Packing Party

Packing Party

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m really interested in minimalism and how it can contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle. So, here’s a minimalist concept I haven’t explored before: the packing party. The inspiration for this post came from Anne over at Minimalist Sometimes, although I am very late to the party with this! You can find her rules My Pseudo Packing Party.

The idea is to pick a room – I chose the bedroom first – and pack up everything you know you won’t use in the next 48 hours or so. Then, after 48 hours (or longer if you like!), go through your packed items and decide which of them you’d like to add back to your newly-cleared space. The rest you then donate or recycle or landfill. Like Anne, I’m not including furniture in this. For the bedroom, I also didn’t include clothes and shoes (which I pared down and am more conscious of since doing Project 333) or earrings (which I sorted through recently).

I returned to my packed items whenever I needed something, although this wasn’t very often. This helped me to get rid of expired or unused medications, and also reinforced that although I have a lot of jewellery, I really don’t wear much of it. After unpacking the remaining items (in a different room), I got rid of a box’s worth of items, and there is now a free drawer in our chest of drawers. Even though I’d tackled these items before, I was surprised at how easy it was to get rid of even more.

Next, I’m turning my attention to the cutlery drawer in the kitchen (and any similar items hanging on the wall). I’m tackling just a small area because we have a lot of things in the kitchen and I don’t want it to get too overwhelming.

After a nice spring clean, here is the drawer with the items I know I regularly use (some of them don’t live in the drawer, but I popped them all in so you can see them all together). It looks like a lot, but wait till you see what’s been left out…

Cutlery drawer

And here are the items that I’ve ‘packed’ up. I’m keeping this tray in a corner of the kitchen, and I’ll only go to it if I need one of the items in it:

Packed cutlery

It’s been a week since I started this and I haven’t gone to look for any ‘packed’ items at all (although I have a feeling they may need to move home when I want to use the baking tray!)

Have you tried a similar thing? Or maybe you’ve moved recently and had to do this in earnest? I’d love to know your methods for paring down your possessions or just taking a good hard look at them 🙂 I find it’s really helpful to remove everything from an area as it helps to emphasise just how much was there, and whether you feel happy to put every single item back again.

Thank for reading!

Recycle or Landfill? Plastic Bottles Infographic

I came across this on Pinterest today and wanted to share – I think it depicts really well the situation of plastic bottles in the UK, and how few are currently recycled here. (It’s rather biased towards Ecover, but I think they’re doing the right thing anyway!)
Ecover Plastic Bottles InfographicClick on the image to take a closer look.

See my previous post on Plastic Bottles for more about them and to discover possible alternatives!

Week 13: Storage Boxes

I was tidying up my craft stuff the other day (I make cards and occasionally scrapbook pages too), and I realised I’d forgotten I had half of it! It all gets buried in the plastic folders that I have, so it’s hard to see what I’ve got. So this week I’m looking at craft storage boxes to see what the best option would be. The same could also apply to jewellery boxes (lots of the ones I’ve found are actually jewellery boxes), tool boxes and anything else similar.

I’ve ruled out buying myself a plastic box, even though these always seem to have the features that would suit me best. Plastic is one of the things I really want to try and avoid as much as possible, since it’s so bad for the environment and hard to recycle. So I would only buy a plastic box if it was second hand. My aim was to find one box for embellishments and little bits and bobs, and one for ribbons. I decided that one of the greenest ways to get a ribbon box was to make one!

Ribbon Box - Before

So I found an old shoe box and covered it in patterned paper (which took longer than I anticipated!) I haven’t finished it quite yet, as I want to cover the inside and punch holes in the sides for the ribbons. This cost me hardly anything and it’s a very green option I think. Everything was already in the house so I didn’t have to buy anything!

Ribbon Box - After

For my other box, I’ve been looking at wooden ones mainly. I’m interested in this large wooden storage box and this wooden tea bag chest, but I can’t find anything listed about the source of the wood, so I’ll try to investigate that before I buy, as it would be great to have a sustainably-sourced box!

Failing that, maybe I’ll source some pre-used wood and attempt to make one myself!

Good luck with going green this week!