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Keys can be recycled as mixed metal

Keys can be recycled as mixed metal

Welcome to week three of my decluttering mission. I’m following the advise of Colleen over on 365lessthings and using her weekly mini missions for inspiration.

My personal goal, of course, is to declutter my home without creating any landfill waste. I’ve been doing this by recycling things at our local bring banks and donating items to charity for reuse. The great thing about decluttering is that you can even make yourself a little money by selling things on eBay or Amazon.

Car junk

On Monday we had to clear any junk from the glove compartment of our car. Unfortunately this meant unearthing yet more disposable biros which will have to be used up and eventually landfilled but it also meant I found a couple of reusable shopping bags I had forgotten about so that was a bonus.

Food waste

On Tuesday we had to make a meal from something in our freezer. We no longer have a freezer but I made sure I did my weekly ‘fridge inventory and even made up my mind to use up a couple of tins of things from the cupboard – tins that have been in there several years! If you end up with weekly food waste, check out my one tip for reducing food waste in the ‘fridge. It’s so simple you won’t believe it! And if you’re unsure how to make the most of your freezer, Arctic Aunt has the answers to all the myths surrounding safety and storage.

Regifting

On Wednesday we had to find something in our home that belongs to someone else and offer it back or regift it if the original owner no longer wanted it. This was a wonderful excuse for me to call up a friend and return one of her books. We spent a lovely morning putting the world to rights and catching up with each other. I was so grateful that this mission pushed me into getting in contact again.

Key recycling

On Thursday we had to declutter our key rings of any unused keys or those annoying charms that whack your knees when you are driving. I’m a minimalist when it comes to the house and car keys, but we did find about 25 keys for our double glazing and several for the old front door! The old defunct keys are now in mixed metal recycling, but I’m not sure what to do with 25 current double glazing keys. They are now in the filing cabinet and we have one in each room. I wonder how many keys double glazing manufacturers give out in their lifetime.

I was looking for somewhere to recycle keys for charity. I know Guide dogs for the blind used to accept them, but sadly they no longer collect them. Over in the US, they have keys for kindness in support for MS sufferers, but I’ve not found anything in the UK. If you know of a key recycling scheme in the UK, please let me know in the comments.

If you want more inspiration check out Louisa’s page on recycling keys.

Recycling art

Friday was a great challenge – we had to look at our walls and get rid of art and wall hangings we no longer wanted. It touched on the ‘sentimental’ side of things which is always difficult. But I was feeling determined and a couple of paintings are now in the charity shop box.

Declutter expired medicines

Saturday was another timely mission; we had to go through our first aid kit and check expiry dates. Fortunately I had nothing that needed throwing out but I did need to get more calendula cream, rescue remedy and yarrow tea. It feels good to have these things in place; feeling organised and equipt to deal with things is the flip side to decluttering, don’t you think?.

Don’t forget, if you have unwanted medicines that are still in date, you may be able to recycle them to help save lives in other areas of the world.

Aspirational clutter

Sunday’s mission was huge for me – we had to go through our sewing kits and get rid of things we would never use. I keep fancying myself as a sewer and I buy kits and cute matching sets of things, but the reality is that I’m not handy (or particularly interested) with a needle and thread. I found this mission highly emotive because firstly there is part of me that feels I should be good at sewing and secondly there is a part of me that feels it could be a new hobby to enjoy. I had to admit to failing miserably on both accounts and feeling a bit inadequate – I follow blogs where people make beautiful items and aspire to being that person myself, but alas it’s not for me.

The other thing this bought up for me was an enormous sense of my own mortality. I realised that sewing, along with a myriad of other ‘should do’ hobbies was not going to happen because even if I started one of the ‘one day’ hobbies right now, I would probably never get through my ‘wishlist’ of things to experience.

Chris Baskind, over on his blog Eco Minia calls this type of clutter ‘aspirational clutter‘. Aspirational clutter according to Chris, are the things we buy with the best of intentions, but never actually get around to using. For me it’s arts and crafts stuff, knitting needles and yarn, and my trusty sewing things.

Anyway, feeling brave and determined I have now put some sewing kits up for sale and put a lot of arts and crafts things into the charity box.

Bonus mission

For anyone who is a seasoned declutter, Colleen challenged us to address the one area of our house that we’ve been avoiding. She asked us to consider what was holding us back from succeeding at decluttering and to look at this task as a series of small, achievable ones – great psychology and the very thing we adopted with our zero waste challenge for the year. Colleen advises us to revisit this space once a week and remove just one unwanted item with the idea that in a few months, we would have made real progress.

I’m still considering what my ‘no go’ area might be and I think I know just the room …

How about you – have you been decluttering this week? Tell me how you have got on and if you fancy some support, why not head over to Colleen’s 365lessthings for inspiration?

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