We all have our own ways of how we started the journey to minimalism and we all went about purging our things in different ways too. Here’s how I went about it…
I started out by selling my shoes. I believe I started out this way, not because I decided to be a minimalist at that time, but because I saw what little joy my sneaker collection was giving me and what a waste of money I spent on something that I don’t even wear. Selling is still in the process as I write this post.
I think that I naturally gravitated towards clothes next. I just went through my entire wardrobe and got rid of things and sent them on their way to Goodwill. That probably took me a weekend to get rid of the bulk and then a few more days to really dwindle it down. This is around the time that I also started reading the book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kondo. Luckily her step #1 was to start the purging with clothes. Reading this book also gave me some guidance on what to do next.
So, the next thing I started working on were my books and other ancillary things like old tech stuff (cellphones, cords, chargers). These all went to my local library or Best Buy (they have a recycling program for old tech stuff).
Then I started to work on my papers. Old receipts, tax information, medical records, and various others things I deemed “important.” I shredded pounds of paper (in my small home office shredder) and eventually gave in and went to Office Depot and paid them to shred it form me in their industrial shredder (it cost me about $7, but she quoted incorrectly over the phone so I got a lower price).
Last, but not least were my sentimental things. This was fun going through old memories. Thank goodness for my scanner and camera phone. Ended up getting rid of these things physically, but got them saved electronically. Gotta love technology…but don’t hang on to your 10+ year old camcorder like I did.
All this has taken me about 3 months or so and Maria Kondo recommends doing it as fast as possible, but gave a time frame of 6 months. I totally agree that if you are going to purge, you do it all at once and as fast as you can. The longer we take to minimize, the higher the change that we’ll go back to our old ways.