Saturday, January 5, 2013

Give it away, give it away, give it away now

I have been asked to clarify one of my New Year resolutions:
Give away at least seven items per week

How is this an ethical move? It is not just about making donations - if so, I would be better off donating cash to help those in the developing world who would benefit most, or selling my items and donating the proceeds. It is not about getting rid of all my possessions and replacing them with "green" or "ethical" items (that would defeat the purpose). It is more about simplifying, having less "stuff" and thinking more about what I consume. It is about changing my priorities from "stuff", to "deeds". It is about having more time (because I am not spending as much time cleaning or looking for lost items or deciding what to wear) to do more important things. My home is not going to become minimalist - just less like it could appear on Hoarders.

Slow Your Home's "52 Reasons to Simplify Your Life" include these reasons that resonate most with me:
  • Less time spent cleaning
  • Less impact on the environment
  • Less time organising your belongings
  • Less likely to inadvertently support child slavery and unfair work conditions through buying cheap, disposable items
  • Feeling more content with what you have
  • Less time (and money) wasted shopping for things you don’t need
  • You need less furniture, which gives you more space
  • No more dreading drop-in visitors

There are endless blogs on the topic of simplifying, downsizing, minimising and generally consuming less. Some of those that I follow include Becoming Minimalist, Be More With Less, The Simple Year, The Clean Bin Project, Simplify Your Life and Buy Nothing New for a Year.

My first item given away for 2013 was my copy of "The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul" by A Guy Named Dave to my friend (also a guy named Dave) and his wife who are embarking on their own quest for a simpler life.  I will periodically update this blog with details of the items I have given away.

Have you tried simplifying your life? Do you have any reading recommendations on the topic?

1 comment:

  1. Getting rid of stuff has taken a step back today after receiving the most enormous bag of baby clothes, blankets, bibs etc from my sister. On the upside I suppose it is secondhand so I don't have to buy new things. And I can pass on what I don't use as even though I don't know much about babies, I'm sure he doesn't need THAT much stuff...

    Read the book - not bad although a little bit waffly. I would have liked to read more about the process of whittling things down, rather than just saying 'this is my list' and spending a lot of time talking about how it wasn't exactly 100 things, and all the things that were exempt!