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!

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Clothes and Project 333

I’ve written about Reusing Old Clothes and Shoes before, but this week I wanted to think about how to deal with your clothes collection in general. In addition to costing a lot, buying lots of clothes and having more than you need can mean that you’re effectively using a lot of the world’s resources on what you wear every day. I always think that by buying an item you’re saying to the company, “I’m okay with you using non-organic cotton/too much packaging/synthetic materials” etc, so it’s worth thinking about what messages you’re sending out with your purchases!

I’ve been looking at all my clothes for a while and thinking about which ones I wear most often and which sit at the back of the drawer or never make it out of the wardrobe. There are some things that I’ve donated without a second thought, but there are lots of thing left that are ‘maybe I’ll wear this one day’ items.

Since I’ve become interested in Minimalism, I’ve read a lot about Project 333. If you haven’t heard of it before, this project essentially involves you picking 33 items and wearing only those for 3 months. Here are the basics of the project from website Project 333:

The Basics

  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.

I keep thinking about it, and to be honest I feel at the moment that this might be a step too far for me – although it’s been very successful for many other people!

But I do still want to work out which items I can get rid of without missing them. A method which I’m currently following is turning all the hangers in your wardrobe the wrong way round. Every time you wear an item of clothing, turn that hanger back the right way. This way you can see which items you wear and which you don’t. I would recommend reviewing this at the end of a season or after a few months, as then you’ll be able to know that you haven’t worn that jumper for the entire winter, for example, and therefore you’re unlikely to wear it again.

Of course, there’s no point in reducing the number of clothes you have if you just keep buying more to replace them! As I mentioned in my post Minimalism, I’ve been keeping a ‘wish list’ of items I want but don’t need, in order to try and cut down on impulse purchases. It’s worth applying this to clothes too – it really makes you aware of how much you buy needlessly!

Have you tried Project 333 or something similar? What do you think is the best method for cutting down on your clothes collection?

P.S It’s Earth Day today! I haven’t done a separate post as I’ve already written about the National Day of Unplugging and Earth Hour, but if you’re interested then check out this website.