areas of excess: possessions–an update

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March 5, 2013 by Ellen V

I expected this week to be easy peasy, but it ended up being much harder than I anticipated! Nothing has been dropped off or distributed yet, but I have two bags of baby gear set aside for babies we know, all of which is in good condition, but we have duplicates of it or Jane never wore it because she is freakishly long and never makes it through a whole season in the same size, let alone more than one season. I have a small-ish bag of stuff in decent shape for Goodwill, and another sizable box of stuff in great shape for St. Vincent de Paul, and plans to get it all in the hands of future owners within the next week or so. 50 items, but just barely.

The method to my madness?

  1. I went through the stuff in a pile in my closet and the basket in Jane’s closet, both meant for going elsewhere. I estimated having 20-30 items between the two piles before I even started. In the spirit of 7, though, I weeded a few things out. If anything was stained or unusable for any reason, I trashed it or added it to my scrap fabric/craft pile. These things did not count toward the 50 item total. I ended up with about 15 items after that initial sorting session.
  2. That same afternoon, Day 1 (it happened to be a snow day), I did a more thorough investigation of my closet and dresser, and came up with an additional 10 items. This brought me up to about 25–half way on Day 1! I thought I was golden, for sure.
  3. Through the weekend, Days 3-5, I managed to pull things here and there that would help unclutter my life. This was a shift from “getting rid of what I don’t want” to “getting rid of what I don’t need.” This was a much more difficult task. By Sunday, Day 5, I was at about 40 items.
  4. Finally, yesterday and  today, Days 6 and 7, I managed to really discern a few last items I could say goodbye to. The last ten items required some outside the box thinking. Is there anything at work that is mine that I could part with? Have I looked over the linen closet yet? I was ready to throw in the towel this morning at Item #46, but I went through my work bag and my office, and came up with another four items pretty easily, actually. Praise God! I beat possessions week!

I honestly thought 50 items would be no problem for me, but it was much harder than I had anticipated. I am a pretty thorough purger and sorter most of the time, and I am actually trying to be better about reusing or repurposing items instead of just tossing or donating them. With this in mind, I made sure my donations were all in good condition but at the same time unnecessary for me. I feel proud that I found 50 items in my space that met that criteria, and I didn’t have to cheat (I think I could part with this nickel…) or give anything that required asking permission from Eric. Like, you know, our wedding gifts or anything from his side of the closet.

Week #3=Success.

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