The Mins Game (Days 12-15)

De-cluttering Responsibly

When I first discovered minimalism, I initially wrote it off as not environmentally friendly. I, like many new to minimalism, tended to focus on the de-cluttering aspect of minimalism and less on minimalism’s impact on consumption. I was understandably concerned. It seemed as though it didn’t matter how objects, sometimes perfectly functional, left the house. I didn’t want to be feeding landfills. It actually took me a few years from learning about minimalism to taking it seriously as one of my top, eco-minded practices.

In doing the Mins Game, I am aware that not only am I focusing on the most visible aspect of minimalism, but also that I am responsible for how things leave my house.

I’m not able to get up to 30 items out of the house on a daily basis. My lifestyle just doesn’t support that kind of freedom. Most of the items leaving my house are not going to go for much either. This is why I’ve decided on a garage sale for my chief method of disposal. I’ve already set the date and have a good location so I’m pretty sure that some stuff will go.

The problem with garage sales is that there is no guarantee that items put up for sale will leave the property at the close of the sale. Therefore, I’ve decided that unless otherwise indicated, I will check to see if books and DVDs are wanted at the library and then put out front with a FREE sign on it, if not. In my neighborhood, most everything gets taken from the curb. For clothes that don’t sell, I will put them in a clothing drop off site for donation. Anything else will get curbed directly with a FREE sign. This will be my strategy so that when I get rid of things, they will stay gotten rid of. 🙂

Day 12: (78 items total from the start of the game)

On day 12, I got rid of:

  • 5 maternity garments that I can’t picture myself wearing. I’m going to try and sell them to the local used kids’ store that sells maternity clothes. Whatever doesn’t sell will go through my usual system.
  • 5 regular clothes
  • 1 book on French slang, too old to still be useful
  • 1 ceramic bowl

I’m doing my best not to include the garbage items that keep popping up – old receipts, packaging waste and the like. I may have to resort to these down the road, but for now I’m just recycling or tossing what I come across. Did I mention that I have a lot of clutter?

Day 13: (91 items total)

  • 4 clothes items
  • 1 shirt (I’ll see if my sister-in-law wants it before sending it through my system described above.)
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 toy
  • 2 Runner’s World magazines (I’ll see if my running friend wants these first.)
  • 3 DVDs

Day 14: (105 items total)

  • 3 garments too worn out for use. I put these in the garbage.
  • 1 ceramic Beatles “yellow submarine” mug
  • 2 dresses I’m going to offer my sister-in-law and her younger sister first.
  • 1 white blouse
  • 7 pieces of intimates, still in very good condition

Day 15: (120 items total)

  • 2 DVDs that I think my siblings might like to have.
  • 3 ceramic dishes
  • 1 mega block to join the others in the garage sale collection
  • 2 ceramic containers for tea that I’ve been holding onto for ages.
  • 1 Teflon rice cooker that works (we replaced ours with a stainless steel one)
  • 1 stuffed animal
  • 2 champagne flutes
  • 1 bath robe
  • 1 worn cardigan
  • 1 plastic wreathe that is too sun damaged and shedding. Garbage.

 

I’m satisfied that most of the things leaving my house have a chance to a good home. They didn’t have one here as they sat cluttered up and unused for far too long. How about you? If you’ve done major de-cluttering, what system did you put into place to get rid of things responsibly? Let us know in the comments below!

Until next time, keep that talk walking!

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