Welcome back to our month of “Make a Fresh Start.” Few things feel as good as clearing away clutter. It empowers us, and instantly gives our space a feeling of order and calm. Today I am continuing with ideas for starting fresh by challenging you to tackle your collection of “free” items.
A couple of years back I wrote a song about stuff (you can watch it here if you are curious). The chorus of the song reminds us that there actually is a cost to owning things. We are either cleaning them, storing them, insuring them, maintaining them, walking around them, moving them around, digitizing them, or in some other way taking care of them. Free, as it turns out, can be expensive!
Nonetheless, most of us accumulate a lot of free items. Some common “free offenders” are:
- Phone books
- Hangers/pins/collar stays from the dry cleaner
- “Free Gifts” from the makeup counter
- Toiletries bags from international flights
- Children’s clothing “handed down” by a friend or family member
- Company promotional items
- Inherited clothing/furniture/décor
- Party/wedding favors
- “Happy Meal” toys
- Promotional materials
- “Freebie” food items
- Greeting cards
- Address or gift labels
- Cups/mugs/sports bottles from events or activities
- Chop sticks and plastic ware from take-out meals
- Packets of ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, etc.
Much of this kind of stuff ends up clogging our drawers and cabinets because we don’t have a designated place where it should go. We tell ourselves, “Well, it was free!” or, “It was such a bargain, I have to keep it.”
As it turns out, the cost of acquisition should have no bearing on whether or not we choose to keep something. Ownership should be reserved for things that are useful or bring us joy. Starting today, and perhaps going forward throughout the month…
- Whenever you open a drawer or cabinet and see a freebie item you aren’t using, let it go.
- If you bump into furniture you inherited but honestly don’t like, make a plan to move it out.
- If someone gave you clothes that you don’t like, donate them.
Anything that is in good enough condition to be used by someone else can be donated. Otherwise, recycle or pitch it.
* * * * *
Keep reminding yourself that “because it was free” is not a good reason to keep anything.
Do you think you can find any freebies to shed?