Summer’s here, the kids are home from school, and if you’re like me, your house seems to feel more full than usual. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to downsize a little and make a big impact. Here are five easy ways you can live with less.

1. Glass reusable containers

Pyrex has some nice reusable glass containers available, but my favorite way to store food is in mason jars. They are inexpensive, you can reuse them forever, and they are beautiful – especially in comparison with the ugly, cheap plastic containers you find everywhere. Also, the lids always match and are easy to replace. Why choose anything else?

2. Recycle

Your local garbage and recycling company has a list of what you can and cannot recycle. Print it out and put it above your mini waste management center to make recycling faster and easier.

3. Compost

Composting can be intimidating for the uninitiated, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! Here’s a link to a basic composting guide to get you started.

4. Buy in bulk

Cut out packaging, and your garbage stream gets reduced fast. Most grocery stores will let you bring in your own containers to fill with bulk goods as long as you bring an extra one so they can zero their scale. If you’re not sure, you can call and ask what their policy is. (Ask them in a way that makes them sound progressive, and you’re gold.)

5. Host a clothing swap

Lose weight recently? Have kids that are outgrowing all their clothes? Send out a dozen emails and host a clothing swap. Offer to take everything left at the end to a local thrift store (or maybe a consignment shop to earn some extra cash!)

Ready to make even more room? Check out my book Conquer the Clutter, now available on Amazon, and downsize your entire home in two weeks flat. (Seriously.)

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