A month ago, I started on a journey.
For me, there were two main reasons:
Personal, stemming from a conviction of materialism and poor stewardship,
and Practical, since I just have so many things and really don't need them all.
Basically, for each day of May, I tried to identify the same number of things to give, sell, or throw away that corresponded with the date of the month -- 1 item on May 1, 2 on May 2, and so on -- preferably things that can reused by others.
Well... 31 days later, it's complete!
I've gathered a total of 496 things (technically, more than that since I grouped several of those together) for giving, donating, selling, and throwing. Of those, 44 were thrown away, and the remaining 452 I've either already sold or given away, or am preparing to do so very soon.
There were some days when it was really easy to find things, and even days that I charged ahead and set aside things that would hold me over for multiple days into the future. On the other hand, there were definitely days that I didn't think I would finish because I couldn't bear the thought of breaking into my stores of carefully collected of stuff... In fact, even though I did break into those hoards, I was still not able to part with many of those crafting materials that I originally mentioned!! Definitely a defeat in that respect...
Also I originally tried commit to not buying anything new in the month of May, but I need to confess: I acquired a used window AC unit and some clothing from a Memorial Day sale and swap, and I adopted some yarn from my roommate who moved out... To be fair though, I subtracted that number from my count and made sure to make it up by giving away extra! :X
Details aside... how do I feel now?
I definitely feel a lot lighter. My closet is more organized. I actually know where everything is (since I've torn through and rearranged everything like a madwoman). I finally vacuumed the deep recesses of my room that I thought I would never get to. And, I actually feel like I could keep going!!
As much as I feel all cleaned out, I also know there is more that I could find if I were to have another go... After doing this exercise of literally unpacking everything from every storage space I have onto the floor or table or bed and meticulously going through them piece of piece, I can so easily see how much I have, and I so appreciate the overflowing abundance that God has blessed me with. It was very easy to acquire all these things since I'm such a packrat, but it was also surprisingly easy to admit and embrace the facts that, No, I really don't need to hold onto them, and Yes, I really would be happy for someone else to enjoy them.
I wish I could show you a picture of my pristine and meticulous house now, but in reality most of the stuff is still stored in large bags awaiting their final destination, wherever that will be. So basically it still looks messy. But I think that's part of the journey! To get somewhere, we may have to trudge through a whole bunch of chaos along the way. I think it was worth it.
So, what's next?
I'd love for friends to come and take those things! There's lots of clothing, jewelry, barely worn shoes, accessories, office supplies, trinkets, etc etc etc. I'm hoping to host a get-together for just that!
Also, in the process of cleaning out the masses, I identified several pieces of clothing that I really like but wished were just a little bit different. So, I'm hereby starting a new project that I am calling:
It doesn't really have a ring to it like Minimalism May... Any suggestions for a better name?? This is also an open invitation to join! In fact, Connie has already signed up to join me! Anybody else interested?? :)