I’m one week into my de-cluttering experiment, following The Minimalists‘ formula for getting rid of one thing on the 1st day, two on the 2nd day, three on the 3rd day, etc. for an entire month. Here’s a quick day-by-day summary of my progress so far:
- Tossed out a freezer-burned bag of blueberries.
- Put a jar candle and candleholder in the “Yard Sale” pile.
- Got rid of 3 bras that were no longer fulfilling their purpose.
- Shredded 4 old job-bidding cards from the post office.
- Gave a small crock pot and Dremel tool to my friend for her new jewelry-making hobby, and added a plant pot, laundry bag, and pitcher to the yard sale pile.
- Picked 2 suits, a dress, a jacket, a pair of pants, and a purse out of my closet for the “Donate” bag.
- Trashed 7 expired food items from my pantry shelves.
Most articles so far fit into the following “disposal” categories:
- Gave to a friend
- Sold (via yard sale or Craig’s List)
The donated and yard sale items haven’t gone anywhere yet, but are forming two piles in my bedroom, awaiting their final destinations. By the end of the month, I plan to have several bags of clothes to donate, and multiple boxes of items for our yard sale.
As soon as I started this challenge last Monday, it became clear that I would have to take it to the next level by not only getting rid of old stuff, but also by NOT acquiring anything new this month. That means no new clothes, household items, electronics, etc. (Still waiting to buy that iPad!) Consumables like food, and personal care & cleaning products are OK, as are electronic purchases that don’t take up any physical space, like Kindle books and iTunes.
I also realized that I would have to get my husband on board with my mission when he came home Friday night with 5 steak knives that he picked up at a yard sale! SIGH. Five steps forward, one step back.
By the end of the month, I’m sure I’ll be scraping to find 30 items to eliminate, but this early in the game, I’m having the opposite problem. It’s hard to stop at one or two things. Inertia is a strong force! De-cluttering one area leads to another, then another. In addition to the list above, I also found myself shredding 53 debit card receipts that I’d stuffed into my checkbook, and eliminating the pile of junk mail and catalogs that had accumulated on the table by my front door. I’ve got big plans for the piles of unread magazines in my office, but they’ll just have to wait until week 4!
These days, I definitely derive more satisfaction from having less stuff and holding on to my money than I ever got from spending money and buying new stuff.
My, how I’ve evolved!