Simple Lives with Less Clutter

I read two interesting posts today focused on living a simple life free of unwanted clutter. Get Rich Slowly discusses a free e-book intended to reduce the clutter and complexity of your life, while Lazy Man and Money focuses on reducing clutter by purchasing a smaller home.

I am happy to see more and more bloggers discussing the need to purge homes of unwanted and unused items. Last week I wrote about an easy way to organize your home. Over the last few months I have been cleaning out closet after closet, reorganizing used items and donating everything else. Today I took two boxes of gently used books to our local library. Last week my husband and I took boxes of unwanted kitchen items, including pots, pans, plates, and cutlery to a donation center in North Carolina. It’s amazing how many perfectly good items are sitting in drawers and closets in our homes. I hate the idea of throwing out something that’s perfectly usable but I’m happy to donate to others in need.

As I was cleaning out the basement this evening I began to add up the prices of all of the items to be donated. I was amazed by how many books I owned. The most inexpensive book was $7.50 the most expensive $55. In books alone I had spent well over $350. Prior to tonight I hadn’t added up the costs of the items I donated. I was simply happy to purge them from my home. But as I added the numbers in my head I began to realize just how quickly small purchases can add up. What else could I have done with $350?

Many of the items I have come across in the past few weeks are practically brand new. Many have only been used one or two times including a bread machine, slow cooker, rice cooker, and most of the books in my home. As I cleaned out my closets and bookshelves I made a pact with myself to think more consciously about future purchases. As much as I’m happy to donate to those in need, I hate the idea that I’ve wasted money purchasing items I didn’t need and don’t use.

4 thoughts on “Simple Lives with Less Clutter”

  1. Where did you find to donate household items? I have a few things I never use that I’d like to donate, but I have no idea where.

    I really need to work on getting rid of stuff. Thanks for the links.

  2. Here’s another resource for getting rid of stuff, but not from a blog that seems to value frugality (although I wish they did!):

    Beth, we donate to an organization that runs a thrift store for individuals with developmental disabilities, called CARH (based in SF Bay Area). I’m sure if you googled your area and clothing donations, or something along those lines, you could find something. I also wonder if a local church would know of any place.

  3. We usually donate to Goodwill. There are a ton around the Washington D.C. area. In NC we donate to a place called the ‘Donation Center’. I take books to the local library, (though you should call your local library first… not all libraries will take donations). I’ve also tried a local chapter of freecycle in my area, but to date I’ve been unsuccessful in getting anyone to take my unwanted items.

  4. I, too, have been purging alot lately. I have given at least a dozen bags of clothing to the Salvation Army, in addition to some other items. I’ve sold a few things on eBay, but that didn’t net much, so I organized a neighborhood yard sale. It rained on and off most of the day, but we came out of it with about $950. I priced the stuff cheap to go, I can only imagine how many thousands of dollars I spent on the stuff, just to have it collecting dust for years.


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