07 February 2015

28 Items Ready to Go

The first week of the Minimalism Game is done, and although I got busy and didn't pick out item for the last couple of days, I caught up this morning.  This means that in addition to the items I had already packed up to go to a thrift store, twenty-eight more items are heading out the door.  I calculated that by the end of the month, I need to have gotten rid of over four hundred items!  To be precise, Σ28 = 406.

In some cases, the item was a thing I had thought about sending away, but hadn't made up my mind.  The challenge helped me make up my mind.  In others, it was something I had gotten thinking I would use it and have not, or had gotten for gifting and that never happened either.  Sometimes it's a child's item and the children I know are older now.

So hopefully on Sunday I'll take this week's collection to the thrift store, and get some boxes and things to start the next week's collection.

I did add some rules of my own, at least for this week:

  • Items already packed up for the thrift store - I had 21 of them - did not count.
  • Items I have set aside to send to Mittens for Akkol for their current grads collection also do not count.
  • The boxes and things that I am using to take the items to the thrift store of course do not count.
  • Items for my Etsy shop also don't count, since I keep hoping to dispose of them by having someone buy one.  Or several.
So far, everything I packed up on a day had a single ending, mostly the thrift store, with one exception.  I think that may change later in the month, but we shall see.  I know I have plenty of magazines for some of the larger-numbered days.

In other news, this also left the house this week.  Given that it is a commissioned item, I don't really count that as something that should leave.  I was working on a scarf for a friend, and our stage manager saw me, and asked if I would make a scarf for her.  In discussing colour options she mentioned grey, and when I asked what shade she wanted, her eyes lit up.  "You know, there's that movie coming out....."

I told her that there was no way I would try to find, or work with, fifty shades of a colour, but I'd see what I can do.  This is five shades worked in single crochet entrelac.  Washable acrylics because she has three large dogs; the outermost one has a touch of sparkle.  She's not a big "bling" person, but was thrilled to see a bit of it in the yarn.  And she loves the end result, which is the best part.

Next up are to finish my friend's scarf, and make five hats of reflective yarn that a friend commissioned for her sister-in-law, nieces, and daughters.  And I want to get a couple of boxes of craft supplies organized and photographed to post on Craigslist to see if anybody wants them.  I'm sure they will go quickly on Freecycle, which will be the next stop for them.

02 February 2015

The Minimalism Challenge

A friend's boyfriend challenged her to do this, and some of us think it's a good idea.  I am going to challenge my parents, because my mother is always trying to get my dad to throw things away.

The idea of this game is that you must get rid of as many things as the number of the day of the month.  So one thing on the first day of the month, two things on the second day, and so on. The original challenge says that "each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day", which really doesn't work in the middle of a blizzard.  So we've adapted it to you have to put the item in a box, and not take it out again, and on the weekend donate it someplace - Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, local charity shops/thrift stores, a shelter. 

One of the people in my friend's feed suggested: 

If you have anything you think a teacher might use, contact one you know or a local school. Art supplies, old shirts for paint smocks, magazines, even old stickers that come with address labels and envelopes to return bills you pay online can be useful in elementary schools. High school teachers use all kinds of used stuff as well. 

Some after school programs could use art supplies, too.

If you decide to do this, follow the standard rule for donations: Make sure the item is in good, usable condition.  If it's not, throw it away!  Nobody can wear falling-apart shoes, or would want a torn and stained shirt or pants.  Dried out paint and glue will not benefit a crafts program.  Expired personal care products or food.  If you cannot use it, why give it to someone else?

Because I already had a box going, I wrestled with whether to count it or not.  For now, I will, but this weekend I may get caught up on items.  I am going to keep a list so that I can see how much goes out the door.   Magazines will definitely be included in a later week when I have to get rid of a lot of things per day.  There's a debate about getting rid of old papers, and we seem to be agreeing that one inch of paper would count as one thing for the day.  Too much?  Too little?