Playing the 30-Day Minimalism Game: Week 2

Today is officially Day 17 of the 30-Day Minimalism Game. And I’m still playing – which I find incredible given that I thought I would run out of energy, unnecessary things and interest around Day 8. But no! I’m still playing, and, to date, I have donated, sold or trashed 136 things.

Many of the donated items were clothing pieces. I gave away some beautiful sweaters that just never worked on my body or in my location (for instance, today will be 90 degrees). I got rid of shoes that didn’t fit my feet, no matter how much I tried to stretch them. I also donated numerous books to the Little Lending Library in the neighborhood so others could enjoy them.

The process has been an intriguing one of discovery for me. For instance:

I discovered that we have an abundance of office supplies. Nobody needs that many binder clips unless they are teachers, small business owners or artists on a mission.

I discovered that I have a sentimental streak about other people. Now that my mom has passed, it is harder to get rid of things she gave me, or I associate with her, even if they are small things. But I’m ruthless about my own history. I just don’t care about my grad school grade reports, papers or other paraphernalia.

Despite that, I still can’t bring myself to donate my wedding dress. I loved my wedding dress. I have fantasies about getting it dyed a different color and shortened so that I could wear it something fancy. But even though it has been cleaned and sits in a specially designed preservation box, I’m too attached to it to donate it.

I seem to pick up pamphlets, brochures, maps and guides whenever we travel and keep them for years. I suspect I keep them because I think I’m going to do a series for the blog that would require them (like our “Population Under 200” series), but I never use them. Not only did I recycle them, but I have vowed to pick up fewer of them from the start.

I need to find better ways to donate or recycle certain items. Is there really no place that could use the zillions of cables, plugs or other electronic paraphernalia that sits in a big plastic bin in our utility room? Listing them all on eBay seems tricky, as I’m not sure we always know what they originally belonged to or the name of the item. Still, it seems like a waste to throw them into electronics recycling. So, instead, they are still sitting in our utility room.

I’ve discovered that I have some lovely clothing items that I’d like to sell, but going to ThredUp now is ridiculous. They pay the sellers cents (literally, they paid me $0.32 for a new shirt) so that the buyers can get great thrift deals (and the company makes money, obviously). But at this point, I’d get more if I hosted a garage sale. If you know of better options, please shoot them my way.

I’ve already become more mindful of what I bring into the house. I had already stopped buying things to make me feel better years ago, but I find myself wanting less, too. Before I make a purchase, I really do run through the “do I need it?” series of questions. And that’s a win no matter whether I finish the game or not.

And now, for a small selection of pics of items that have left the building this week:

I’m decluttering magazines, including ones that talk about decluttering — which seems appropriate.
I’m pretty sure I can get rid of all the summer clothing sale magazines (although it is 90 here today).
Very old maps that are in no way useful anymore — out!
Why did I feel the need to keep old shoe boxes?
So many beaten up folders!
Random items were in a bag that used to be in my Jeep. I finally went through them.
More magazines getting recycled.
This chocolate that Andy brought home was amazing. But I have a photo of the box so we can remember the name — we don’t need to keep the box. Out!

What about you? Are you still playing? I post my decluttering efforts every day on Twitter @PLSteffy. Come join the fun!

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