Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.
There are 2 of us. Just 2. But we have a 4 bed/2 bath house Full of stuff. We are drowning. And I can’t find anything!
This was the conclusion I came to a few years back. So we decided to do something about it. But we didn’t know exactly what. At first we just picked up a few things & put them in a pile. We had a small garage sale. That worked, but not well. We needed to be more aggressive about it.
With that in mind, we took the advice of several simplicity & minimalism bloggers (including Be More With Less) and took the first pass through the house. Everything was evaluated in every room. Anything that we weren’t attached to in any form went into a box or pile. Including furniture. Holy cow. We ended up with a ton of stuff. We had a garage sale & then donated anything that didn’t sell. A month or two later, we took a second pass. Holy cow Again! We had enough to do a second garage sale, which did not thrill me. We decided instead to try selling some of the stuff individually & giving some of the stuff away to specific people. Giving away is my favorite way of passing on items. If we know someone with a need, we call them up & ask if they want it. I have posted lists of items on Facebook for all friends & family to take a crack at. Anything left we give to Goodwill.
Every so often we go through the house again & repeat the process. It is getting harder with each pass, which is encouraging. That means we are getting into the things that have attachments. We can then evaluate our attachments to see if they are truly valid.
There have been some things that are hard for me to part with. I keep wondering “what if we need it?” I came up with a system that is probably someone else’s idea (sorry if I stole it). I put the things I am iffy about getting rid of in a box. I put that box in an out of the way place. If I don’t go looking for anything in that box within 6 months, then I obviously don’t need it. We then give it away or sell it. I have only ever pulled 1 thing back out of a box. I am considering shortening the waiting period to 3 months for the next round of items.
Initially it was hard not buying new stuff to replace the old. We have taken a few steps backward. Now we use the system of
- Don’t go shopping without a purpose.
- Think how many hours we had to work to buy said item.
- Determine right at the store what we would use it for. “We might use it for xxx” is not an acceptable answer.
This has slowed our purchasing considerably. We have rooms that are much reduced in items and one room that is nearly empty. Eventually we plan to downsize our house to fit our newly reduced life of stuff.
See our story at: They Think We’re Crazy.