11.16.2010

Why I am Getting Rid of 1/3 of My Stuff



I realize many of you think I have jumped off the deep end.  Most of you know me as a food blogger.  You'd never know that lurking underneath is a minimalist.  Minimalist...  no, not like the art, like the lifestyle.  Over the last year I've spent a lot of time reading blogs about living lightly on the land, being debt free, learning to live with less.  It wasn't until I started reading RowdyKittens.com that I found a name for this emerging idea: minimalism.  What does minimalism mean?
It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value.
 - Leo Babauta
I'm still working through how one goes about decluttering their life.  Value - that's the word I have latched on to.   I do understand that living a minimalist lifestyle means defining values and making them a priority.  It's something most folks, including me, aren't very good at.  It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind.  Eventually I'll have to work on evaluating how I spend my time and looking at the intangible parts of my life, but for now, I'm focusing on the physical stuff I own. 

Jeff asked me yesterday, "Why did you choose to get rid of one third of your stuff?"  Basically because I'm not hard core enough to go down to 100 items.  At least not yet.  Half seemed too extreme and a quarter didn't seem like enough so one third it was.  I'm only a week in and I've only gone through my shoes and the junk drawer, but as I look at what I own and start thinking about editing out one third, it's surprisingly easy.  Knowing that I have already decided to let one third go means that I look at what I really want.  In some cases I can actually let go of more than one third.  The best part is the overall quality of stuff I have is going up and I didn't have to buy a thing. 

What do you think?  Do you think you could go through your home this weekend and find 100 things to donate?  Are you willing to put in the time to get rid of the clutter?  Are you willing at least to consider it? 

16 comments:

  1. I think its smart! I like the idea of de-cluttering my life, just need some time to do it! Thanks for the idea

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  2. I certainly need to declutter my house and my life! I live in a small home with a husband, three kids, two dogs and one cat...and all our STUFF! It's getting crowded and sometimes I look around and think, "why the heck do we have all this stuff...we don't need half of it!" So yes, I can begin to let go of things...thanks for the motivation!

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  3. Stuff can be stressful. Your post made me think a lot. Echo-ing the comment above...thanks for the motivation.

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  4. I know I can find 100 items! WIll definitely make the house more tidy and easier to keep neat!

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  5. I love this idea Foy. I just sent an email to my husband. We will try this over the weekend.

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  6. This is a brilliant idea! You've inspired me to pare down on the items we have. We're moving soon so it's the optimum time. Thanks, and good luck!

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  7. this is really great! I love your phrase 'living lightly on the land'. It's been what I try to do, and I have also stumbled upon all the minimalist blogs out there. I find it cathartic to get rid of things, and reading these blogs does help, especially in terms of things I am keeping because they are 'mementos'.

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  8. when I moved from No. California 7 months ago, I sold my house and half of the furniture and STUFF!
    I cried - but then realized WHO needs all that STUFF! You have the right approach and great attitude - now I can even downsize more! Hard to get rid of kitchen tools, etc. That I must keep!

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  9. We are starting to pack up now to move and believe me, I am super thankful we have decluttered all that we have. However, we are not done. As we pack, we are getting rid of even more! It is so freeing to realize that stuff does make the house a home!

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  10. Lynette Spicer11/19/2010

    I like the reincarnation of your blog. I like the topic! How very smart to think this way before you collect stuff through the years. I have been working on this for some 5 months and it's difficult to tell I've gotten rid of as much as I have but every load that goes out is inspiring.

    A good book on the topic is the bestseller "It's All Too Much". Good luck to all trying to part with stuff. Does this mean I can't keep passing stuff on to you, Foy?

    Mom

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  11. We actually started last weekend. I don't know if it's 100 items, but it's a good sized pile in the garage waiting for Salvation Army. Now, it's like a rolling snowball, as both me and my wife are on a mission to get rid of our crap.

    Hopefully, at the end of the mission, we'll be selling our 2,600 square foot house (for four people, yes, we have entire sides of the house we don't use), down to something closer to 1,200. We've calculated we may even be able to buy the house outright and not have a mortgage! BUT, it all starts with getting rid of 1,400 sqaure feet of crap.

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  12. I don't think you've jumped off the deep end. Some in your generation are really struggling with some social expectation of lifestyle equaling the outward appearance of having the right stuff. It leads to debt, stress, unhappiness, and, well, other bad stuff. It's good to see that there is an undercurrent of young people looking for other ways to do things.

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  13. I'm on board with you as well. For the past six weeks, I've been blogging about my 75 in 75 Challenge - that was to get rid of 75 things in 75 days (by end of Dec). Well, I've still got a month to go and I'm already at 314 things gone...sold, recycled, donated. What freedom! So, I've upped it - new goal...750 things gone by end of Dec. Love it!

    Dr. Laura

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  14. I marveled at your kitchen, now I am in awe of the entire house. I am more than willing, if only my husband would agree to do the same to the garage!

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  15. I appreciate your point of view and see merit and value to it. BUT, I am much older than you and have a different perspective. Most of my life is spent and most of my family gone. My treasure is an old egg bucket that my grandmother used when I was a child as we walked hand and hand into her hen house to gather eggs. There is the orange carnival glass dish from my other grandma, and the beautiful marble topped sideboard from my late in-laws.....wonderful crocks and spatter ware from my Mother, every piece is a memory of someone dear to me. It is a beautiful and comforting trove of treasure. So give it a little thought if you are looking at tossing something from someone that was given with love, and good luck to you.

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  16. Absolutely!! I love getting rid of stuff. Except I feel like I'm being extravagent and wasteful when I do.

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