October 26, 2020

Decluttering your Home (and your Medicine)

If you’re not one of those people who has everything in order and their house consistently clean and tidy, you probably know the feeling: things you would like to sort sometime in the future pile up here and there, desks and shelves fill up over time, cupboards spill over with clothes and things you ‘might still wear’ or ‘don’t want to throw away’. You have the nagging feeling that you should do something about all this clutter, but you can’t really get started doing it.

So why get rid of the extra stuff at all? A decluttered home will not only look better, but it will also make you feel more energized. Because your home is such an important part of yourself, decluttering and letting the energy flow again can have such a great impact.

So why do things get stuck in the first place? There are many reasons why we hold onto stuff, including:

  • An attitude of ‘I could still use this sometime’
  • Nostalgia
  • Fear of having regrets about throwing things away
  • Fear of letting go of familiar things
  • Fear of giving away gifts you don’t use or like

While these are reasonable arguments, they can also keep you from letting go of things that you haven’t used in years or will probably never use again. For bestselling author and organizing guru Marie Kondo, the criteria for keeping things or getting rid of them should be if they spark joy within you while you look at them while decluttering. Another consideration can be if you haven’t used them within the last year or so.

Despite all the good reasons to start decluttering, the task can be overwhelming. To not fall into the trap of having good intentions but not finding a starting point, you could start with just a tiny habit. Take a look at things in one corner at a specific time for 5 minutes a day. Or just take 5 items and decide what to do with them. If you do this every day, you will make some headway soon, feel better, and the tiny habit will probably grow into a bigger one.

Marie Kondo recommends taking all things of one category, say clothes or books, use her method of deciding if you want to keep them, and give them a good place afterwards.

To clear your old medicine, review each item and check its expiry date. If it is expired, remove its packaging and put it into a container or bag. You can also dispose of any unexpired medicines that you no longer need. Return the expired medicine to the RUM bin at your local pharmacy. By doing this you not only remove potentially harmful and unwanted medicine but you will also ensure that there won’t be any environmental damage or risk to your household from your old medicine.

Just as you will probably feel better after bringing your old medicines to the RUM bin, decluttering other parts of your home will give you an energetic boost as well. And just as there is a way for your old medicines to be disposed of correctly, other things can be recycled, reused, sold, or given away instead of just being thrown away.

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