Reducing clutter does not mean we have to stop collecting memories in your life. It also does not mean throwing away all you have. There are many ways to keep your memories and reduce clutter at the same time. These are few tips on How to reduce clutter without reducing your memories:
How to reduce clutter
1. Scan and take pictures before throwing them away – I have many reviewers and syllabus from college that I think I can still use and can still be useful. However, they are so bulky and numerous that it becomes a clutter, so is there a way to clear them up and keep the contents? Of course! Just be patient and scan them or take clear pictures of them. I know it is hard work but if you want to reduce clutter and space to your room, office, or house you need to be patient. I started by scanning loose pages and creating folders in the computer to segregate them. I did not do it in one day or in a week, it took me weeks because I did not do it the whole day. I did it by batch to make my life easier. After I scanned all of them, a big box of papers became a small part in my computer – I added it in dropbox and email to ensure that they will not be deleted.
2. Scrapbooking – I mentioned it in my previous post, minimalism is letting go, that scrap booking is beneficial for those who want to prevent clutter. We reduce big items into tiny bits that fits a scrapbook. The new generation is not probably not familiar with scrapbooks, they are big notebooks that contain pictures, memorabilia, etc. It is like a photo album but it does not only contain pictures – it also contain fabrics, stones, things.
So, the main point here is rather than keeping so many things in a box reduce them to pieces and stick them to a scrapbook. If you are determined in creating memories, this is really a good way to start. Rather than keeping boxes of clothes that reminded you of important occasion, you can take pictures of them and cut a piece of the fabric (optional) then stick it in your scrapbook. Add a note and explain why that fabric is special to you. For example, “this is my uniform in high school”.
You can also collect stones, pressed flowers from your trips and add it in your scrapbook. Ofcourse, not everything can be added in your scrapbook. Bulky things like figurines cannot fit so choose those things that you can reduce to bite size. Be creative and have fun.
3. Reduce what you take home from trips – We buy lots of souvenirs when we travel, right? We buy bags, figurines, and other things which are really useless and end up cluttering our homes. So before you buy something, make sure that it is useful and you have a place in your home for it. For example, instead of buying a bulky item from your trip you can just buy refrigerator magnets. I love the ref magnets that my sister bought from her trips, they are compact yet memorable. If you have not notice, many ref magnets have authentic designs of that country. If you cannot find ref magnets, you can buy small key chains that can fit a scrapbook. What I really suggest, because I love doing it, is that you take free things aside from few pictures. For example, take a small pebble or sand from your trip to the beach and add it in a scrapbook. A dead small branch, a beautiful dried leaf or fresh one but make sure you press it in a book to dry them. Take small items that you took from that place. Or buy only things that are unique to that place and choose those which are not expensive or those that you can afford. If you have no budget, just keep a journal or diary.
4. Keep a journal or diary – Write down your experience and describe it in your own way. It is fun and will help you express yourself better.
4. Stop buying for a month – Exclude food and office supply, do not buy clothes or anything for a month. Buy only if needed.