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Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 10.5 – Finished the Packing Party!

End of the Packing Party: Boxes for Charity, December 21, 2014

End of the Packing Party: Boxes for Charity, December 21, 2014

Put a fork in me. I’m done! My packing party is over.

In the last 72 days, I moved to a new condo and left all my things in boxes and suitcases until I needed them. During the last month, I went through each box and bag and decided what remaining things would “survive” and what would be donated to charity. I finished the last box this morning.

Last week I had three boxes and a few clothing items in my suitcase to go. Many of the books survived because they are resources I’ll use at work, like my Blue Book for legal citations but most of them are in a box with a 1-year limit to read and/or donate them to charity. All of my remaining clothing items survived, mainly because they’re professional clothes and I’m joining a law firm next year. Besides, I do a systematic annual closet clean-out which will show me what I am and am not wearing.

There is a stack of 9 boxes and a few other items that will donated to charity. I had 9 boxes of things to give away after I did my big minimalism project in 2013 and got rid of a bunch of stuff before I moved. This process really showed me how much stuff I don’t use and what types of things I keep around “just in case.” I need very little to be comfortable. And having an uncluttered home helps me feel calm and focused on what matters.

So what’s next?

  • The humane society will be picking up the charity boxes to sell my stuff at their thrift store.
  • I’m moving into my new office in January so the baby gate, office dog bed, office boxes, and many of my framed wall hangings (i.e., diplomas) will be going there.
  • I ordered an oversized reading chair for my home office and a dining set. They’ll be delivered after the holiday. I’m still considering getting a swivel chair to put next to the couch, but I want to see how the condo feels once the boxes are gone and the furniture arrives first.
  • I want to hire my handy man to install a big 4’x6’ white board in my home office and a wall or ceiling-mounted bike rack to get my bike more out of the way.

Like I said last week, minimalism is an ongoing to process of putting my time, energy, and money into things that add value to my life and clearing out the things that don’t. I’m excited to see how I feel and if anything shifts once all the boxes are gone and the furniture has been delivered.

Here’s how the place looks now. I’ll shoot another video after the next furniture delivery.

Thank you to Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists for inspiring me to do my own packing party. I enjoyed reading about your journey in Joshua Field Millburn’s book, Everything That Remains. I look forward to seeing the documentary about minimalism and your book tour.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5
What was Unpacked During Week 6
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 7
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 8
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 9

Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 9

Minimalism Boxes - December 14, 2014

Minimalism Boxes – December 14, 2014

And then there were 3.

I have only 3 boxes left in my Minimalism in 90 Days Project.  I worked my butt off during the last week to go through my remaining boxes. From each box, I’d say about half the contents survived and half was added to the charity pile. I added quite a few things to my kitchen cabinets that I’ll use on occasion – like a hand mixer and a casserole pan. I ended up with an extra box to go to charity just of kitchenware. I also went through my stationary and got rid of a ton of postcards and ugly stationary that I’ll never use.

I started throwing out empty boxes. The stack of them was getting close to the ceiling and they were adding to the clutter. I need to make arrangements to have the charity boxes go to charity soon because they’re just taking up space on the office floor at this point.

It is challenging to know what to keep and what to throw out from the last remaining boxes. Two of them are mainly filled with books I haven’t read. Some people would say if I haven’t made it a priority to read them yet, I never will so I should probably donate them. I’m going to set them aside but then give myself a year to read them and decide if they will stay or go. If I haven’t read a book in a year, it will be donated so someone else can benefit from it.

One thing I keep saying to myself is “Minimalism is a process.” This packing party isn’t the end all be all of my minimalism. It gave me an enlightening glimpse into how few things I use on a regular basis, and it’s given me the opportunity to get rid of a lot of clutter. But it will be an ongoing process where I’ll regularly ask myself, “What makes my life valuable?” In general, it’s not my stuff. My possessions make my life comfortable and they provide the means to activities I enjoy, but I’m pretty sure I’m not a better person simply because I own an object.  Conversely, I’m a better person when I keep my life simple.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5
What was Unpacked During Week 6
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 7
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 8