In the last month, we have minimized a lot of “stuff”. (I use the term “we” loosely.) Our minimized material possessions include:
- Countless bags of shoes and clothes donated to the local thrift store to support the local food bank.
- Two fuel-guzzling vehicles traded in for one, fuel-efficient, family-friendly, box-o-fun on wheels.
- Numerous knickknacks and clutter from around the house–including non-original artwork taking up mental space even though it hung flush against the walls.
- Work-out videos that were still in their original cellophane wrappers. (VHS format, in spite of the fact that I can’t remember when we last owned a VCR.)
- Bags of toys to make room for Santa to bring some more.
- Linens for bed sizes that we no longer own. (It’s been a good four years since we had that Full-sized futon … and we left the King-sided bed at the rental house. Not sure exactly how we arrived at that less-than-brilliant decision.)
- Cabinets full of expired medications. Note: expired medications can be taken to any pharmacy, where they will be disposed of properly.
- An office full of books that we’ve never read–to be donated to a library in an under-resourced country to help locals increase their literacy.
But, if you’ve been following the blog, you also know that this Minimal Challenge is not *just* about minimizing our material possessions, but about changing our attitudes toward waste and consumerism, and decluttering our mental spaces as well. To that end, we’ve made more progress by:
- Eliminating the junk mail in our email inboxes.
- Shifting to digital scrapbooking vs. traditional memory keeping.
- Establishing a once-a-month-cooking routine. (A “first monthly,” if you will … stay tuned to learn how the “second monthly” goes …)
In the process, we’ve used our free time and mental space to go on more family adventures:
And, perhaps the greatest reward thus far, has been the opportunity to share a broader world-view with our children in the form of understanding and empathizing with the hardships faced by our friends, family, and neighbors during this difficult economic time.
Meanwhile, with the time we’ve regained by not watching TV every night, my husband has decided to pursue his Ph.D., and I’ve rediscovered my love for writing. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how we’ve minimized our coffee addiction … again … and again.
I guess you could say that we’ve had a fairly successful month. Or at least a successful start on our journey of minimizing our “stuff” so we can focus on the adventures and life-lessons that matter.
Thank you for joining us on this journey … tune in tomorrow when I’ll attempt to list my current possessions and my goals for reaching the elusive 100.