Apr 10 2011

trash or treasure? [day 319]

There’s a lot of stuff that might be considered trash, but before you throw something away, think about the possible uses for it.  These are partially full cleaning supplies and pesticides, well, there’s also a random bottle of unopened champagne too.  Just because it’s half empty (or half full, depending on your perspective) and you don’t want it, dosen’t mean someone else can’t use it.  I list this on freecycle and it was gone in a matter of hours.  Yes, it’s my waste, but it doesn’t need to end up in a landfill or disposal center.

Before you throw things away, here’s some things to think about.

  • Repurpose. Could I repurpose this for something else?
  • Sell. Is this something that I could sell?
  • Give. Is this something I could give away?  Do I know anyone who might use this or need this?  Will a thrift store take it?  Remember, your trash might be some else’s treasure.  Put it on freecycle.  If it doesn’t go on freecycle, it might just be trash.
  • Green. What is the best environmental way to get rid of this item?  Can it be recycled?
  • Good. Is there a way to use this to bless someone else?  Can you give it to a fundraiser or charity?
  • Plan. Why did you buy this in the first place?  Have you made a plan not to buy it, or anything similar again?
  • Repurchase. If you need this item or something similar in the future, is there a smaller size or is it something you can borrow?

Yes, this is a lot to think about each time you plan to get rid of something, but if you start doing this, it will change your habits.  It will be easier to get rid of things because you will have a process and your shopping habits will change, as you will think long-term about something before you buy it.  It’s a win-win.  :)


Apr 10 2011

kitchen utensils [minimalist challenge item #52]

[item] Kitchen utensils, melon scoop, pizza cutter, ladle, apple corer, and martini strainer thing

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 14 years on the oldest

[last used] 5+ years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have lots of extra utensils I never use.  I don’t know why.


Apr 9 2011

bin of paint supplies [minimalist challenge item #51]

[item] Bin of various painting supplies

[purchase info] Purchased mostly from Home Depot

[time in my possession] From 2 years to 8 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Says given to a painter, but he never came back.  It will go on freecycle or to a thrift store

[info] I’ve had this stuff for a while, and knowing that I paint a lot, I thought about keeping it.  I don’t need any of it and a lot of it is duplicates.


Apr 8 2011

4 kitchen thermometers [minimalist challenge item #50]

[item] Lot of 4 kitchen thermometers

[purchase info] Purchased new from housewares stores or coffee shops

[time in my possession] Approximately 13 years

[last used] Over 5 years

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I had a ‘bouquet’ of these in a small vase of coffee beans.  This is a true picture of excess, as I can only use one at a time.  I kept my 2 favorites, one in use, one in the dishwasher if it’s dirty.  Why did I feel the need to have 6 of these???  My senselessness on display here.  :(


Apr 7 2011

salad serving set [minimalist challenge item #49]

[item] Orange polka dot salad serving utensils

[purchase info] Received as a housewarming gift

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] 1.5 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have 2 sets of these and I’m downsizing to one.  This was a bit of a tough choice, as I received them as a gift.  I really like them, but I just have to keep going with the downsizing.


Apr 6 2011

to buy or not to buy, that is the question [day 314]

I found myself at a thrift store about a week ago, one that I haven’t visited in a long time.  I really didn’t need anything, but since I was on that side of town, I decided to check it out.  In the past, any good must be purchased, but now I apply my new shopping skills before buying anything.  Here’s a little bit of what that looks like.

  • Browse first, pick up later. I shop without picking up anything.  I look for things I like, then once I’m done, I go back and get the things I remember.  If it didn’t stick in my head, it’s not worth buying.
  • Do I need this? This question doesn’t mean I can’t have it if I don’t need it.  What it does mean is looking at the big picture.  Why do I want it?  How long will I use it?  Will I even use it more than once of twice?  What item will I get rid of to get this with my one for one model?
  • Can I repurpose something I have, borrow or trade for this? Basically I’m asking, “Is there a better way?”  Let’s take a tool for example.  Do I have something that will do the same job?  Could I borrow or rent this item?  I look at all other options.

I did something a little different on this shopping trip.  I took photos of everything I would have put in the cart or considered buying right away.  Here’s the photos.

Things I didn’t buy.

This extremely well build patio coffee table would have come home with me.  I don’t need, I would barely have space for it, but it was a screaming deal at $29.99.  I still want it just looking at the photo of it.  I love the modern style, and the way this was built, it could serve as a storm shelter.

Awesome cap, too tight for my head.  Continue reading


Apr 6 2011

pan grips [minimalist challenge item #48]

[item] 2 leather Calphalon pan grips

[purchase info] Purchased new from a department store

[time in my possession] Approximately 12 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I bought these with my old pans years ago, but I don’t use them anymore.  I just use my regular hot pads.  These are kitchen fluff and not necessary.


Apr 5 2011

pineapple oven mitts [minimalist challenge item #47]

[item] Pineapple oven mitts

[purchase info] Purchased new at Ross

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 years

[last used] 6 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have more of these than I can use at one time.  Not needed.  Cute pineapples, but not functional at all.  The floppy tops get into the food and they don’t protect well from the heat.


Apr 4 2011

silicone hot pads [minimalist challenge item #46]

[item] 2 red silicone hot pads

[purchase info] Given to me by a friend that had 2 sets of them

[time in my possession] Approximately 8 years

[last used] Over a year

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family starting over

[info] I like my old, crappy looking Calphalon cloth hot pads.  I like that these are easy to clean, but I don’t like using them.


Apr 3 2011

knives [minimalist challenge item #45]

[item] 6 different kitchen knives

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 10 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have plenty of knives.  I can only use one at a time, so why do I have so many?  The world may never know.