Tips and Guides

RL Tips: 4 Ways to Reduce Clutter

Minimize waste in your daily life to give both your home and the earth some breathing space

Photography: Louie Aguinaldo

Read the original article in the January 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Buy in bulk

Buying in volume and planning your purchases and menus minimize waste and the need to buy single-serve items. Shop with a friend so you can save gas or buy bulk items you can split. Menu planning also extends to preparing your meals for work in reusable containers, to reduce having to use disposable take-out packaging. Alternatively, patronize places that will portion out their food into your Tupperware container like the corner carinderia or a Jollijeep.

Work on a recycling system

Once you have your recycling system in place, reduce clutter by having a mangbobote visit every week or by making regular trips to the junk shop to sell old newspapers, cans, PET/glass bottles, etc. Re-use items when possible, like ice cream canisters, take-out boxes or shoeboxes as alternative storage to minimize wastage. It’s also all right to purchase your footwear and leave the box at the shop.

Choose reusable bags

When shopping, bring your own re-useable canvas bags to cut down on the plastic shopping bags you bring home. Group grocery items together to minimize having to use smaller plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination, or re-use plastic bags at least once. 

Say no to unnecessary packaging

Take note of how much packaging is involved in your purchases. Ask yourself: is it necessary to have individually wrapped sanitary napkins when you buy a pack you use at home? Is your oatmeal double-bagged? Can you shake off the habit of using individual drink packets at home if you can buy larger refill packs you can store in jars?


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