It’s the end of Week 2 of the Minimalist Game and I’m already reaping the benefits of less stuff. I’ve also come to an important realisation – I’ve been hoarding for the environment.
Hoarding for the environment
Most of the items that I got rid of this week were either:
- once useful stuff I no longer require or is at the end of its life (eg. old baby bottles, broken safety latches)
- potentially useful stuff that is too good to waste and might be useful someday but that I don’t think anyone else would want (eg. piles of plastic cutlery and paper napkins that come with takeout, used plastic bags).
Essentially, now it is rubbish, trash, garbage. Easy to let go of? Umm, well, no.
The guilt from Week 1 resurfaced. I have been trying to deny my wasteful ways by keeping stuff packed away in cupboards and drawers.
During the week, I stumbled across this article – Are you hoarding for the environment? Yes, yes I am. Or I was. I’ve written before about how I’ve always had strong environment values but they’ve waned in the last couple of years. The decluttering process has highlighted to me that I still have these values and renewed my motivation to take action.
I’ve decided to note the areas of waste that make me most ashamed and work out baby steps towards addressing them. I found some reusable mesh produce bags in the pantry and I have already put them into action at the supermarket.
Benefits showing already
I am already reaping the benefits of decluttering. This came home to me with a simple occurrence – my pre-schooler ripped a book. I located the book tape within 30 seconds and he was happily reading again in five minutes.
There was no big sigh from me at the prospect of wading through packed drawers searching for tape, no putting the book on a pile for another day, no feeling guilty, frustrated or overwhelmed, and no buying another roll because I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Fixing the book was no big deal. Two weeks prior, the sad fact is, it would’ve been an ordeal. Seeing these benefits in everyday life has given me great motivation to continue.
So what is next? This week my husband commented that what I was doing and calling minimalism looked a lot like what he called spring-cleaning.
In many ways he is right. Although from what I’ve said above, what could look like mere rubbish to someone else actually held meaning to me.
My reasons for playing the Minimalist Game were beyond spring-cleaning. I do want to move onto some of the bigger items around the house and that is on my agenda for Week 3.
Week 2 Tally
Day 8 – 1 breast pump, 4 bottle lids, 4 teats (yes – I can’t count!)
Day 9 – 1 sippy cup, 1 bottle lid, 2 bottles, 2 broken safety clips, 3 teats
Day 10 – 1 toilet lid lock, 1 battery cover, 1 tube, 2 plastic keys, 5 medicine teats
Day 11 – 1 clip, 1 plastic key, 1 highlighter, 2 pieces of a piping set, 3 syringes, 3 plastic bottles I’d been keeping for crafts
Day 12 – 1 broken food cover, 1 broken safety lock, 1 pencil, 1 pen lid, 7 pens
Day 13 – 1 plastic tablecloth, 1 potato spiral maker, 1 tray, 1 bag of plastic cutlery, 1 pile of paper napkins, 1 set of cookie cutters (rusted), 1 empty box, 2 bags of plastic bags, 3 reusable shopping bags
Day 14 – 1 metal jug, 1 ceramic tile, 1 set of salt and pepper shakers, 2 glasses, 8 coffee mugs
I’m posting daily pictures of my progress on Twitter. You can find me under @AmyMoreTime.
Are you hoarding for the environment? Do you sometimes feel that minimalism is a bit at odds with your other values? How do you reconcile that?