Getting rid of “stuff”

Since Amanda and I have returned from Africa, one of the general themes we keep discussing is how much “stuff” people in North America tend to have – us included! I think that there are a lot of things that we thought we needed, but when you are away and don’t have those things, perspective can change. As we move into the season where people generally accumulate more “stuff”, I thought I would share some of the tips to de-clutter that Jason Robillard posted on his barefoot running website. He draws a lot of parallels between living a minimalist lifestyle and barefoot/minimalist running. You can expect more posts on similar themes in the future.

  • Get rid of extra unused clothing. Go to your closet. Turn all hangers around so they’re facing the opposite direction (hook on the backside of the rail.) When you wear an article of clothing and wash it, return it to the rail normally. At the end of one month, you’ll know which clothes you’ve worn and which clothes you haven’t by the hanger position. Donate half of the clothes that were untouched.
  • Do the “35 items” challenge. Each day for one week, select five items around your house that you do not use. Place them in a pile somewhere in your house. At the end of the week, donate the pile to a local charity.
  • Do a week-long “zero growth” activity. If you buy anything during the week, you must get rid of something of approximately the same size and/or value. The goal is to stop accumulating new stuff.

Feel free to leave any other tips and ideas in the comments!