This post is Part 5 of the “No Buy July” Challenge Series.
In my series on No Buy July, I hope to have encouraged you to use up what is already in your pantry and freezer and refrain from unnecessary shopping. I have also shared how to save money by shopping at home and 4 easy ways to save hundreds on your food bill.
Last week, I suggested that we wrap up No Buy July by saying Goodbye July using the 3 D’s: decluttering, disposing, and donating.
July is my month for decluttering and organizing projects. In Central Texas, July and August are the hottest months of the year, so going outside isn’t always enjoyable (or safe.) Instead, I plan those months for summer cleaning (instead of spring cleaning)!
Spending time going through drawers and other forgotten spaces, I realized that there are areas where six parrticular types of clutter seem to congregate.
6 Areas of Hidden Clutter in Your Home
I am usually the person who doesn’t like to hold onto things that aren’t going to be used or keep them “just in case.” Yet I was surprised to find these six areas of hidden clutter in my home. It was time to declutter, dispose and donate! These categories of clutter are so covert that you may not realize they are lurking in your home.
Cords and Cables
With our digital world, we can sometimes go cordless, yet we must charge our tech devices — and that means using cables and chargers. We may have purchased replacement cables on Amazon. Over time, we have upgraded our smartphones or tablets, and ended up with the old cables, stored somewhere, unused and forgotten.
It may be time to check your home for unused adapters and cables. If they don’t work with any of your current devices, or if you have too many, put them aside for recycling.
To keep track of cables and chargers, I created an area in our kitchen as a charging station. The junk drawer is also located there and holds only the necessary cables and chargers for our current devices.
To recycle all unwanted cables, take them to your city’s recycling center or a Best Buy store. Many Best Buy locations have a recycling station for rechargeable batteries, cords, cables, and chargers inside their entrances. Check out the Best Buy website for more information on their recycling program.
If you have used smartphones, Apple products, or other tech, try Decluttr. I have sold back unwanted or slightly dated tech and made some cash. You can also try Best Buy to trade or recycle old tech. (Before donating or selling back any tech, restore devices to factory defaults to remove all your data.)
I have always loved buying matching containers or pretty baskets to organize. Yet, if I’m organized, I shouldn’t need extra containers. They only take up storage space or only collect more stuff I don’t need to keep. Time to donate.
Other storage containers include those for food storage. Why do we always seem to collect more than we can use? I go through my containers twice a year and match each one with the lid. Extra lids are thrown in the recycling. It’s a good time to recycle out stained containers too.
We can only use a limited number of pens, post-its, paper pads, and Scotch tape in a year. If you have unopened extra supplies, see if there will be a school supply drive in your area in the coming weeks. If you know a teacher, ask if they can use those extras in their classroom. I have also donated items such as colored construction paper, stencils, and pencil boxes (washed and in good condition) to my teacher friends.
Arts & Crafts Supplies
As a crafter, this is a hard one for me. Yet, if I want enough space to use my creativity for what I really love, making greeting cards, I need to donate those items and unfinished projects I’ll never get around to using. I recently went through paper and other supplies and gave them to some neighborhood kids to use.
Although more magazines are going digital, there are still many physical magazines we love to purchase. This is another area where accumulation can happen without thought. Special edition magazines (many priced as much as a book) seem harder to part with. We may be keeping them for a particular recipe, article, or other information. However, if you haven’t referred to these magazines lately, it’s doubtful you will. Make the decision to donate or recycle all magazines that are older than one month.
Check with your local library to see if they accept magazines. My local library has racks set up expressly for magazine trading. Patrons leave their read magazines for other patrons to take for free.
Where I live in Texas, there are only two months of the year when wearing a jacket or coat is necessary. When I lived in Michigan where there are more months of the year with cold temperatures and snow, additional outerwear was required. I remember having a beautiful emerald green long wool coat that I wore daily to work, but I also had a short, hooded jacket I wore for leisure and a parka-type coat for extremely low temps, cold winds, and heavy lake-effect snow.
Now, I don’t require more than one heavy jacket. I don’t need many winter clothes either. (We have had some ridiculous weather in the last three years that is outside the ordinary, so maybe that will change!)
See if you have more off-season clothing than you need, such as sweaters, coats, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves. Check with local women’s shelters or organizations that help the homeless and disadvantaged who can use your items.
As No Buy July ends, let’s continue decluttering, disposing, and donating to make room in our homes, bless others with what we no longer need, and create a calm relaxing atmosphere for ourselves. More on creating a peaceful home space next week.
Did any of these areas surprise you? Let me know in the comments!