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The True Cost of Our Stuff

Often when we shop our main decision basis is one of price. We review the price tags as well as asking ourselves questions like; is it on special? Does it come with something free? Can I get two for one or buy one get one half price? We assume that we are frugal or budget savvy by considering these price points before purchasing. The issue is that this often means that the true cost of a purchase is not considered.

When we only consider these price points in the decision making process for new purchases we forget the most important costs. One of the prime and irreplaceable costs being – our time. One of my favourite quotes is from Minimalist blogger Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist. He says “We don’t buy things with money. We buy them with hours from our lives.” A thought I try to be conscious of this each day.

Before we head out to the shops, or to buy something online – or anywhere, we need to consider a few things. Not just the money spent to make that purchase, but the investment of time involved in owning something. This assessment allows us to truly make wiser purchasing decisions and to consider the true cost of our stuff.

There is much more that needs to be considered than just price alone. Here are 7 other things you should consider when making purchasing decisions to assess the true cost:

  1. Lack of mobility

When you consume excessively your rob yourself of future opportunities. What if a new position came up interstate that would be perfect for you but because you have a huge home filled with stuff you can’t move. What if you find the perfect rental property and you need to be out in a week but miss out because you can’t physically pack up all of your stuff that quickly. What if you need to sell your house whilst the market is booming but you take three months to declutter and pack your stuff and during that period the market drops suddenly and you lose thousands in the lost market price? Having too much stuff can hold you back from decisions that make you happy and add to your life and stop you from being mobile when you need to be.

  1. Environmental Cost of Excessive Consumption

When we consume in excess we increase our impact on the environment. Everything you buy comes with packaging – boxes, plastic, tape, tissue paper, foam and other stuff that will quite possibly end up in landfill. Not to mention the cost on our natural resources. Clothing manufacturing uses vast amounts of water and chemicals. The more we buy, the more our valuable resources are depleted and the more waste we create.

This impact is often not seen by the consumers but born by the wildlife and locals who live in the areas of manufacturing. Check out True Cost on Netflix for a great documentary on the environmental and human cost of our fast fashion industry. 

  1. Opportunity Cost

This is the cost of what you could have done with that money had you not spent it on a new outfit or tech gadget. Instead of buying more stuff you could have invested that cash in yourself such as; by starting your own business, signing up for an educational course, contributing to your retirement, going on a holiday, paying off your mortgage or other debt. All these things have the potential to greatly improve your circumstances.

When people reach the end of their lives the common regret is not wishing they bought more things over there life times, but wishing they would have spent more time with family and friends and traveled more. There would be more time to do in our younger years if we stopped working more and more to buy things we don’t need. Rather than spending our hard earned cash on more stuff, we should consider the true cost – the opportunity costs of spending that money on stuff which could have been redirected to save for our future and retire earlier and have more time to spend with the people we love, doing things we truly enjoy!

  1. Less time for your important relationships.

Whilst you are spending all Saturday morning cleaning your large home you’ve missed out on brunch with a friend, going out with the kids on a road trip, a morning walk with your wife.

The more stuff we have the more time we invest in cleaning it, maintaining, repairing not to mention the other stuff we don’t think of – the time we spend unpacking and setting it up, the time we spend reconciling our accounts each month, filing our receipts, finding a place for the item, washing it, moving it to dust or vacuum. The list goes on.

When buying something new ask yourself what is the true cost of this item? Are you prepared to spend the extra time to look after this item, dust it regularly, iron it weekly, pay for maintenance costs, take it for repairs when necessary and so on.

This goes for buying a house. A house is one of the biggest drains on your time. Consider whether you really need a two story mansion for you family of three or if you would rather spend the time you would have spent cleaning each weekend with your family not to mention the extra work hours needed to cover the larger mortgage.


If you like this article you may also be interested in reading “10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life“.


  1. The Cost to Our Health.

The more we spend, the more money we need to bring in to stay ahead and on top of our debt. Maybe you are working 80 hours a week to bring in the big bucks to keep up with your spending. As a result of overworking you get home too tired to spend time with your family or do anything for yourself like exercise or read a book. You begin to live for the weekend with Monday to Friday just being a blur of alarm clocks and falling asleep on the couch.

Not only is your health suffering from lack of time to exercise, cook a nutritional meal and relax after work but you will be carrying around a lot more stress if you are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. This can soon escalate if you are constantly worrying how you will meet your bills and debt repayments each month. Many people are reaching retirement age saddled with large consumer and mortgage debts without considering the consequences if they suddenly have to retire due to health concerns.

  1. Anxiety and Stress Caused by Excess Clutter

Having lots of stuff adds stress and anxiety into our lives even if we are not aware of it. Clutter makes it difficult to relax physically and mentally and can make it an embarrassing time if unexpected guests rock up. Not to mention the added stress of not being able to find things, having to step over things constantly, pick up things endlessly to tidy up, or seeing cluttered spaces every time you open your drawers or wardrobe. The clutter is always there to remind us. This stress can be reduced by minimising your possessions and limiting what new items you bring into your home. Having space in your home, a sanctuary that you love can do wonders to alleviate stress and anxiety.

  1. Missing Out On Valuable Experiences

When we become so obsessed with buying more and more stuff we often miss out on the important things in life like experiences. How many people do you know that have never been on a holiday but easily spend money on other things without much thought – their nails, a daily coffee, an expensive car, new jewellery or outfit for a party. They constantly say I can’t afford to travel and yet don’t realise that if they were just a bit more intentional with their spending that they too could go on an occasional holiday. Whether it be a local one, interstate or overseas.

It doesn’t even have to be a holiday. Maybe they want to go to a fancy restaurant for their anniversary but can’t afford it. Sometimes we place more value in things that we can see and hold and keep and hold onto for years and years and we forget the importance of creating memories with loved ones. If you just saved $20 a week – just 2.5% of a $50000 annual after tax salary, you would have over $1000 saved with interest to invest in an experience that is important to you. It could be a weekend away, spa day and nice dinner and only takes a very small sacrifice each week.

Have you identified the true cost of stuff in your life? What changes have you made since to your purchasing choices? Share you comments below 🙂

Check out How I Discovered Financial Freedom Through Minimalism for more benefits on focusing less on our stuff and more on what is truly important to us.


How I discovered Financial Stability Through Minimalism

What if I told you there was a whole new way to financial stability that you may have not yet heard or considered? You might say something in reply like ‘Well, I’ve tried everything and there is no way I can get ahead’ Or ‘I don’t earn enough to save or have any financial stability’. But don’t fret!

What if I could show you that there was a way to get your finances in order without having to save every cent. Without living miserably whilst trying to keep your head afloat financially. Hoping that one day you would land a better paying job or win the lotto and your financial problems would be solved. A lifestyle where you could buy that expensive insert quality material possession you’ve wanted guilt free with a bit of forethought.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the term Minimalism by accident. It was during my lunch time Pinterest scroll where a few Pins came across my feed. I’d never really heard of ‘Minimalism’ before and wanted to learn more. I started to read the first post I came across. Then another and another. I became infatuated with the idea of living a more intentional life, reducing the excess to focus on the essential. Not long after I was reading and watching everything I could about the Minimalist lifestyle. What I didn’t realise at the time was how much this would have a positive effect on my financial stability.

Fast forward a couple of years to the present as I am typing this article. Minimalism has allowed me to change my whole relationship with money. I’ve always considered myself a frugal person that budgeted and saved and was keen to stay out of debt as much as possible. Those are all great financial habits and helpful to get to a point of financial stability, but I now see the missing piece of the puzzle. Through Minimalism, I have developed a more intentional approach to my finances and even more foresight for my financial future than ever before.

In the past most of my financial decisions were based on a price basis. I’d ask myself questions like – Was what I was buying a good price? Was is it on sale? Good questions by all means but they weren’t getting to the heart of the spending issue. Minimalism has opened my thought process up to a whole new dimension of financial decision making.

Instead of being focused just on price, I now consider other aspects of the purchase. These include asking myself questions before spending my money such as; is this the best use of my money? Could something I already have do the same job? Could I borrow this from a friend or family member if I only need to use it for a short amount of time? Is this something that will last me and be a quality product? Could my money be better utilised elsewhere?

The Minimalists define Minimalism as a tool that allows you to make decisions more consciously, more deliberately. To live a minimalist life to me, means living within your means and living more intentionally, getting off auto-pilot and reassessing your daily interactions and decisions. This I believe, is the key to financial stability. It doesn’t matter if you are earning a six figure salary and are spending more than six figures or only on a small wage. Minimalism can be used to help people on any income at any point on their financial journey.

I have found Minimalism a great tool in many areas of my life and one that can greatly add to your financial health. Here is How I discovered Financial Stability Through Minimalism.

  1. I trust myself to plan for the future.

I know that I will, through everyday actions, be thinking of ‘future me’ and how I can ensure ‘future me’ is not left behind at the expense of ‘today me’. This gives me confidence to know that my financial future will be one of stability as I have plans in place in order to prepare for any financial emergencies that may present themselves unexpectedly.

  1. I consider the bigger picture in decision making.

Minimalism has taught me to consider each purchase and take pause. Every purchase is well thought out and intentional. If I’m in kmart it’s because I’ve already made a list of what I need or want, where I am buying it and asked why I am buying it, and where it’ll be stored in my home. The temptation to impulse buy is reduced when you have to stop and think about your purchase decisions more thoroughly. The less I am buying on impulse, the less I will have to deal with buyers remorse and the shopping hangover that comes after a shopping binge.

  1. I no longer feel the need to impress or keep up with others.

Minimalism has taught me to appreciate what I do have and shown me that I don’t need to make decisions to impress others. Being more aware of what truly makes me happy gives me financial stability and the financial freedom to make decisions for the right reasons, not to impress others.

Not everyone has the same financial circumstances and bank account balance as you. No one knows what everyone’s personal financials are and we shouldn’t be blindly trying to keep up at the expense of our own financial stability. If you want something and can afford it, that’s great, but don’t do it because of some need to impress others.

  1. You’re more aware of your needs vs wants.

We bought our first home in our mid 20s, assuming at some point in the future we’d need to upsize when our one garage home with small rooms and one bathroom started feeling claustrophobic. Since discovering minimalism, instead of upsizing to a larger home, we donated, sold and cleared over half our our possessions.

Rather than getting a bigger home (and mortgage to go with it) we’ve stuck with our humble abode that is the perfect size for us. Sure, it might be nice to have some extra space and a more modern home, who doesn’t want that?! But we would rather have a smaller mortgage we can comfortably afford to pay.  And even better, being able to afford additional payments means we can be debt free earlier and that is more important to us.

  1. Seeing the importance of planning for unexpected financial disasters.

Before I discovered minimalism I maintained a small emergency fund and always made sure that if the car broke down or the hot water system blew we wouldn’t be stuck. There was some foresight to tackle any small potential disasters. But it was through discovering minimalism that I discovered a whole new level of financial stability.

I learnt how important it was to forgo temporary joy in the present for my future financial stability. This includes saving up three to six months of expenses to prepare for even bigger hiccups such as the possibility of a job loss. Having a goal to get an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses is no easy feat, but certainly adds a level of financial security.

If you were to lose your job tomorrow with a few months of pay stashed away, it would still be an unexpected development but one that you were prepared for. This emergency fund could give you the time to find a new job without worrying how you will pay your bills or put food on the table.

  1. I value my time and money more

Minimalism has taught me to value my time and money more and that means finding ways to spend my hard earned cash more efficiently. Like looking for new ways to decrease my expenditure and therefore hours required to earn that money, without necessarily decreasing my spending. Spending time to find discounts on bills such as insurance, registration, utilities, and phone bills which can add up quickly in your budget and often only require a quick call or online quote.

I save time by automating my saving transfers and ensure my money is transferred to a separate savings account before I am even tempted to spend it.

Each small investment of my time to reduce expenses not only decreases the time I need to spend working to earn that money, but also better manage my money so it can be better utilised and contributing to my financial stability.

  1. Minimalism frees up time which can in turn increase your savings.

In addition to the above point, one of the biggest benefits of minimalism is finding more free time and using it more efficiently. When you spend less time organising, cleaning, maintaining stuff and less time shopping for things you don’t need, you open up time to dedicate to more value adding activities.

This could include freeing up time you might have spend at the mall that you can now dedicate to reviewing your budget and analysing your expenditure to check in with your finance goals and to be more in control of your finances.

It can also free up time that might otherwise have been wasted. This could allow you to take up a side hustle to bring in extra income to further contribute to your financial stability.

  1. My debt appetite has been re-routed.

Minimalism has helped me to become more aware of how intrinsic debt is in our society. People will pay out their car loan and not long after they are going out to buy another car with another hefty loan. They are so accustomed to having a debt repayment they haven’t even considered what else they could be doing with their money if they were just willing to hold onto a slightly older vehicle. I am now even more unwilling to go into debt than ever before and focused on reducing my current debt as quickly as possible.

Having less credit card debt, or any other kind frees up your cash to invest in your savings account and allows you more financial freedom to plan for the future. If we don’t have cash for something we don’t buy it. Our emergency fund also helps ensure we never have to rely on a credit card for unexpected costs.  

  1. Minimalism encourages living within your means.

If you are not living within your means, your income is less than your expenses and you are going to end up going into debt to fund your lifestyle. Minimalism has shown me that it is possible to save and have financial stability despite the level of income, if I choose to live within my means.

Just because you earn six figures doesn’t give you the ability to be financially naïve and ignore your incomings and outgoings. Nor does it mean someone on $40000 can’t have a savings balance. By working out your income and expenses for the pay period and planning your budget, you can ensure that you aren’t spending more than you earn.

  1. Always asking is this the best use of my money?

Minimalism has taught me the importance of re-evaluating where my money is spent and asking whether that is the best use of my savings and income. It has shown me the importance of acting in the best interest of my goals.

Maybe you want to go on a trip to Europe next year but your friends want to go on regular shopping days. Or your friends asked you to go out for an expensive night of bar hopping that is going to blow your entire weeks spending budget. Minimalism reinforces how important it is to make intentional decisions each day to reach your goals.

Being more intentional about how I spend my money has helped me reach financial stability. Don’t be afraid to say no to an event or suggest alternate budget-friendly plans if something is going to put you in a financial pickle. Being open honest with friends and family can make this easier. If they understand your goals and why you are savings I’m sure they will be happy to make more budget friendly plans that can involve you.

Have you discovered financial stability through Minimalism? Please comment below and share your experiences!

If you loved this you may also enjoy reading 10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Lifestyle.


How to Reduce Your Waste Footprint

This week I finally caught up with watching the ABC’s #WarOnWaste program hosted by Craig Reucassel and was completely shocked at the level of waste in Australia. And not just the unwanted stuff, but the perfectly good food that is going to waste.

I do try and be mindful of our waste and try to be conscious of waste in my home. Whether that be by only buying what is on our list, trying to use up as much of our fresh produce as we can and by recycling everything that we can. I wasn’t aware of the true situation of Australia’s waste and couldn’t be more grateful to this show for helping me realise that. If you are yet to see it please do. You will not regret it and living in ignorance is a big part of the problem. Let’s be educated! You can watch all three episodes of War on Waste on ABC’s iView.

I’m hoping to share some information I got from the show as well as tips you can try at home to reduce your waste and impact on the environment.


  • Every year the waste we generate in Australia is growing twice the rate of our population.
  • As a nation we use over 2 million shopping bags a day.
  • In Australian households 20% of food is binned.
  • The average family throws out $3500 worth of food each year.
  • 40% of bananas along with other fruits and vegies are binned due to strict cosmetic standards. Often these are just because a banana is too long or short or curved, or a potato has an irregular shape – the freshness of the item is not taken into account.
  • Australian’s throw out a tram-full of coffee cups every half hour.
  • the greenhouse gases produced by food waste in Australian landfill each year is equivalent to the emissions of Australia’s steel and iron ore industries combined


  1. Meal plan and shop from a list to avoid buying excess food. You can always buy more but you often can’t take the excess back. Only buy what you need. If you only plan to use two tomatoes don’t buy a pack just because they are cheaper. When you bin four of them they won’t be. See here for more tips on how you can save on groceries and reduce the food waste in your home.
  2. Buy a reusable coffee cup. I got one from Keep Cup and have seen many others in Kmart, Typo and other stores.
  3. Bring your reusable bags. Shopping bags are the worst thing that an end up in landfill and are very hard to recycle. Bring your own reusable bags instead and help reduce the number of bags ending up in landfill.
  4. Bring in any spare bags to your supermarkets bag recycling bin.
  5. Extend the life of your herbs by putting them in a glass of water as soon as you bring them home.
  6. Test eggs by dropping them into a glass of water. If they sink they are okay to eat.
  7. Avoid taking bags for fresh produce. Put them in your trolley, basket or reusable bag.
  8. Check your fridge regularly to see what leftovers you need to eat or groceries to use up.
  9. Rotate your new food to the back, and older food move to the front so you can use up the food items that will expire sooner.
  10. Put your food in a container as soon as you open it can help minimise waste and keep it fresher for longer.


  • Remove the lids from your plastic bottles and make sure they are empty before you place them in your recycling bin. In the sorting areas of recycling plant paper and plastics are separated. If bottles still contain liquid it will stop them being blown up into the plastics sorting area in the chain line so be sure to empty them out before you put them in your recycling bin.
  • Any recycling items left in plastic bags are not recycled. This slows down the sorting process so those bagged items do not go on to be recycled. Keep all your recyclables bag free.
  • If you have broken glass or ceramics like ovenproof dishes, drinking glasses or mugs, creatively reuse or place in your rubbish bin, because just 15g of ovenproof glass can contaminate one tonne of normal glass, making it useless for recycling.
  • Consider composting your food scraps to reduce the wood waste in land fill and the emissions that creates.
  • When recycling containers give them a quick rinse, they do not have to be spotless. Remove stuck on food from paper and cardboard before recycling.
  • Recycle your Printer Cartridges via the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark‘ recycling boxes in participating Australia Post, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, and Dick Smith Electronics stores.
  • Mobile Phones can be recycled through MobileMuster.
  • Batteries, CDs and light globes can be taken to your nearest library. Check with them in advance to make sure they accept these things.
For more tips on recycling check out the Planet Ark website.


  1. Another way to reduce what your household sends to landfill is to find creative ways to reuse what you do have. This is a great way to get crafty, save some money and help the environment. Try these handy tips:
  2. Reuse old candle and condiment jars. They can holds spare buttons, screws in your garage, 100s and 1000s, tea bags etc.
  3. Wash out takeaway containers and re-use as much as possible before they break. Smaller ones for gravy can be used to bring small snacks in such as lollies or nuts.
  4. Wash old shampoo and conditioner and other bottles to use when travelling. I also use these to store our current soap in a smaller container that doesn’t take up as much space as the bulk 1kg containers.
  5. Use an old baby formula tin to make a home-made wet wipe dispenser
  6. Cut up old towels into cleaning rags instead of using sponges or paper towel.
  7. Re-purpose gift containers or things that come with boxes such as perfume or a watch to organise junk drawer items.
  8. Give an old pot plant some new paint to give it a new lease of life.
  9. Up-cycle old cereal boxes or cardboard boxes into storage boxes for your drawers. Cut the bottoms off and wrap with your favourite coloured wrapping paper.
  10. Repair old clothes if possible rather than binning them. Sew on a new button, or take it to the alterer for repair if it is something out of your skill level.
  11. Use toilet rolls to wrap and identify your spare cables. They can also be used for arts and crafts projects with the kids.
  12. Use old sauce jars for decorative pieces. We put musical craft paper in ours with a candle and some yarn as a wedding ornament.
  13. If you have excess frames get a picture or make an artwork for a gift for a family or friend.
  14. Use an old t-shirt to make a bag. I cut up old t-shirts of my husbands that were perfectly good, but that he didn’t wear and made two laundry bags for travelling.
  15. Decorate old tin cans and use for planting herbs or storing stationery.
  16. Use old CDs to create a shiny mosaic artwork or mirror.
  17. Donate an old bed sheets and some pegs and a torch for your kids own fort kit.
  18. Drilling into an old dinosaur toy can make a cool toothbrush holder for your kids.

>>If you want more information on how you can reduce your excess consumption check out
10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life


Other creative ways to help reduce your household waste:


Old toys are donated here and can be borrowed, just like library books for kids to use and return in a few weeks. This is a great way to reduce unwanted toys ending up in landfill, having excess permanent clutter in your home and to save money. Kids can outgrow toys fast so this sounds like an amazing solution. Click here for more information from War on Waste and here to locate your closest toy library.


Thanks to fast fashion clothing is ending up in landfill in larger numbers than ever before. With the current price of clothing and often lack of quality materials, it’s no wonder we are binning more clothes than ever. In order to combat this clothes swap meets are a great option. You  can bring some unwanted clothes to swap for someone else’s unwanted items and go home with something new that you love all the while avoiding adding to landfill. For more info on Clothes swaps click here. The Clothes Exchange holds occasional clothes swap meets that are free of charge when you register.  Or you can hold your own clothes swap parties with friends or family. Ask everyone to bring in a few pieces they would like to swap and a plate of food and get swapping!


If you have a spare (or multiple) old phones lying around consider these options to reuse them:

1. Make a kid friendly phone for your kids (no more dropping your phone ;))
2. Use your phone as a dedicated MP3 player and save all your memory on your current phone.
3. Use your phone as a digital radio.
4. Turn your old phone into a hand-held gamin device
5. Use it as a security monitor for your home.
6. Use your old phone without a sim for storing encrypted data.

Click here for more information on how you can reuse your old phones from War on Waste. Alternatively take your phone to be recycled at your nearest Mobile Muster recycling box.

Share the Dignity

Share the dignity is an Aussie charity that aims to provide assistance to homeless women. Each year they do a collection called “It’s In The Bag” in the weeks leading up to Christmas where they ask you to donate a handbag in good condition to someone less fortunate and fill it up with useful things such as sanitary items, toothbrushes and toothpaste, a book you no longer need, pajamas, tissues, lotions -anything to make a women facing hard times feel special. I did this last year and look forward to doing it again this November. If you have any jewellery you no longer want, or can spare some extra cash with your weekly shop add a few things to your trolley that you can put into your handbag for the next collection. This is a great way to dispose of some unwanted items thoughtfully and make someone in needs day 🙂


If you want to do more, War On Waste have provided some more information and the contact details for each State that is yet to Ban The Bag. If we all Ban(d) together and take action by emailing our State’s Premier we might have a chance of making a much needed change!

Do you have any tips to reduce food and other waste in your home? Have you found creative ways to up-cycle items around your home to help limit things ending up in landfill? Share your tips below 🙂


101 Things to Declutter in Your Home Right Now!

It can be hard to know where to start when decluttering. There are so many rooms and areas you could begin with and it can seem overwhelming when starting out. When we are so focused on bringing new things into our home we can forget the importance of removing the items that are no longer useful to us and could be taking up valuable space in our home.

Do you open your kitchen utensil drawer only to become flustered trying to find the one thing you actually need? Have you accumulated twenty mugs in the cups cupboard and seem to forever have endless ones to wash? Is your linen closet overflowing so closing it is a struggle and you often end up shoving the clean stuff in closing the door and just think to yourself I will deal with this later? Downsizing our excess stuff can allow us to reduce stress in our lives and make some of our chores less bothersome. We are limited to the space we have in our homes so if your cupboards and shelves are overflowing with stuff if might be time to start clearing some of it out.

Here is a list of 101 things to declutter in your home right now that will give you a place to start your decluttering journey by area and hopefully a new leaf to a less cluttered, more simplified life.

1. Duplicate utensils.
2. Excess kitchen knives
3. Excess cleaning supplies. Use up what you have before buying any new ones.
4. Cutlery. Limit it to a reasonable number for your regular needs.
5. Plates. How many plates do you need? Limit to 2 per person per type as a guide.
6. Cups and mugs. Empty out that cupboard filled with overflowing cups piled on top of each other and only keep your favourites.
7. Bake-ware. Ask yourself how often do you bake and if you really need everything you have.
8. Single purpose appliances such as doughnut makers, popcorn makers etc. Keep only the items you use regularly.
9. Restaurant menus. These can all be located online put them into the recycling.
10. Excess vases.
11. Pots and Pans.
12. Tupperware with missing lids.
13. Expired medicine.
14. Unwanted cookbooks.

15. Expired condiments in your fridge.
16. Uneaten leftovers.
17. Unwanted drinks.
18. Frozen meats with freezer burn.
19. Food that you don’t plan on eating due to change of diet etc.

20. Expired food in your pantry.
21. Unwanted alcohol.
22. Expired spices or any you don’t use.
23. Any food you don’t plan on eating.

24. Shampoos and conditioners. Avoid buying seperate ones for each person unless necessary. Try and stick to the same brand so you don’t end up with multiple bottles going unused cluttering up your cupboard.
25. Old or unused Makeup. What makeup do you currently use, is there something you haven’t touched in the past year? Do you have ten different eye shadow pallets when a few would be enough? Make up has a limited shelf life and should be used up in 1-2 years for most products. See this link for details on expiration dates of makeup.
26. Beauty products. Limit beauty products to what you need and avoid buying more until you’ve used up what you have.
27. Lotions and leave in conditioners. If you don’t plan to use it give it to someone who will or bin it.
28. Decor. Remove excess decor from the bathroom and counter tops. The less you have the less you have to move when cleaning. Have a few nice decorative pieces and clear the rest.
29. Hair accessories keep only what your use regularly.
30. Old razors.

31. Towels, face washers and hand towels – Keep two towels per person for your home. Hang it up after use and wash the ones in the hamper regularly. Think of the time you’ll save on laundry when you only have 8 towels instead of 16?! These can be donated to animal shelters.
32. Quilt covers. How many quilt covers do you have? Assess what ones you still love and donate the rest. Ideally you need one to use and one spare for when the other one is in the wash.
33. Blankets. Limit blankets to two sets per bed.
34. Pillows. Keep the number of pillows required for your bed and bin the rest.
35. Bath mats. I’m certainly one that finds it hard to resist the allure of a new soft bath mat. Stick to 2-3 on rotation and donate the others to an animal shelter.
36. Spare curtains that are no longer in fashion or have been sitting in the linen closet for years.

37. Perfumes or fragrances you don’t like. Old unwanted perfumes or colognes can be binned or donated to friends or family. I’ve sold a few on eBay as well so that’s always an option to make some extra cash.
38. Bedroom decor you no longer love.
39. The stuff under your bed. It is a lot easier to clean your bedroom when there is nothing under the bed.
40. The bedroom TV. Do you really need that eyesore in your bedroom sanctuary?
41. Books on your night stand that you aren’t currently reading. Keep one or two on your bedside table and put the rest back on the bookshelf.
42. Anything that doesn’t belong in your bedroom (for us more often than not it’s guitars :p).

43. Shoes that you don’t enjoy wearing.
44. Worn belts.
45. Ties that you no longer like.
46. Handbags that are no longer your style or worn.
47. Jewellery/Accessories that you no longer like or wear.
48. Clothing that you haven’t worn in the past 6-12 months. Use the backwards hanger method to establish what you do and don’t wear.
49. Socks that are missing a pair or have holes in them.
50. Underwear that is uncomfortable or has seen better days.
51. Old pyjamas that have had their time.

52. Reduce your wardrobe. This will mean you reduce your washing by default and limit the laundry piles to manageable amounts.
53. Excess laundry baskets or hampers (once your laundry is reduced).
54. That random stuff that you find in pockets. Have a catch all container or box to collate items found in pockets. Empty this regularly.
55. Cleaning supplies you no longer need.
56. Laundry products you tried and didn’t use again.

Kids play rooms/bedrooms
57. Books. Donate unwanted books to schools, childcare centers or the library.
58. Unwanted Toys. Sell toys in good condition on eBay or donate to local charities.
59. Stuffed Animals.
60. Games or puzzles with missing pieces.
61. Kids art. To make room for new artworks to be displayed scan the image or take a photo of it and create into scrapbooks or store them digitally.
62. Old unwanted electronic games.
63. Dried out texters and pens.

64. Old paint cans or other chemicals you no longer need.
65. Car oil or parts for cars you no longer have.
66. Cardboard boxes that have past their warranty period.
67. Any broken gardening tools that you haven’t got around to fixing.
68. Old tiles if you are renovating and no longer need them.
69. Scrap building supplies you won’t need.

Living Areas 
70. Excess decor cluttering up your living spaces.
71. Excess furniture that is being unused.
72. Extra lounges when they are mostly empty.
73. Artwork or photos you no longer love.
74. Excess or drab cushions.
75. Rugs that don’t go with your colour scheme.
76. Excessive photo frames. Keep a few on display but don’t go overboard.

77. CD’s you no longer listen to.
78. DVD’s you won’t watch again.
79. VHS’s.
80. Excess TVs.
81. Unused Gaming Consoles.
82. Games you haven’t played since finishing.
83. Old mobile phones and phone chargers. These can be dropped off at local library or Mobile Muster collection points. See this link for your local recycling options.
84. Old cameras.
85. Your DVD or VCR if you don’t use them.
86. Old laptops you no longer use.

Sentimental Items 
87. Old cards. Scan them and save them digitally.
88. Bad quality or blurry photos or people that you no longer want in your life.
89. Other photos taking up space in large bulky photo albums. Consider making your prints into a photo book or displaying them in a digital photo frame and backing them up digitally.
90. Sentimental items that you have no connection to. Take a photo of the item if that makes it easier to let go.
91. Jewellery you don’t love. Find someone in your family who will love it or get is melted down into something special.

Home Office/Paper
92. Books you no longer read or reference.
93. Magazines. Cut out what you need and put them in a folder and recycle the rest.
94. Old bank or credit card statements. These can all be accessed online.
95. Utility bills. Get these emailed to you and reduce some of the paper coming into your home each month.
96. Old receipts. Scan them as they come in on your phone and recycle them or keep them in one file.
97. Excess notebooks/pads. Keep a few or put them in areas where they will be useful like your handbag or car.
98. Stationery from your uni days that you no longer need.
99. Your printer (if you don’t use it).
100. Excess pens. Test what works and bin the rest or any you don’t like using.
101. Manuals for electrical goods.

What things have your decluttered in your home? Please leave a comment below!


10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life

After discovering the minimalist lifestyle a couple of years ago I was keen to learn everything I could about this concept. After reading everything I could possibly find on the subject I started making small gradual changes and found very quickly that this was having a positive effect on many areas of my life. By reflecting on what my experiences were on this minimalism path I hoped it might help and inspire others to discover the benefits of living a more intentional life. There are no set rules for minimalism, it is different for everyone and is useful a tool to create a life that brings you happiness. Here are 10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life that I have found over my journey.

  1. Less stress.

A minimalist inspired lifestyle has helped me to feel the least stressed I have felt in a long time. It empowers you to be more comfortable saying no to things that take you away from your goals and yes to things that bring you closer. It will allow you to reassess the relationships in your life, which could entail leaving a bad relationship or setting new boundaries with a friend or family member to ensure those close relationships aren’t detrimental to your well being. It might give you the courage to leave a job that is negatively impacting your health or consuming all your time. By identifying the aspects in life that are most important to you, you can reduce the time and money that might have gone into less important pursuits previously.

  1. More free time.

On your minimalism journey you will start to identify which aspects of life bring you joy and which don’t. Once you start saying no to things that don’t bring you joy, you can start freeing up more time to say yes to thing that do. Whether that be limiting social events with people that you don’t genuinely enjoy spending time with in order to find more time to spend with those who you do love to see, or finding ways to better balance your time between friends, colleagues and family so you aren’t neglecting relationships that are important to you. It’s also important to allow time to reset our batteries so this include blocking out time in our schedule for relaxation or to allocate time to hobbies that may have seemed impossible to fit in.

  1. You will be able to remove the excess in your life to focus on what is more important.

Having less clutter and adopting a minimalist approach allows for more time and money to spend on things that are valuable to you. Removing the excess means you might reduce the need for a large home to store unnecessary possessions. This could give you the opportunity to downsize your home saving you money on your rent or mortgage, potentially require less hours working to pay for that larger home and save you time each week in cleaning and maintenance that can be freed up for more enjoyable activities. Removing the excess in your life can open up new opportunities and allow you to take on new goals that you might not have been able to take up in the past.

  1. Showing you the joy of experiences over material possessions.

Minimalism has helped me to realise the joy of experiences over material possessions. Buying material possessions may brings a temporary increase in happiness, but that disappears over time once we adapt to having that item and wears off much quicker than experiences. When you prioritise experiences over material possessions it provides you with joy that no physical purchase can really come close to particularly if the experience is shared with someone. These are memories that we can talk about for years to come with loved ones, and share our joy with future generations and although they may not provide us with a physical thing to show in our homes, the memories are with us for life. Tomorrow is not given, don’t hold off on experiences in the pursuit of stuff.

  1. Letting go of what others expect of us.

 There is so much pressure placed on everyone to have the most impressive sounding job, newest car, biggest home and the focus has shifted away from what makes us happy to what we can do to impress others. Minimalism helps us to shift the focus from being defined by others expectations and is a tool to help us put our needs first. If it is important to you to be debt free and drive a reliable, affordable car instead of a new more impressive vehicle do that.  Maybe it is more important to you to have more free time to follow other passions than having a high-stress managerial position with long hours.  Spend less time worrying about what other people expect of you and focus on doing what makes you happy. The more of us who chose to follow a path of happiness, the more we can help to set a new example to those who do feel the pressure to live up to society’s expectations to break out of that mold and follow their own passions.

  1. More focus on health.

Minimalism helps you to prioritise the essential things in life, one of the most important being health. It can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day life bills, chores and work and long-term your health is going to suffer if your well being takes a backseat to those other priorities. Minimalism can help redirect your focus away from what you might be spending your time on such as 20 minutes of Facebook scrolling and make you more aware of your habits so you can make conscious changes to more useful activities such as exercise. These changes will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, a weight you might not have even realised was there.  Reducing debt and decluttering your home environment and schedule, can greatly increase our happiness.

  1. You find more direction in life.

When you clear the excess, the bills and debt, the clutter, and get down to what you truly love, you start applying this philosophy to other aspects of your life – not just the stuff. Does this house bring me joy or does it just take up my spare time cleaning it? Am I passionate about this course I am doing? Could I have my dream job if I could take a pay cut? Minimalism seeps into all areas of life and can open you up to a whole new direction in life. It helps us to regularly reassess where we are in life and over time trains us to apply our thinking of small decisions such as do I need this kitchen gadget to the bigger decisions that have a larger impact on our life.

  1. Less decision making.

Minimalism helps us find ways to reduce every day decision making which takes away from more valuable uses of our creativity. Decisions such as what to wear to work today take up more thought processing than necessary. Having a massive wardrobe can lead to unnecessary stress and overwhelm us before we’ve even stepped out of the house. A capsule wardrobe like in Courtney Carver’s Project 333 can be a curated selection of your favourite clothing, shoes and accessories that can be mixed and matched and save decision overload. Same goes for preparing dinner, trying to have endless recipe options can get overwhelming. Life can be simplified so much more by limiting everyday decisions so we can focus on more important things.   

  1. Spend less time cleaning.

Nothing has sped up the cleaning process in my home like Minimalism has. Less is definitely more here. Removing stuff from your home allows you to spend less time cleaning it. Fewer things on the floor means a quicker vacuuming and mopping process. Limited stuff on the counter tops allows more room for food preparation and is much easier to wipe those benches down. Less decor saves you on dusting extra stuff – I now see pretty things in stores and ask myself would I be willing to dust that? The less stuff in your car, the less time you will spend tidying it up when someone needs a lift. A massive benefit to my home was having a smaller wardrobe, which has made it so much easier to get on top of our laundry instead of attempting to try and tackle baskets of unwashed clothing we now have manageable loads.

  1. Allows you to be grateful for what you have.

After realising how much I don’t need to be happy I’ve developed a greater appreciation for what I do have. I don’t feel the need to have the best of everything and am so grateful that I have the knowledge at this age of how important experiences and relationships are over things. Minimalism has helped me to acknowledge the small joys in everyday, whether that be time spent with a close friend or a lovely home cooked meal. The emphasis is not on what you buy or accomplish to impress others but on what truly makes you happy.

I am excited to see where minimalism and intentional living takes me in the future and hope to see even more benefits over time. If you have adopted a minimalist inspired lifestyle comment below with what benefits have you found and how minimalism has helped you.