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You May Not Realize but These Items are Taking Up Unnecessary Space in Your Home

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house manchester by Alex Pepperhill via Flickr

Does the idea of de-cluttering your home make you shudder?

If it does, then it’s a good sign you have more than what you need in your house. You might not realise it, but there are plenty of items taking up unnecessary space in your home.

OLD COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Why are you holding on to your old monitor and clunky hard drive? Old computers have no place in your modern home. Computer technicians are readily available should something go wrong – so any old computer equipment can go straight to the tip or be sold for parts.

EXTRA CHAIRS

Do you have half a dozen chairs you never use, but save just in case you host a dinner party? Unless they are beautiful, high quality chairs which are a feature in their own right, it’s time to get rid of them. Expecting guests? Buy some fold-out chairs which can be stored away out of sight when they’re not in use and bring them out for large crowds.

LARGE MDF CABINETS

It might be nice having all your crystal on display on a large cabinet but there’s no need for it to take up half your living room. Worse still, if it’s made of MDF with a wooden veneer. It’s not a quality item, it’s not an antique and it certainly won’t be as durable as a genuine wooden item. If you don’t want to pay for a solid rimu cabinet then at least downsize to something more modern and minimalist. This one is straight for the removal companies in Sunderland to deal with!

CASSETTES, VIDEOS, CDs and DVDs

Sure, you might want to hold on to your first mixed tape from your first date or a home video from your 90s holiday to Disneyland, but the reality is these tapes are wasting space – and they don’t look pretty anyway. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to go digital. Nearly all music is available online and with the creation of playlists and music apps you don’t need cassette tapes, CDs or even DVDs these days. With cloud storage and external hard drives readily available, you can throw out all your discs and most definitely anything with winding tape.

CASSETTE STEREOS/VIDEO PLAYERS

Following on from the above, if you have no cassette tapes left then you don’t need anything which plays cassette tapes! Replace with something compacter.

KITCHEN APPLIANCES

Take a look around in your kitchen and find out what do you actually use? What do you use daily, weekly or monthly? And what have you not used for five years? Chances are there’s an old blender or bread maker which hasn’t seen the light of day in years.

OLD LINEN

The linen cupboard can always do with a clean out. Often we purchase or inherit multiple sets of sheets, towels and napkins which end up collecting dust in the linen cupboard. While it’s nice to keep the “good” linen for guests, you don’t need seven sets of napkins to match seven different tablecloths. Choose the best ones and throw out the rest.

MAGAZINES

The only magazines in your house should be ones from the current year. Most magazines these days have a subscription option for your e-reader or tablet. Holding on to old photography magazines? Equipment and technology is changing every year so chances are the edition from five years ago is no longer relevant.

It takes time to declutter your home – but there are plenty of easy ways to make more space by getting rid of bulky, outdated items which no longer serve a purpose in today’s world.

 

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Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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