Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today to update you on the Joint-Effort Minimalism Challenge that Mrs. Waffles on Wednesday and I are participating in.
The Week in Donating
So far, I’ve tossed (donated, really) a frog enclosure, a pair of mittens that no longer fit, a creepy doll, Barbie clothes, lots of shoes, lots of glassware, and just in general, a lot of stuff that didn’t fit and will not be missed.
I added up everything I will be getting rid of by the end of the month, and the total is 496 items. My friend Eric thought he’d join me, but he’s probably going to be ending early, he just doesn’t have 496 things to toss.
SOOO not my problem, Eric.
In fact, the challenge is to count one item as one. But I’m so ‘swimming in crap’ that I’m counting things like a pile of baby hangers as one thing, a pile of books as one thing. Maybe Day 24 will have me wishing I didn’t do that, but looking around my house tells me I won’t have any problem coming up with stuff to donate or toss.
Everybody’s Doing It
We’re getting the whole family involved. Mr. 1500 has graciously donated old computer books (anyone want to learn Unix?) and the youngest little 1500 takes after me – wanting to collect everything. Her room was completely cleaned out a few weeks ago to remove the carpet and install cork flooring. We put things back slowly, and she’s now really getting into this whole ‘cleaning’ thing. It’s quite nice to see, as previously her room looked like someone was testing nuclear bombs in it.
No More Excuses
Life is hectic.
I don’t know where to start.
I don’t have time.
Yeah, life is hectic. You don’t have time, you don’t know where to start or maybe you’re even like me, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crap you have, and unwilling to address it.
The beauty of this exercise is that you’re only accountable to yourself. (Unless like an idiot you announce it on a blog that tens of people read.) Start on day one. Find one thing you won’t miss. It can be something that takes up a lot of space, or something that is small. I tossed a frog enclosure that has never enclosed frogs. Mrs. WoW tossed a candle holder she used at her wedding, and not one time since.
Day 5 had me tossing 4 beer festival tasting glasses and the tiniest coffee cup ever. (I like giant coffee cups that hold half a pot of coffee so I don’t have to keep getting up to refill it. Also, I only drink two cups of coffee that way.) I won’t miss any of these things.
Open your dish cabinet and select the dish you never use, that ugly glass someone gave you or the coffee cup your husband brought home. Go to the utensil drawer and open it all the way up. Grab that thing all the way in the back that you’re not sure how it works, the spoon you never use because it doesn’t hold anything, or the 4th ladle you have and don’t need.
What NOT to Toss
It’s OK to keep things, too. I have 2 pancake flippers. (Some people call them a spatula, some call the item you scrape the last of the mayonnaise out of the jar with a spatula. Whatever, you know what I’m talking about when I say pancake flipper.)
I have 2, because I use them all the time. I will probably buy another one at some point, because I use these things literally every day. Yeah, I could just wash the ones I have, but I’m OK with having duplicates of items that I use frequently.
However, I just tossed my second whisk because it’s a jumbled cluster of loops and makes a big mess whenever I use it. I only ever use the first one.
When you run out of easy-to-toss items, consider taking a day off rather than tossing something you use, and will miss when it’s gone.
Fortunately for me, I’ve got ‘stuff’ in spades. 496 is a good start. We’ll probably do this again in February…
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