My 5 things- trying to minimise!

This year husband has set me a challenge- to choose five things per day that I can give away or get rid off. Both of us have hoarding tendencies so its one of the hardest things he could ask me to do. Its also one of the best! I’ve agreed on the proviso that he do it as well.

We had a bit of a false start with him trying to convince me that a half empty water bottle counted as one of his five… There was also the simple fact of starting, its one thing to say you’ll do it and another thing to actually do it. 

It’s a simple fact for me that, much like a child, my possessions have never looked so appealing as when I’m contemplating giving them away. I have items that have been in a box since we moved into our house three years ago. When I take them out though all of a sudden they’re the most interesting thing I own. This means I’m spending a lot of time putting things in the charity box just to take them back out again. 

I’ve started asking myself these three questions: 

1- Have I used it recently?

2- Do I need it?

3- Would I want to pack it and take it to our homestead? (when we get it!)

Its the last one that’s the real driving force. I need to get away from being materialistic. All that will happen if I keep it up is we’ll spend our money on things and never pay off the debt. So I figure if I get better at giving my possessions away then I won’t want to replace them. 

Here’s a selection of what I’ve picked out so far. I’m currently part of a bartering group so for a lot of the stuff I’ve put it on there to see if anyone else can make use of it. In return I’m asking for goodies for my store cupboard- beans, tomatoes, puree etc. Its marginally easier for me to give things away if I can see they’re going somewhere they’re appreciated and useful! 

The hardest thing for me to even attempt to give away is books. I love books. I also own quite a few of them. Some I haven’t even read but I can’t bring myself to give them away. I would adore having my own library and want to include a reading nook/room when we get round to building . A lot of the books I now own are digital which has helped but you can’t beat having a real book in your hands. The books in the picture above are the only ones I’ve been able to give away so far.

As the days go on its getting both harder and easier to do. Its therapeutic once you start to give things away. I have found myself looking in drawers and cupboards that have been untouched for other items I can put in my pile. Its getting harder though because obviously the longer we go on, the more attached I am to the possessions I’m looking at. I gave up all the ‘easy’ things in the first few days so now I am onto the ‘what can I live without’. A very different question to what I actually need to live…

I think I’ve made a good start but my pace is slowing, I’ve exhausted nooks and crannies and I have to start giving up items I want!

Any tips on not being such a hoarder?! How did downsizing go for everyone else?


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A married couple from Scotland. Debt free wannabees, future homesteaders and grow your own enthusiasts.

4 thoughts on “My 5 things- trying to minimise!”

  1. Oh gosh. I totally understand about the books. I am a voracious reader. My husband is not. About 18 years ago we were moving 3,000 miles and the trailer was packed and heavy and at least a quarter of it was full of my precious books. My husband threatened to leave them on the side of the road a few times! Hahaha. I hate getting rid of books. I reread them over and over. That’s a tough one. But, I’ve learned that they are just things, stuff, and not as important to me as, say, my relationship with my husband. So if he wants me to par them down, I do. It hurts. But I do. Honestly there have only been a couple I’ve replaced over the years, but they are few. And, yeah, the Kindle app on my phone has been my saving grace. Now, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but currently I only keep reference books like books on foraging in my area, cookbooks, canning/smoking, that sort of thing. Because they help us living how we currently live.

    If you use Amazon at all, they will buy back certain books. You just put in the ISBN and it will say if it will take them and how much money you will get. It’s not much usually but better than nothing.

    We’ve never been much for having a bunch of stuff, but when we did our big purge a few years back, it was more like a purge purge repurge. So start small maybe. Like you are doing, get physically rid of the first batch, maybe once a week, get it OUT of there. Out of sight. Away. When you’ve gone thru the house top to bottom, start over again. Clean up and reorganize. More stuff will pop up. If something causes you anxiety when you think about getting rid of it, remind yourself WHY you are doing it. Then ask those questions you mentioned. Is it more important for that item to tie you to your current situation or is it more important to free yourself and live your dream?

    Anyway, maybe that will help. Remember that you aren’t alone doing this or feeling this way. You CAN do this!


    1. Yeah its funny how when its my things there’s always the threat of getting rid of them but not for his… 🙂
      I’ll look into the buy back or I was thinking of maybe having an impromptu mini library that people could borrow from! I’ve also seen ideas where you post people books across the world and I like that idea as well.
      I think you’re definitely right about getting it all out the house as soon as I can. It’ll stop me being able to reconsider and take it back. I’ll designate a day and take it to a charity shop each week.
      Thanks for the encouragement, it does help to know other people have and are trying the same things x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is hard for almost everybody. I think the real questions to be asking yourself (the ones you are asking are important too), are “is this making my life better or easier,” and “if I got rid of this, would I need to replace it.” Sometimes we need to remember that we can borrow things from others instead of always owning them ourselves. I’ve done plenty of purging in the last 2 years. It starts out hard and gets easier as you go.


    1. I like that question, the answer will probably be no in 95% of my things so its just having the willpower to then get rid of it!
      I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to live a ‘minimalistic’ lifestyle in terms of our house decor but I can definitely do better than I currently am!
      I think sharing instead of owning is the best alternative going forward… X

      Liked by 1 person

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