Decluttering has been a long, ongoing process in our home. When David and I moved in together over 10 years ago we each came with stuff. Then we had 2 more babies and got more stuff. A lot of stuff has entered this home and it was time for a lot of that stuff to leave. I have spent the last few years slowly clearing out room by room. But more importantly I have been re-evaluating what we need and what we don’t. There are a few items that I have stopped buying. Some have been replaced with waste free alternatives and others, we simply don’t need any more.
Plastic water bottles. My kids drink a lot of water. If we are out, they would always ask for water, they still do but now we just plan better. Everyone has a water bottle and if we are going out, we pack them in. There really is no need to buy plastic water bottles. If you aren’t sure about the quality of your water, invest in a water filter or alternatively buy water but take your own containers and then decant into smaller bottles. Another reason to stop buying bottled water is the cost – take a few moments to work out how much you are spending on buying water, you may be shocked.
Paper towels. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I bought paper towels. They are expensive and just not something we need. I cut up old towels into smaller squares and we use those to wipe up spills and clean counters. Not only are reusing the towels but we are also saving money and keeping paper towels out of landfills!
Fabric softener. This is another cleaning product that I haven’t used in years. No one even misses it. Honestly, I am not 100% sure what the purpose of fabric softener actually is.
Shower gels. It has taken a while, but I have our bathroom essentials sorted out. We are now fully on soap and shampoo bars. We no longer have bottles of gels and soap clogging up the shower and bath. The advantage of this is that we are no longer using products loaded with chemicals on our skin.
Air fresheners/sprays. I hate these sprays. Not just from a environmental point of view but I hate the smell of them and honestly just don’t see the point.
Tin foil. What do you use tin foil for? To cover food while it cooks? Or to cover food until you serve it? I have a baking dish that has a lid, if I do need to cook something covered, I just pop it in that. And we have bees wax wraps we now use to cover food.
Cling wrap. I hate cling wrap. It is hard to use and again do you really need? My mom made us some covers that fit nicely around most of our bowls. And when I make dough, I wrap them in the beeswax wraps.
Cleaning products. I have spoken about this before. We have almost completely eliminated cleaning products. I stopped buying most cleaning products years ago. I buy dishwashing soap and make my own kitchen/counter cleaner from vinegar and orange. We no longer have a cupboard filled with kitchen cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, bleach etc.
Plastic toothbrushes. This is our latest switch over, I only stopped buying plastic toothbrushes this month. Kiara and I tried out bamboo toothbrushes and we are both loving them, so I bought for everyone.
We didn’t stop buying these things all at once, it has been a gradual process over the last few years. If you are trying to live more minimally don’t try to reduce or eliminate all of these things. Start slow. When your foil finishes, don’t replace it. Give a bamboo toothbrush a try.
Take it one step at a time. It will be easier than you think.