Too Much Stuff and The Lure of Minimalism

As September approaches my pulse quickens and the list-making ramps up about 50 notches. So much coming at me at lightening speed, so much stuff to get organized!! Kids: get stuff for school; work: get stuff organized at work and pick up the stuff you said you would but forgot until this week; extra-curriculars: register for hockey and choir and make sure you have all the right sized stuff (Jesus god, you need new skates again?? Wtf.); farm: consider how much wood we will need to get split (ok, that’s a separate post…).

OMG we need so much stuff and we already have too much stuff! And what does it do? It causes me stress!! 

Coincidentally (or maybe it’s a cosmic intervention), I listened to a podcast this morning by The Minimalists. Basically The Minimalists are two 30 something American men who are making a living preaching about how to live a simpler life with less stuff. They have a lot to say, they have a lot of adulating fans. It’s a bit rich at times, but … I can learn from them. I DO have too much stuff. I hold on to old papers, memorabilia, art supplies, a few of the kids’ baby clothes (ya, I am going to make them a quilt, ok?), wool that is so scratchy or ugly that I’ll never make anything from it, scrapbooking tools (I was good at it …stop judging), CDs (sooooo many), electronics cables (in case I ever need a yellow / white / blue combo thingy), hot tub chemicals that I will NEVER use (jet cleaner? Whaaa??), gardening tools (ya, that’s funny I know), candle nubs … you get the picture. I have WAY WAY too much stuff in my house, my garage, my office … likely in the cabin too, which is pretty damned small. I have stuff that I don’t use or apparently need, … everywhere.  

Egads

So I have decided to get a grip on things by taking the 30 day Minimalist challenge. On the first day of September I have until midnight to throw away, donate or sell ONE item. On the second day, 2 items. On the third day, 3. You get the picture. If you do the math (and there is an algorithm for that…), that’s a shit ton of stuff that will be out of my life by the end of September. I know it will just be the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a way to start thinking about it and perhaps even making better choices (like stop buying so much stuff, ummmm ya think?).

Logistically I don’t know if I can ACTUALLY sell a few items on the day that I plan to sell them … but I can post them for sale. And logistically I’m not driving to Vinnie’s every day I when I decide what to donate – but I can box them and label them and put them in the garage. 

Wanna join me?? Comment if you’re in!! 

To demonstrate my commitment to the crusade for “less is more”, I tossed an old, ripped, and completely ineffective pair of oven mitts into the flames today. BE GONE, I SAY!! You will never cause me to burn my hands again!

Burning Oven Mitts
They burn so beautifully! (Only thing they ever did well…)

6 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff and The Lure of Minimalism

  1. I am so in!!!! I saw the documentary on those guys and was inspired! I am also going to take the wardrobe season change as an opportunity to do the 33 in 3 clothes challenge. Who needs this many clothes???

    1. So glad that you are IN Andrea!! It’s going to be fairly hilarious, as it starts on Labour Day weekend at the lake … I already have my eye on ditching an old coffee percolator that I NEVER use (I don’t even drink coffee) – but I can bet you that there will be ALL SORTS of people who will try and talk me out of it.

      I am going to have to watch the documentary – people comment on it a lot at their live shows. I know nothing about the wardrobe challenges … I will look that up for sure!!

  2. I have a friend who started this same challenge in July and lots of people did it with her, and posted about it everyday. I am in right along with you. Starting September 1st.

  3. If minimalism is a range, my husband is farther along than me and pulls me toward every once in awhile. So I periodically sort, discard, downsize. I also don’t have a lot of space to store stuff. I have a box and bag of stuff already sorted to go to Vinnie’s but it is still sitting in my house! Gotta get it out. Perhaps this is a whole other topic but what about the sentimental stuff?

    1. They talk about the sentimental stuff on their blog – basically, they say … take a picture and throw it out. Or just throw it out. Or give it away. They are pretty hard core about it. Very interesting to listen to them talk. I threw out all of my high school award plaques a few years ago. I don’t miss them!!

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