Packing Party

Packing Party

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m really interested in minimalism and how it can contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle. So, here’s a minimalist concept I haven’t explored before: the packing party. The inspiration for this post came from Anne over at Minimalist Sometimes, although I am very late to the party with this! You can find her rules My Pseudo Packing Party.

The idea is to pick a room – I chose the bedroom first – and pack up everything you know you won’t use in the next 48 hours or so. Then, after 48 hours (or longer if you like!), go through your packed items and decide which of them you’d like to add back to your newly-cleared space. The rest you then donate or recycle or landfill. Like Anne, I’m not including furniture in this. For the bedroom, I also didn’t include clothes and shoes (which I pared down and am more conscious of since doing Project 333) or earrings (which I sorted through recently).

I returned to my packed items whenever I needed something, although this wasn’t very often. This helped me to get rid of expired or unused medications, and also reinforced that although I have a lot of jewellery, I really don’t wear much of it. After unpacking the remaining items (in a different room), I got rid of a box’s worth of items, and there is now a free drawer in our chest of drawers. Even though I’d tackled these items before, I was surprised at how easy it was to get rid of even more.

Next, I’m turning my attention to the cutlery drawer in the kitchen (and any similar items hanging on the wall). I’m tackling just a small area because we have a lot of things in the kitchen and I don’t want it to get too overwhelming.

After a nice spring clean, here is the drawer with the items I know I regularly use (some of them don’t live in the drawer, but I popped them all in so you can see them all together). It looks like a lot, but wait till you see what’s been left out…

Cutlery drawer

And here are the items that I’ve ‘packed’ up. I’m keeping this tray in a corner of the kitchen, and I’ll only go to it if I need one of the items in it:

Packed cutlery

It’s been a week since I started this and I haven’t gone to look for any ‘packed’ items at all (although I have a feeling they may need to move home when I want to use the baking tray!)

Have you tried a similar thing? Or maybe you’ve moved recently and had to do this in earnest? I’d love to know your methods for paring down your possessions or just taking a good hard look at them 🙂 I find it’s really helpful to remove everything from an area as it helps to emphasise just how much was there, and whether you feel happy to put every single item back again.

Thank for reading!

Minimalism

I’m taking a slight departure from my usual style of posts today to write about minimalism, because it’s something I’m very interested in; plus, I think it ties in with being environmentally friendly.

Please don’t be scared off – when I mention minimalism, I’m not thinking about the stereotype of having a sleek, monochrome house without any possessions. I don’t want a show home. I still want to own the things that I need and that make me happy. My focus is on looking at all the things I own, and donating, selling, recycling or (more unfortunately, if there’s no alternative) throwing away the things I don’t need or want, all the things I’ve kept out of habit or obligation.

So why is this eco-friendly? Well, if you don’t want something but someone else might be able to use it, then passing it on will mean resources aren’t used up on making something new.

Another side to minimalism is buying less – in our consumer-focused society, it’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to own more and more things, which is also bad for the environment. Thinking more carefully about what we buy can help us realise what we’re doing to the environment when we buy things needlessly.

I’m tackling this by buying more things secondhand, so they have less of an impact on the environment, but I’ve also decided to keep a ‘wish list’ of all the things I’m tempted to buy. I’ll write them down and look at them again in a month or so and see if I still want them. This should hopefully cut down on impulse purchases, so I won’t end up with so many things I don’t really want.

If this is something you’re interested in, there are so many places you can go to to get started! In particular, there are lots of blogs around. I’d recommend Courtney Carver’s Be More With Less. This focuses on the savings – both money and time – that you’ll make by following a more minimalist lifestyle, freeing yourself to do what you enjoy without feeling choked by unwanted possessions. Also have a look at Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist, which again focuses on the joy of having less possessions.

This might not be the first thing you think of when you’re considering going eco-friendly – but I think it’s interesting nevertheless. If we could break out of our consumer habits and stop buying so many items that damage the planet then we’d be doing a whole lot better! What do you think?