I just want to say at the outset that things (even the smallest of things) can be useful to others elsewhere, so don't feel like you have to hold on to things just to keep them out of the trash. We'll discuss how to get them used below.
Also, the pictures for these experiment posts, are not pretty or curated...just honest. I find myself wanting to explain things...but...I won't. :)
Step 2 :: Clean the drawer(s) + let it/them dry.
- Supplies- things like extra batteries + lightbulbs
- Just-in-case things
- True junk (to be recycled, composted or trashed)
- Are these useful to my current life? Are they expired or working? Have you switched to rechargeable batteries, but still have a stash of regular batteries?
- How many is enough? I can't use 12 smoke detector batteries before they expire.
- When do I plan on using this? If you don't plan on using it in the next year or two, maybe it's a just-in-case item. Move it to that category.
Just-in-case things ::
- Be honest with yourself about the likelihood of needing these things. If it's not likely it will get used in a year or two, maybe you can get it into the hands of someone who will use it.
- Consider whether an alternative is possible. Could something else do the job, if necessary? Could you borrow one?
- Consider how much it would cost to replace it...in the unlikely circumstance that it would need to be replaced.
- get it into the recycling, compost or trash
Beautiful drawer organizers might be great for some, but they might just be more stuff. I'm trying to prioritize being able to see my "supplies", so we use them + avoid buying more.
- Do your best to get useful supplies into the hands of those who will appreciate them. (Offer them to friends, family or an agency that works with adolescents aging out of foster care, refugees, abused mamas, formerly incarcerated or homeless folks.)
- Take spare office supplies to work, school or church.
- Even small things get snapped up on a local, free listing website. Maybe offer a collection of odds + ends all together.
Take note of the feelings these actions bring. I often feel a little lightness about doing the work of getting them used + not sending them to a landfill.
We are calling this series "experimenting with less" + the observations of this "experiment" will be carried out over the course of maybe a year or two. Take note of how often you need something you let go. Do you mind that that resource was made useful to someone else in the meantime? Was it a total drag or expensive to replace it?
Another goal here is to notice + change what we bring into our homes. When we need a new battery, we can purchase a pack of two rather than feeling the need to buy the biggest pack. Less stuff takes up less space + is easier to keep organized. This makes it easier to see what we have + to use that up rather than buying more...which saves money, resources + waste.
Find our other experiments with less in the kitchen here: 01, 02, 04, 05, 06.