By Helena Zachariassen, Home & Lifestyle Editor
I can’t believe we’re already three weeks into 2022 – Happy New Year! Our new year started with the whole family getting covid one by one in the first 2 weeks of the year, so there’s been a general gloominess and lack of energy in our quarantine house lately.
So what did we do? When we had a burst of energy, we decluttered. Call us crazy, but it helped! I don’t know about you, but I get super energised by decluttering. Together, we went through Christmas decorations, medicines, beauty and skincare products, both the kids’ rooms, all of their toys, and all of their arts and crafts. Little by little until we crashed on the couch. Secretly I think we all loved it. We even found a disco lamp and started having dance parties at bedtime! Family time at its best.
Small decluttering projects to feel good about
Based on my own experience what makes you feel soo good about yourself, is finishing something in a short period of time with a result to show. I made you this list to keep for the year. No rush, take one project at a time, doesn’t matter in which order, just whenever you feel like lifting yourself up.
And let’s make one thing completely clear. When I talk about discarding or letting things go, I mean responsible recycling, reusing, reselling or donation. Always think sustainably and whenever possible, consume with intention and consume less.
#1 Medicine cabinet
Check for any expired medicines and bandaids that don’t even stick anymore. Medicines tend to stay put for years unless you need and use the same ones a lot. And if you have kids, this stuff seems to multiply. If you have no clue what the meds are for, or for who, just thank them and let them go. All (Swiss) pharmacies take old meds back so don’t just throw them out with your household garbage, it’s a safety aspect to consider and be aware of.
#2 Chargers and cables
Did you get any new gadgets for Christmas? Chances are some of those old cables and chargers aren’t working anymore but you’re keeping them just in case or because you’re not sure which cable goes to which gadget. Collect them all in one place and get rid of the malfunctioning ones and the ones you have no idea where they go.
#3 Make-up and skin care products
Make-up and skincare products expire too. Especially if they’re opened. Check the product for consistency, smell, and lastly expiration date and if you haven’t used it for half a year up to a year it might be time to say goodbye.
#4 Paper manuals
Hand on your heart, who looks up a gadget issue in a paper manual these days? Gather them all in one place and have a look if you can part with manuals for appliances you might not even have anymore or manuals you will simply never go back to. Manuals for permanent house appliances are still good to keep, especially if you’re renting.
#5 Car/bike maintenance products
When was the last time you checked the status of your car or bike maintenance products? Those products are not used too often so they might stay in the cupboard for years. Check them out and see if they’re still good to use or if something needs replacing.
#6 Garden appliances
Take time to look through the equipment you have for gardening, even if you only have a small balcony with some plants. The items tend to multiply, especially when the seasons change rapidly and you forget to clean out the past season before a new one starts.
#7 Sports equipment
This is what fills up most garages, especially when kids are involved. Bikes, skates, skis, helmets, boots, stand-up paddles, outdoor toys…there’s something for every season. Have a look if there are things that are too small, broken, not worn or played with, and see if they can get a second life with someone else.
#8 Kitchen appliances/gadgets
So many appliances simply gather dust, either on the countertops or staying unused in the cupboard. Take an honest look around and see if there are one or more gadgets and appliances that are not being used frequently and could move on to get a second chance.
#9 Your wallet
That thick wallet would ideally have more bills than old receipts, right? Every once in a while look through and make sure you empty your wallet of unnecessary items. Showing love to your wallet shows respect towards your money too and feelings of deep gratitude each time you’re removing money to provide for yourself or your near and dear ones.
#10 Sock drawer
These tiny little feet protectors have a tendency to lose their partners every once in a while and get worn out pretty quickly. Take them all out, check for holes and other damages, and then finally decide what to keep and what to replace.
#11 Baking supplies
If you’re an occasional baker like myself, the supplies usually last quite a long time. Make sure everything is still in good shape and expiration dates checked. A pro tip is to keep all baking supplies in one place, or in a designated baking bin, so they’re easy to bring out when baking inspiration hits you next.
Small steps do matter. Especially when you follow through and are able to see the result of your own hands’ work. This is the time for a happy dance.
Go after those dances! I will cheer you on every step of the way.
PS I would love to hear more about your decluttering experiences in the comments section.
Have you downloaded our free ebook – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland? If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to download it while planning your next Swiss Getaway.
To read posts from December, click here