The Year of Living Minimally – Week One

I need to focus. This first week, I was able to get rid of some stuff, but I could have done better. Sometimes, we not only have too many things, but too many things to do as well. For me, it’s a new novel, a couple of editing projects, laundry! Okay, okay. So, here’s what I managed to accomplish this week:

Tossed out a TON of pens that don’t work. Pens everywhere. It was ridiculous. 

And we still have too many
Filled a couple of paper bags with paper to be recycled. I still need to shred a lot of other paper, you know, bank statements, health records.

Emptied and rinsed out three bottles of nearly-empty salad dressing, tossed those bottles in the recycle bin. I know, it’s not much, but when a project seems overwhelming, it’s best to start small.

Boxed up a bunch of books. It’s hard to let go of books! And they’re not gone yet. They will be donated, of course, but I thought that I would first offer them to my local friends. If you’re interested in any of them, let me know and I’ll figure out a way to get them to you. They’re all good! I especially recommend any of the books in the bottom photo.

So, that’s week one. Once my days aren’t so crazy, I’d like to devote an entire week to the garage, the closet, the other closet, the other closet……no wonder I need a year!

Onward πŸ’™

32 thoughts on “The Year of Living Minimally – Week One

  1. Books are tough to get rid of….most people and places don’t want them. I’m thinking of recycling some. As a serious note, they are paper, but I’ can’t even come to the thought of burning them for heat….nor should I.


  2. Ah, the library boxes made an appearance in week 5. What a liberating feeling to remove boxes and bags of stuff from the house!


  3. I just discovered your living minimally project. I’ve been working on this in spurts for years. I hope your weekly posts will help get me back on track. FYI, the Warwick Public Library is having a book sale next weekend and is accepting donations.


  4. I love your post Martha, I will be looking to you for inspiration. I live in the house my parents bought in 1966 and I raised three boys here. I have many lifetimes of stuff and I am hopelessly sentimental. Every now and then I get inspired. I cut my cookbook collection in half, and I think I still have more cookbooks than you have pens. Anyone need a cookbook? πŸ™‚


  5. You are an inspiration! I’m interested in The Ice Cream Queen (it could be about me!) and Heart and Soul. I’ve read some Maeve in the past and enjoyed her novels. Thanks! Not that we need an excuse to get together πŸ˜‰


  6. We’ve been doing this a little at a time, too — on Saturday mornings. A couple kitchen drawers one day a couple cupboards the next, one closet, etc. It’s taking us a while, but it’s not overwhelming us. And I, too, have boxed up a lot of books to be donated. My problem is I don’t know what to do with the ones I’ve written in as some places won’t take those, and it seems almost sacrilegious to throw them in the trash. Any ideas?


    1. Hey Cheryl, and thanks. I like your plan, and will head in that direction.
      I don’t know, maybe you could still donate the books. Not to a library, but why not deposit them either in a book bin or a Little Free Library if you have one in your area?


      1. I’ll have to look around for something like that. I know the used bookstores won’t take them with personal comments in them. They’re getting kind of picky. They don’t even want a name in it if it can be helped.


  7. I’ll be following this journey closely. I feel a purge coming on at our house, too. Happens every two years, or so.


  8. A good start, it is overwhelming! Making a list a huge start. I did purge lots of items in the past few years. Now when I bring something in something has to go. Well most of the time, lol! You got this, will look forward to more on how it is going.


  9. I am pretty good at getting ride of stuff, but alas, my better half is a bit more reluctant. That makes this monumental (or Herculean, as noted above) a bit more of a challenge. Purge, purge, purge is my motto.
    This week I vowed, in my own bid to live minimally, or at least more so, is not to buy unless necessary. Tough, but working on it.
    We have four (!!!) boxes of books to donate. I could purge even more but it’s a good start. Besides our bookcases, I have several piles of TBR books in almost every room. I keep on re-prioritizing but the list keeps growing.


  10. The stuff seems to cone in faster than I can shovel it out. Augean stables come to mind. Hercules 5th labor.


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