#40 – Give Away 50 things
It wasn’t hard to give away 50 things. I seem to naturally like to purge my closets and shelves at least a couple times every year. In addition, since I started working on this list while we were in New Zealand and I wanted to have space in my suitcase for the new things I bought and not end up needing to buy another suitcase, so as we traveled I made trips to local thrift shops to drop things off.
It also didn’t hurt that as we traveled I read a couple books that added to my desire to downsize. One was My Van, My Castle, by Jackie Norman – a woman sells her home and nearly all her possessions to travel throughout New Zealand while living in her van. The other was, “Bewildered,” by Laura Waters – a woman spends five months hiking the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand and carries in her backpack everything she needs for those months. I was deeply enchanted with the idea of paring down my level of stuff.
So, I went through my suitcase each time we repacked to go to the next place on our journey and whittled out items bit by bit. Then, I asked my kids and my husband if they really were wearing all the clothes they had brought with them and we got rid of a few of their things because I wasn’t willing to pay for an overweight bag fee for anyone.
I had gotten rid of at least 25 things before we even returned to the States and then as I was unpacking, I took a discerning look at everything in my closet and got rid of 25 more things plus a few more. I brought them directly to the Goodwill the very next day. I wasn’t going to make the mistake I usually make – which is to hold them on until our church rummage sale a few months later. Every time I do that I end up going through the bags again and deciding to give this or that item a little more thought. I’ve learned by now that if I haven’t worn a piece of clothing hardly at all in the first months I have owned it, it doesn’t magically become a favorite thing to wear in the future. I like what I like and I know it after the first time I wear it.
So here is a summary of all that I redistributed:
5 pairs of pants
1 pair of pajama pants
10 miscellaneous items (nail polish, phone case, headphones, etc.)
2 tank tops
2 pair of sandals
I haven’t missed any of it – although I have thought fondly on a couple of the sweaters. I wore them all the time but I had them for eleven years and I was ready to not wear them anymore. For everything there is a time and a season – even when it comes to our stuff.
For the Next Fifty Years: I used to travel very lightly before we had kids and before we inherited the stuff that belonged to our parents and grandparents. I will travel lightly again someday. In the meantime, I’m thankful for our home and I’ll gently pass on what I no longer need as the time comes.