Bea’s 5 R’s are without a doubt the motto of my life! Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Rot; only in that order. Living with this in mind makes it so much easier to make wise choices with what we accept into our lives, to be a conscious consumer. I say accept, because it is not just what we purchase, but all those freebies and gifts!
As we started out on our zero waste journey I soon realised just how much stuff we had stored in our cupboards and around our living areas. Because we had so much stuff stored about, we actually found we had duplicates of so many items; crazy!? Books, CDs, DVDs, games, kitchenware, tools, small appliances, clothing, shoes, linen, decor items …. endless! Now whilst I will never be a minimalist, and I have no desire to be one, I was able to see the absurdity of buying storage, to store items I never used, because “one day maybe”.
Those gifts that you received and feel guilty about not using because you do not like them; let them go! When that person gave you that gift, you became the owner. I carried around a beautiful boxed up dinner set for over a year, when I actually had the guts to say I had no need nor want for it, my sister in law was thrilled to have it! So look at it this way, by keeping items you do not want or need, you are actually withholding happiness from someone else! Everything is just so much easier with less stuff; less to tidy, less to store. It has also helped me stop putting importance into material things. Now I am not saying you cannot be sentimental, but how many books and tape measures does one house need?
This clearing out process has happened in various stages for us, and 2 years later we still find ourselves with items we just do not need, or even want! The more I sold and gave items away, the better I felt! It was wonderful to see how happy people were when they collected their purchases or when we gifted items. If I had known that I would be blogging and sharing info as I am now, I would have kept a record on just how much we gave away and sold, as well as how much money we saved. I would have even gained further funds had I known the joys of OLX!
Everyone will have a different view in this area, but I just don’t see the point in having items in our lives that we have no need for. There are plenty people out there who are in need of what I have, but possibly cannot afford to purchase it new, so why not give them the opportunity to own it! Likewise, if I need or want something, I can then get something that is preloved rather than buying new. The production, packaging and transportation of new items uses so much valuable resources, when we could just buy something that has already been produced and is quite possibly already in our own town or province.
Now I know there are a ton of you out there cringing at the thought of decluttering. You might find setting a goal will help settle your nerves and get the family involved. Decide what you will use the funds for; family holiday, local day trip, trip to the movies, a new game, or maybe you have had something on your wishlist for some time but felt you do not have the cash. Maybe you do have the cash and it is stored in those boxes that you paid over R200 each for piled in your cupboards and garage? You picking up what I’m putting down?!
Because I am no hoarder, I was super keen on decluttering even more from our lives. I think I should let you know that my husband is not exactly 100% on board with this whole decluttering thing. So it is not always a joyful process in our house. Anyone in my position; choose your moments, speak with love, and make sure they are well fed with good tasty food, not the healthy stuff, before venturing on this task. Little by little, sneaky, sneaky.
So I downloaded the OLX app to my phone recently, which made things super easy rather than having to transfer photos to my laptop. Loading items for sale on the OLX app was very quick with a step-by-step process that I found very user-friendly. We have had some items lying about for a while so I decided to list them and see if we get any bites.
I love that while I am also supporting the used goods market, I am not schlepping about town. I can also search for specific makes of things that I know I like, and best of all, you can get everything from quirky to quality, both of those and in between! How many shops can you go into where you and buy your dream Land Cruiser and a frog teapot?
Using OLX helps us to help each other with the 3rd R – Reuse! For those of you who are not in SA – OLX operates in over 45 countries around the world!