On your way to minimalism? You can read the previous posts about our journey at the links below:
- Why are we becoming minimalists and 7 reasons you should do it too
- How to declutter clothes
- Declutter Phase 2 – Bedding and towels
- Declutter Phase 3 – Books, DVDs & Magazines
In this post, I talk about the less obvious costs of the items that occupy your home and constantly need your attention; or, even worse, that you forgot about in your garage and you spend time organizing once in a while.
Five costs that you might not consider when purchasing a new item
Yeah, of course, you paid for them. But that’s not what I had in my mind. After deciding what stays and what goes, we’ve put everything in one room. I was going through the items and realized that some of them are in perfect condition and some of them are new. So I installed a sale app on my phone and posted some of my stuff. I did the math, and if I sell everything I posted, I will make 370£. I don’t know if you think that’s a lot, but for me it is. A few weeks of groceries or some utility bills or a full month of cleaning. 370£ that were just sitting there. And that’s only by selling small things; we didn’t even think about the old tablet or XBOX yet.
On a less positive note, it also costs money to get rid of stuff. If you can’t sell, you have to donate or recycle. Delivering things to charity shops or recycling centres requires money (taxi/tube). Sending items through the post for someone else to have them costs money.
We filled an entire room with items that we don’t want anymore. So once we get rid of the stuff, we’ll have an empty room, am I right? So we could downsize and pay a smaller rent. I’m not saying that we’re gonna do it, I’m saying that we could. If you live in London you might know that house prices are weird – living in a 1-bed house is not necessarily cheaper than living in a 2-bed house. But it isn’t like that everywhere in the world…
This was delivered during my first charity shop trip. The taxi was full of things.
I spent way too much time sorting things when I could have enjoyed my days doing something else. I spent time going through things to decide if I keep them or not. Then I spent time trying to get rid of them – contacting charities, companies that recycle different things, looking for recycling bins that accept electrical appliances, etc. I had a few moments when I wanted to give up, but then I realized that’s the most significant sign that I need to continue. But I don’t want to do this ever again. Did you ever spend weekends or bank holidays organizing? Then maybe you have too many things. Think about it.
4. The environment
During our decluttering phase, I paid more attention to what’s going on around me. When I’m in the supermarket, I look into other people’s trolleys (I know, I know, I shouldn’t) and there’s so much plastic, I rarely see unpackaged vegetables or people who bring their bags. On the streets, there’s litter everywhere and to be honest, that’s partly because the bins are overflowing.
One fact that really shocked me was that baby nappies take around 30 years to decompose. They became popular in the 90s, so every nappy that’s ever been used is still out there. Could we care less about this planet?
Did you know that photo paper is not recyclable? And that you have to find particular locations to recycle CDs and DVDs?
With every single thing that I wanted to dispose of, I struggled between the desire to get rid of it and the desire to throw as less as possible in the bin. We produce too much stuff. We buy too much stuff. And then we throw it away. Click To Tweet
Whenever you buy something ask yourself how much did the person who made it get paid. If you get two t-shirts for 5£, it couldn’t be too much, could it? But unfortunately the unfair pay doesn’t only happen for cheap products, so it’s our job to research the brand before buying something. On topic, always choose fairtrade bananas, coffee, sugar and chocolate. Although we’re in 2017, slavery still exists.
Let me know your opinions in the comments box. Did I make you rethink your shopping habits?
Liked this post? Then you’ll love my e-book, “The Smart Girl’s Journey to Financial Bliss”, check it out!