Lifestyle

50 Clutter Free Gifts Ideas For The Holiday Season

“That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? That’s what it’s always been about. Gifts, gifts… gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts! You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I’m saying? In your garbage. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice. The avarice never ends! ‘I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue.’ Look, I don’t wanna make waves, but this whole Christmas season is…stupid , stupid stupid.” – The Grinch

I don’t know about you – but the Grinch has a point. Over the years, I’ve realized the art of gift giving needs reevaluated. I’d much rather find something that is useful & won’t go to waste. Not only do people run into spending hundreds of dollars during the holiday season, but our homes become bombarded with items that may or may not be useful to us. As I’m learning more about intentional living, I’ve been understanding my priorities & what holds more value. For me, I find so much joy in gifting experiences & spending time with others. Material possessions although are appreciated – tend to find themselves at donation centers more often than not. So, with that realization – I wanted to put together a list of Clutter Free Gift Options for this year.

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Feel free to comment down below any clutter free gift ideas that aren’t listed above. The more ideas the better! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season & new year!

-B

organization, Self Growth

5 Reasons Letting Go Is So Damn Difficult!

Wanting a more simple life starts with letting go of what no longer serves us. Easier said than done am I right? I feel like I say this, but always end up saving tons of questionable items. Why is it so hard to let go in the first place? I wish I could just turn my feelings off for one second.

Recently, I helped my husband downsize his childhood belongings from six large storage containers to only one. It was quite the project but one we both knew was something to tackle. It got me thinking about why we hold onto certain things & also why it can be so hard to finally let go. It’s almost like the longer you own something, you start to believe whatever that something is, must be special & worth holding onto. And we discovered even though he forgot most of what was in these containers, the memories started flooding back. And this is why sentimental item can be the MOST difficult to let go. But any type of belongings, if we place too much meaning on said item can become difficult to throw away. Here are 5 reasons why letting go can be so damn difficult.

You Are Still Living in the Past

Nostalgia can be a precious thing. Whether it’s a smell, an object or even a single thought , these things tie us to what we once were. We almost hold onto things for the sole purpose of trying to preserve our memories.

Especially with physical objects, we almost keep these things with the fear of forgetting. We must remember the most powerful aspect of our memories are ourselves. We must let go of said fear & trust we will remember things in our minds. Again, don’t let your objects hold so much credit. You are far more than what you own.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but sentimental items are very difficult for me to declutter. I have been biting the bullet though & challenging myself to go through these items brutally. And through this process, I’ve learned a lot about myself & the things I hold near & dear to my heart. In my 5 Things To Keep In Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items, I pinpointed key factors that helped me downsize my keepsakes in half!

I felt like I was holding onto too many past memories that ultimately made me feel stuck & less likely to move forward in my life. Although I still have plenty of sentimental items to look back on & cherish, I allowed myself to be rid of the pointless emotional baggage that was taking up space in my home. You need to remember life is constantly moving & you will have far more memories & keepsakes ahead. Make room for the future by narrowing down your past.

You Feel Guilty Giving It Up

Maybe you have a pit in your stomach for purchasing something so expensive you never use. Or perhaps you were gifted something & although the gesture is always sweet, you just don’t use it. These feelings of guilt should not become a burden to your mind.

If you feel guilty over whether you should get rid of something, you should always be rid of that item. That mental turmoil will only make matters worse. I always believe it is better to let go of something you don’t use so it can be treasured by someone else.

And if you are having difficulty letting go an item because it was either passed down to you by a family member or given to you as a gift, ideally the person shouldn’t be upset if you no longer want something. Either return it to the sender or give it to someone who would better appreciate it. Material items should rarely have such pressures of value. And if they do hold lots of value, finds ways to use it or display it. Otherwise, let it go.

Fear of Needing it in the Future

This concept reminds me of everyone buying tons of toilet paper in the beginning of the pandemic. Fear & consumerism when tied together, create chaos. You can’t go walking around with the mindset of the world is ending or “I’ll never be able to find this again.” That’s when hoarding develops. And we really don’t want that. In today’s world, it is rather easy to find certain items online. If at any point you are missing an item or need it again, you can always repurchase it later.

This is why when shopping I don’t purchase just incase items or bulk items. To me, it just seems like a waste of space, money & product. Save some for the rest of us please. I think a lot of people have this notion that if you hold onto something for those just in case moments, it saves them money in the long run. I have noticed this is a wrong way of thinking.

Rarely do I feel grateful for having kept certain things for those just in case items. For example, I’ve had this Christmas sweater I wore one time but have held onto it JUST IN CASE we have an ugly christmas sweater party to go to. The future is always questionable & who truly new we wouldn’t be having large get togethers with friends for a year. By the time we actually have a party, I’m going to want a brand new outfit!

What Will People Think?

Repeat after me, stop caring what people think of you! If a person truly cares if you get rid of something, maybe you should gift it to them. This is your life to live so if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, don’t waste anymore time.

I’ll be honest, I probably still own plenty of things other people told us we HAD to have when owning a home. But slowly I will even downsize these items because most MUST HAVE items are useless in my opinion. And if there comes a time we truly need something, we will buy it. Simple as that.

It Hints You Were Wrong

Whatever it may be, it’s ok to admit it wasn’t right & it’s healthy to finally let it go. Life is too short to be living with things & people that don’t serve you. And if anything else, these wrongdoings can be seen as lessons leading us to our correct path.

Admitting you were wrong about something can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s also extremely human & liberating. Maybe you were wrong about a certain style of clothing working for you. Or in a more deep sense, maybe a certain person in your life is wrong for you. These mistakes & lessons are normal & a part of life.

I truly hope these tips help you have more clarity with the idea of having a clutter free life. Comment down below what holds you back from letting go.

-B

organization

10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today

In this next detox series post, I wanted to take our decluttering session to the kitchen. This kitchen is an area of the home that obtains a lot of foot traffic. With eating multiple times a day & some of us working from home indefinitely now – it’s a place that gets dirty & unorganized pretty easily. Since that’s the case, it’s important to keep this area clutter free & downsized as much as possible. Here are 10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today:

Excess Gadgets & Appliances

The easiest way to have a simple & easy to clean kitchen space is to have clear or semi-cleared countertops. The biggest culprit to clutter is huge appliances taking up precious food prep space. Minimize this issue by only keeping out the appliances you use regularly & store the rest.

Worn Out Dish Towels

We keep a few dish towels in a drawer & one over the stove for decor purposes. Be sure that any towels, especially ones on display aren’t damaged, worn out or stained. You can purchase a pack of these from Target for only $3, so they are relatively easy to replace when necessary. Another tip is to purchase dish towels or rags of darker shades so stains aren’t as easy to see.

Expired Foods

This might seem like an obvious one but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the back of the fridge or pantry & found some very questionable items. So, make sure you are cleaning through these areas regularly. This is another reason why I don’t like to over purchase or purchase items in bulk. Chances are they will sit in the pantry collecting dust.

Take Out Menus You Never Use

Now a days, you can find everything online, but I still like keeping around a few take out menus like our favorite local Chinese place. If there are any menus you never reach for, take this time to recycle those.

Cook Books

For some reason I love the ideas of cookbooks but realistically never really use since most things can be found online. Plus, they are rather bulky items. If you have no way to decoratively display them or never look through, maybe it’s time to finally donate them to someone else.

Mugs

For not being a coffee person, I sure do own quite a few mugs. I managed to let go of a few that had cheesy inspirational quotes on them or sayings. I’m leaning towards more solid colored mugs because I’m such a plain Jane now & I’m less likely to get sick of those styles.

Take Out Sauces Packets

In some ways, I can see how someone would find hoarding these packets useful [ especially Chick fil A sauce] but honestly – I’ve found they mostly just sit untouched & we eventually accumulate even more. Use them up or throw them away.

Coasters

We own 20 coasters. How this happened, I have no idea. I guess they are the quintessential house warming gift or something. But I managed to choose a small set that were are favorites & let go of the rest.

Excess Pots & Pans & Other Cooking Essentials

In general, you want to look through your collection of cooking tools & choose the favorites out of the bunch. You don’t need 10 different pots & skillets. We actually only own a full set – 5 items & it works for us. Granted it’s only a house hold of two at the moment, but still. Cutting back on these items will surely diminish excess clutter.

Manuals

All those wonderful gadgets you purchase all come with their own instructional manual. News flash, you actually don’t need to own these at all. Most manuals are found online anyway. So save some space by letting go of this paper clutter.

I hope this list gives you some inspiration when decluttering your own kitchens. What are some other things we all could declutter from our kitchens. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

-B