Happy May! If you happen to be on my mailing list (which I highly recommend for semi-regular, semi-coherent emails), you already know what this post is about. But, I thought I would share it here on the blog too – so everyone feels included!
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, it’s (probably) spring – hooray! And, I don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling very purgy for the last couple of weeks. I don’t love the term Spring Cleaning (more on that in a future post), but that’s definitely what I’ve been feeling lately.
Maybe it’s because I live in a seriously cold place, but, something about the warmer weather and promise of spring makes me want to clean out my closet (and obviously not replace anything. I am a minimalist, after all).
To make things a little more fun for myself and because I don’t want to go it alone, I’m starting a tiny challenge for this month. I want you to Minimize in May (I can’t say no to an opportunity to alliterate, #sorrynotsorry).
More specifically, I’m going to challenge you to donate, sell, or recycle three items in your home that you don’t need anymore.
No specific reason. Three sounded better than one and won’t be as difficult as five. There is an added level of difficulty for this challenge though. I don’t want you to just drop everything off at your local second-hand store. I think it’s really important to be mindful of where our stuff goes after it leaves our lives. By and large, the majority of the ‘stuff’ I accumulated in my life before becoming a minimalist, I accumulated in a very mindless way. I don’t want to continue the mindless streak just because an item doesn’t fit into my life anymore. I believe I owe my stuff more than that.
Need help getting rid of your items in a mindful way? See if your town/city has a local Buy Nothing Group or even a Buy/Sell group. My city has both on Facebook. You could also post your items for free (or for money if you prefer) on Buy/Sell apps like Kijiji, Craiglist, Carosell, Letgo, etc.
Since this is the time of year when people are cleaning out their garages, basements, attics, etc, you might even find a local recycling event in your area. There was one in my city this past weekend for textiles, clothing, tires, and electronics. You can bet I was there with a bag full of stuff!
Check out some of the local charities in your area and see if they are collecting for a specific item. There is a shelter in my city that is always looking for warm articles of clothing and blankets – so you know where I’m going to take those items!
If you have any items of a desirable brand or any items in good condition, you could also consider consigning them with a local store. My local vintage shop just started accepting new items for the next season, so I will be checking that out for the higher end pieces of clothing I don’t wear anymore but have been holding onto.
Is minimizing in this way going to be more work?
Is it worth it to do what you can to make sure an item will be used to it’s fullest potential?
You betcha (IMHO).
I still struggle with the wasteful aspect of minimalism that can arise from dumping all your stuff onto someone or something else. If I can find a meaningful home for an item, I’ll do it.
So, that’s it. Minimize three items from your life this month and do it in a mindful way. Easy, peesy.
Because I love hearing from you guys, I want you to let me know what you’re going to minimize from your life this month. Comment on this post and let me know or share photos on Instagram with #minimizeinmay. I’ll reshare my favourite ones!
Obviously, I’m going to do this challenge too! Here’s what I’m going to minimize in May:
- A pair of boots I purchased a couple of years ago that really hurt my feet.
- Will be recycled (they are a mismatched size (7 and 7.5), so they would probably be trashed if I tried donating them somewhere else.
- Five athletic headbands that I’ve never worn (they make my head look funny).
- Will be donated to a local yoga studio.
- Three phone cases that I can’t use anymore because my old phone kicked the bucket.
- Will be posted for free in a local Buy/Sell group.
P.P.S. I’m starting a productivity group with the Flipd app (which I’ve spoken about a couple of times here and in Tiny Bites). If you’d like to spend more time off your phone and more time being productive, please take my two-question survey to help me learn a little more about your productivity habits (i.e. when you would like to be or when you are the most productive). Thanks!
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions