a not-so-exciting project…

i’m excited about my minimalizing project this evening.  today, i took four 33gallon trash bags and walked around my house throwing things away.  the fact that the project took me only 40 minutes to complete speaks to the amount of stuff in my house – we’ve got a long way to go.  but i made a good dent.

i’m really excited about the accomplishment, but realized how lame the story is when i couldn’t even get my wife to listen to the whole thing. so i titled it a “not-so-exciting project” to warn you the reader.

if you would like to experience the thrill yourself, grab one large trash bag from the garage and just start walking around your house.  it’s hard to describe the rush in words. 

and if you would like to complete the project quickly, just start in your basement… 

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    I just began reading your blog, so forgive me if you correct this later on. But you advocate throwing things away a lot. I think people – especially people trying to minimalize – would be better served by donating their things to an organization like Goodwill. Not only are you reducing the amount of trash you put into our landfills, but you’re also gaining a tax right off and ensuring that your stuff is used by someone who needs to use it more than you. Obviously, I saw that you sold some things on eBay, but for the things that you can’t sell and aren’t trash, you should really look into donation.

  2. says

    I agree with Red on this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an aspiring minimalist myself and I LOVE decluttering and throwing crap away. But these things give people who know nothing about minimalism a bit wrong idea about what it actually is. It’s not running around with trash bags and throwing all your stuff away O.o It’s about getting rid of the crap that’s useless, catching dust, broken or something. Getting rid of mess, useless pieces of paper, food rubish and so on. Things that you no longer want in your life but they do still work (or they could still be usable to somebody else) should absolutely be sold or donated.

    I’m a lazy person and not always feeling like doing all the work on e-bay, taking pictures or carrying the bags somewhere so I sometimes just leave them on top of our rubbish containers in front of the house. If it’s a good stuff, it usually dissappears by the next morning :) I absolutely love that.

  3. Erin says

    This is a late comment, but I’m new to the blog and reading from the beginning. I just wanted to say that I’m really glad to see Em and Red’s comments. I’ve been gradually minimizing the last few years and it’s probably taken me longer than many others because I agonize over things that I may not be able to donate, but I’m loathe to throw away. I really hope I’m not sounding too judgmental, but I feel one of the reasons many of us become minimalists is to lower our impact on the environment. Filling garbage bags to go to a landfill is a necessary evil when decluttering, but I try to minimize that as well. It may be the types of things that I’m getting rid of, but I’ve mostly been able to donate things and I’ve taken extra paper, pens, and other items like that to work.

  4. Barrette says

    Spouse and I had a similar discussion yesterday as we got rid of some things in our basement.

    Now that we have these things, they’ve already been created and purchased and will, at some point, be trashed (either broken or when no longer useful). What’s done is done, and we can’t undo buying them. If they CAN be reused, great — to the thrift store.

    But if we don’t need them, and don’t expect to need them, and can’t imagine the thrift store needing them, WHY would we keep them? They’re done. They’ve served their purpose (or not), and are no longer of value. Do we keep them longer to punish ourselves? No. Liberate them, and then don’t buy more crap.

    Especially stuff we bought second-hand, I think we should have no compunctions about getting rid of. We wouldn’t have bought them new, and if we don’t think anyone else will buy them used, then why would we keep them. The original buyer shouldn’t have bought them.

    If you read the whole blog, Mr. Becker has definitely been donating what he can. And honestly, some things go from useful to garbage — for example, a nice family picture mounted on a piece of wood from 6 years ago. The family’s grown, people aren’t represented, and no one wants to buy it used. That has become GARBAGE. Was it wrong in the first place? A part of life is that we do consume. We should consume judiciously, but the order of consumption includes divesting ourselves of items that are no longer useful to anyone.

    But, if we put stuff in garbage bags, we should be reminding ourselves the whole time that we shouldn’t buy stuff that’s going to end up in garbage bags in the first place…

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