Minimalism Challenge Update #2

We’ve passed the midpoint of our 30-day minimalism challenge.  For most of the last week our office and front entryway, doubling as donation collection points, have been full of children’s toys and clothes.  This short interim period of additional clutter will undoubtedly be well worth it in the long run.

Toy Collage 2

The majority of the toys have already been given away.  We posted an ad for free toys on our neighborhood’s Facebook page and within minutes we had our first offer to swing by and take some off our hands.  One thing I didn’t anticipate was some of the interactions we’d have as these new acquaintances passed through our lives.

The first person who contacted us was a new grandmother.  Her son’s girlfriend had just given birth to a baby boy three weeks prior.  Both parents, ages 29 and 33, were unemployed and were about to be evicted from the house they were renting.  Clearly under a great deal of stress, you could hear the worry and frustration in the grandmother’s voice as she explained the situation.  We gave her everything we had that was geared towards infants and young toddlers.  You could tell she was truly grateful and we hope these items will be put to good use.

Baby Toys

A second encounter that stood out was with a woman I had recently met.  About two weeks ago, I was going through some boxes and found a couple X-Men comic books circa 1992.   Having no need for the comics, but not wanting to toss them out, I posted them on the neighborhood Facebook page figuring someone who collected comic books may want them.  Surely enough, within an hour a woman messaged me saying her brother-in-law was a collector and later that day she swung by to get the books.

Comic BooksFast forward to this past weekend and I received another reply to the kid’s toy post from what looked like a familiar name.  Turns out it was the same woman and luckily for her I’d found four more comics to add to her BIL’s collection.  When she stopped by our house, she asked me, “Isn’t it hard to part ways with all this stuff?”  I thought for a second and said, “Not really.  I just don’t have a need for it anymore.”

For a few seconds afterwards, it really made me think about people in general and why we hold onto stuff for so long.  It’s almost as if getting rid of these possessions will take the memories that are attached to them.

This brings us to our next point of interest.  For some reason, we’ve been hesitant to get rid of plastic souvenir cups we’ve acquired over the years at sporting events, amusement parks, and vacation resorts.  Well, not any more.  It is time for us to part ways.  Bye bye random souvenir cups.  To the recycling bin you go!

Souvenir Cups

One final discovery, a can of expired beets, can only be classified as embarrassing but true.  Now, it is not uncommon for people to find slightly expired goods in the their homes.  Occasionally coming across something that expired a year or two ago is worth a good chuckle.  For us, this one takes the cake.  Check out the expiration date.

Expired Beets

What makes this especially bad is that since these beets expired (I don’t even remember us ever buying canned beets), we have made two cross country moves and somehow these beets made the cut both times!  Maybe we should’ve hung onto them for old time’s sake.

Lastly, if you comment on this post and we do not reply right away, do not despair.  We are not ignoring you.  As part of the 30-day challenge, we will be disconnecting from the virtual world for the next three days.  We hope the handful of you, our loyal readers, can manage during these trying times 🙂



9 thoughts on “Minimalism Challenge Update #2

  1. MrFireStation says:

    You are right that it is more often the memories than the “thing” that we want to hold onto. Over the past 5 years, I’ve become better about getting rid of things – but only after I take a quick picture of it. The memory-keeper in my brain does better when it knows I can still look at it if I want to (which I rarely do). I have a picture file called “Old Stuff” that has become my museum.


  2. Lisa says:

    It’s easy to donate a whole bunch of bags to Goodwill, but takes a little (or a lot of) extra effort to post things like you did to find people who want the items and then make a personal connection with them. I had 7 years of quilting magazines, all of which had patterns in them and were too valuable to throw out, but I no longer needed them. I posted the whole collection for free on Craiglist and within two hours had a “buyer” who came over and told me their story – their daughter, who is in the army, likes to quilt and every time she comes home, they send back some books/magazines with her. That connection is the neat part 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Maggie says:

    I’m so excited about your progress. I’m hoping the anticipation of doing one myself will get us all ready to dive in when we do it in February/March (when carpets go on sale… whenever that is). I’ve been prepping kids that we’re revamping everything. Since we have to take everything out of all the rooms, it’s a perfect time! I’m so excited. You guys are doing awesome! Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. our next life says:

    Congrats on letting go of so many things that seemed important in the past! I’m convinced that most of us are scared on some level of being forgotten after we are gone, or maybe even of forgetting our own life stories while we’re still around. Having all of this stuff to remind us somehow proves that we were here, and we did all these things, whether or not that’s actually true. But I think that’s why it’s so hard for most people to let go. But not you guys — you’re minimalist rockstars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! We’re getting there. I remember a few years ago going through a box of old trophies. It was tough to let them go, but necessary at the same time. And you’re right, many of us may subconsciously keep thing as proof of our existence. I’d never really thought of it like that before.

      Liked by 1 person

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