31 Day Reset: Day 20 – Steps Toward Minimalism

I’m participating in the 31 Days to Reset Your Life program at Happy Black Woman. The program is designed to help you evaluate your goals and priorities and think of them in the context of your life today and how you might be able to refocus on what’s important. Read on to learn about my experience with the challenge!

OK, I definitely cheated on this one. Rosetta asked us to get rid of everything we don’t need. Yes, I said EVERYTHING. Well. I know for a fact that would take hours to complete! As many of you know from my most popular post on this blog, What I Learned From My Garage Sale, I took some time to do this in May, gearing up for my move across California. I spent a ton of time going through stuff I hadn’t touched for years and putting it in the garage sale pile. I definitely did not get through everything, but I made a pretty good dent. Our stuff FILLED my poor station wagon to the brim (we were doing the sale in a friend’s front yard)! But it was wonderful to get rid of so much stuff!

The moral of the story is that from that instance I’ve made a pact that we need to do sales either once or twice a year to continue to prompt ourselves to get rid of our things. We keep a pile at all times of things to sell. Right now the corner is pretty full! I am hoping we can do something around March/April time.

So, as far as this exercise goes – I’m all for it. But I know it would take a HUGE amount of time. And I’m sick today (still hanging on to a fever that started Sunday!). I simply don’t have the time or energy to take it on. I did fill a bag of clothes to add to the pile at least. And I acknowledge the fact that this is a really useful thing to do.

Sorry I cheated! But you just gotta do what you gotta do (or not do) sometimes!!


What I Learned from My Garage Sale

We had a garage sale on Saturday and got rid of a bunch of stuff. It was so much stuff it filled my station wagon to the brim. And while garage sales aren’t exactly intellectually stimulating, I did come away with some lessons learned.

  • Friends are everywhere. There were a few people I struck up a conversation with. There was a girl looking for skirts that go past her knee because she is going on a missions trip to Malawi. There was a gentleman with three grandkids who was looking for CDs for them. Striking up conversation with them made everything feel more natural and we all enjoyed the experience – even though it was something as unexciting as a garage sale. There are some great people out there!
  • Everyone needs to pay it forward more often. A girl with her grandma was shopping around and bought some of my things. When they were on their way out, she asked how much a pen was.  I responded, “You can have it for free, you guys have bought plenty of other things.” Her jaw dropped. She was shocked. “For FREEE???” She could not believe her ears. It was something so small that ended up meaning a lot to her. Her disbelief that someone might be paying it forward struck me. I can’t wait for the time we’re grateful but not taken aback by a small gesture of generosity.
  • Garage sales can mean more than meets the eye. I definitely had my own Toy Story 3 moment. As you may or may not know, I had a thing for pigs when I was growing up. Consequently I have approximately 23,498 pig items. Needless to say I could get rid of some of them. I was setting everything out when a woman asked how much one of them is. She mentioned that her daughter is having a pig party. I was thrilled! I scooped up every pig item I own, including eight pairs of socks (those are just the ones I could part with), and sold it all to her for $8. More than the cash I was so happy my pigs went to another young girl’s enjoyment!!

I am definitely instituting an annual garage sale tradition. There’s no reason to keep my things that I don’t use when there are plenty of people who desperately need them. I encourage you to do the same!!