After talking to coworkers the other week, I started reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. In the book Marie teaches her readers that you should only keep items that you cherish every day around you and purge most everything else.
Reading the book, along with having a couple visits from friends, where it was discussed how surprised they were that my home was extremely neat, despite having a lot of things made me want to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Wanting to embark on this journey, I read many articles about how people have been able to reduce their belongings to 100 items but… I have a hard time parting with things because of all the personal metadata associated my possessions that make it hard and BUY ALL THE THINGS. Hoarding comes easy to me primarily because of a couple thoughts, “What if I will need this later?” Or, “I love this so much, won’t you come home with me?” I believe that the second thought fits well within Marie’s beliefs, but for the first thought, do I really need to keep something around just in case I might need to use it?
So what if I made a new goal to get rid of 20 things a day for a year. Whether it be by either selling, donating, gifting, recycling or just trashing. Here’s my attempt to get closer and closer to minimalist living.
Rules of Engagement
When I thought of this challenge, I thought that the number twenty seemed fitting. The criteria was that the number had to be enough things to compile quickly, so it wouldn’t be a chore to do. Many guides that teach the conversion to minimalistic living would suggest that first you need to catalog all your belongings and then pick a limit of say 100 and choose from all your possessions. This mass cataloging would just take too much time and I would give up the effort immediately. The second reason for choosing twenty was that it was a number large enough to still feel a sense of daily accomplishment. At the end of a year if I got rid of 20 things per day I would have decreased my number of possessions by 7300 items. Final rule was if I ended up buying anything I would have to balance this purchase by getting rid of something as well. If I get rid of more than 20 items that’s also ok, but won’t decrement the next day’s items.
Here goes nothing.
Day 1: I’m a bag lady. After getting groceries or shopping at the mall I hoard all the bags in a cabinet in my kitchen. My first impulse for this challenge was to rid myself of my bag collection so that I can use the cabinet for other appliance storage. I mean how nice would it be to remove the shelves from that cabinet and put in a roll out cleaning station where I could store my vacuum cleaner?
To get to this amazing future however, I would need to reclaim this cabinet from it’s infestation, that has occurred from keeping bags from Google Express deliveries which are super sturdy for carrying heavy things, or mini shopping bags that I’m convinced that someday I will pack lunch in, even though I eat lunch in our work caffe everyday. Reached in the drawer, grabbed 20 uglier bags and easily tossed them into my recycling bin. Many bags still remain, but hey it’s day 1 and I’ve parted with a small corner of my bag lady collection.