Minimalism and Decluttering | Discarding Your Belongings Mindfully (ARCHIVE)
Originally posted December 2, 2017
Recently on my Patreon feed I discussed the concept of ‘Mottainai’. This is a Japanese word reflecting a sense of regret over waste. ‘Mottainai’ perfectly captures my sentiment about decluttering. Today I want to talk about how to discard your unwanted belongings mindfully.
Regardless of whether we find an item useful or not, time, effort and resources have gone into its manufacture. Simply discarding your excess belongings does not honour their true value.
Many of our unwanted items end up in landfill, and as conscious consumers it is our environmental duty to stop adding to this problem. Whether we like it or not, we are part of the consumerist cycle, and unless we pay attention to what we do, we add to the problem.
When you discard your unwanted belongings mindfully, you show respect for the value of your items, and you show respect for our planet and its people. This process will also make it more likely you will consider purchasing items with more care in the future.
Habits can only really be replaced with new habits. If you are one who purchases too much, spend more time ‘un-buying’ what you bought. Decluttering your belongings thoughtfully is a time consuming effort in itself, but this is one of the best ways to teach yourself not to purchase items on impulse.
Whenever you want to discard some of your belongings, I recommend you follow the steps below.
Sell. Try to recover some of the monetary value of the item. This will make you more mindful of the cost of getting the item in the first place.
Give away or swap. Can you give unwanted items to friends, family or acquaintances? Can you find people online who want to swap for something you need?
Local community. Try selling you unwanted things through a garage sale, or leave unwanted items on your verge during allocated verge collection times.
Recycle or discard. If the item is in bad condition, can it be recycled or used for another purpose? Research sensible ways to discard and recycle things beyond repair.
Finally… If you are still left with some items after all this, you are free to donate! Make sure you do so responsibly by researching the best places to donate your items. Reduce waste and landfill in the future by making considered shopping choices.