Two minimalist tricks to save cash and the planet
Ever feel like you spend your days overwhelmed by stuff? Constantly tidying, brain going in seven directions at once, tripping over things?
Time to stop and reassess. A little practical minimalism could be exactly what you need to streamline your life and make progress again.
“What? Do we have to hold a ruthless purge of household items that fail to spark joy? Move our family of four to a one-bedroom studio apartment? Or give away everything and head out on the road with precisely 42 possessions between us?”
Fill your boots if all that upheaval sounds tempting. If it just sounds tiring, be reassured that an attempt at these super simple minimalism-inspired games over the next 30 days could be the start of a happier, freer and – yes, you guessed it – greener life.
The 30-day declutter game
The 30-day declutter game will start you off gently, gradually getting you into the clearing-out mindset as the month rolls on.
Here’s how it works:
Day one, remove one clutter item from your home. Doesn’t matter if you give it away, donate it to charity, sell it to a friend or recycle it, all you have to do is make sure it’s not thrown into the rubbish.
Day two, remove two more items from your home.
Day three, three items.
Day four, four items… and so on, upping the number of items to get rid of by one each day.
Complete the whole 30 days and you’ll put 465 useful items back into circulation, directly helping cut waste!
Can you get all the way to saying goodbye to 30 items on day 30?
The 30-day ‘think twice’ game
One of the benefits or drawbacks of the Internet, depending on your perspective, is the ability to buy pretty much anything we want, at any time of day, from anywhere in the world with a connection. Want it, click it, done. Scarily easy.
If the 30-day declutter game already has you thinking about several neglected items bought on a whim during a fit of the must-haves, have a go at this 30-day ‘think twice’ game:
How it works:
1) We stumble across a product and are immediately convinced that we need this item. It’s our colour. It’s our size. It’s in a flash sale. It comes with a free gift. It’s quite possibly the greatest item ever created. It will solve all of our personal problems, render us utterly irresistible/admirable/enviable and quite possibly bring about world peace.
2) Hard as it is, we resist the urge to whip out the credit card or click on that online payment link.
3) Instead, we open up our ‘think twice’ list. This can be in a note app on your phone, a text document on your computer or a page in your diary or notebook. Somewhere readily accessible.
4) We note down the desired item, the price and the date. Then we close the shopping sites and do something more interesting instead.
5) Once 30 days have passed from making our note, we can go ahead and buy the item in question – if we still want it, that is!
Try the ‘think twice’ list for yourself. It’s fun to glance back over when the must-have fits wear off: we can cross off this item because we managed to source a free one from Freecycle, cross off that one because we borrowed one from a friend, another one can be deleted because we’ve seen some bad reviews in the meantime, and this last one, well... we now have zero recollection of the product or why we so desperately craved it.
A penny saved is a penny earned, and a purchase avoided means fewer demands on our planet’s resources.