezer.)
For each item inside, check expiration dates, the likelihood of usage and cleanliness. Donate, compost or dispose of each item that you don’t need anymore. (Pro tip, look on Facebook for a “freecycle” group in your community. These make great places to donate perishables.)
- Give your car (if you have one) an inexpensive checkup. – Now is a great time to give your car an inexpensive checkup. Vacuum the interior, check the vent settings (are you accidentally wasting resources heating and cooling seats that rarely have passengers?), add defroster to the interior of your windows (use basic shaving cream rather than the expensive proprietary defogger, they have the same impact), and collect any loose change you may find.
- Clean out your utensil drawer. If you keep all of your utensils in a drawer, now is a great time to clean the drawer itself. Doing so interrupts the ugly cycle of putting freshly cleaned utensils into a germ-infested drawer or container.
- Sort through old mail or papers. If you have a pile of mail or other papers at your home, now is a perfect time to sort and potentially digitize the items in the pile. If you have a smartphone, you may already have a document digitalization feature built-in.
- Audit your closet. Now is an excellent time to organize your closet or drawers. If you find something you haven’t worn in a year or longer, consider donating it. For everything else, fold, clean or sort the item to decrease clutter and the time it takes to find specific items.
- Run those errands you haven’t yet. Sometimes the simplest tasks can take the longest to prioritize. If you have specialty-items (electronics, chemicals or raw materials that need special recycling) or other errands that need special treatment, take this opportunity and finally get the applicable items out of your life.
If you would like more tips like this, consider checking out my latest book, The Minimalist Mindset. It has a couple hundred pages of ideas like those above.