My Minimalist Dilemma

I’ve been in a bit of a personal dilemma when it comes to terms of getting rid of stuff recently. I have still been clearing out a lot. I have another tub full of stuff ready to go to a donation center currently. There are two things you should know though:

  1. I am moving long-distance in six months.
  2. I plan on selling all of my furniture and being rid of approximately 80% of my current belongings when I do move. My goal is for everything I own to fit in my SUV with my large dog and me.

So, with my desire to sell my furniture, I am wondering if I should just start to store my things out of the way and have a massive yard sale come time to move. While outside of my furniture I would sell most of my things for $5 or less, I know that those little amounts can add up, and the extra cash when I’m moving would be nice.

Yet, at the same time, I really don’t want to store stuff. That’s the exact opposite of what I am trying to achieve right now. But, is storing stuff for monetary gain in a short amount of time worth it? Possibly. If it’s not causing clutter in my daily life, it may actually be worth it.

Comment with your thoughts below! I know this was short, but I think I needed to write out my thoughts partially for myself and in the interest of gaining feedback. Plus, be sure to follow me at @materialismdiet on Instagram! You can also find my feed to the side.

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Living With a Maximalist

Okay, maybe “maximalist” is unfair, but my suggestions to get rid of things are often met with looks of hesitation. Living with someone who does not have the same material-less goals as you can be challenging.

For instance, how many bowls do I think a household of two people should own? 4. How many do we own? TWENTY-THREE.I could break a bowl every day for the next two weeks and we would still have too many bowls. I am down to the four bowls I brought into this household, so I can’t really get rid of anymore without having any bowls.

What is the obsession with bowls, you ask? It’s more so an obsession with a full sink of dirty dishes. One of the reasons I wanted to journey into minimalism was to have a cleaner home. It’s hard to have a cluttered house when there is little to clutter it with. My theory is that if you only have two skillets, two pots, four bowls, four plates, and four glasses, you can never have a full sink of dirty dishes. Sounds heavenly, right?

But before I digress into the spiral of the dirty dishes that haunt me (the dishes are not my chore), let’s get back to the point. Living with someone who doesn’t drink but still has a shot glass collection that I have to dust around (one of my chores) can be exhausting. So, how do I cope?

  1. I have my spaces. My office is my favorite part of the house. It is always clean and clutter free. My desk occasionally gets stacked with papers due to unavoidable grading, but overall, my office space is very minimal. The remaining surfaces follow the three object rule (no more than three objects per surface). I can come out to my office and relax without the distractions. Plus, it is always a breeze to clean.
  2. Thankfully, I was given the liberty to do 90% of the decorating in the home. So, places like the living room also follow the three object rule and have minimal clutter. Things like excess DVDs and games get tucked away to where I don’t have to see them and they don’t collect dust.
  3. I openly communicate when clutter bothers me. This one is hard for me. I am a very passive person when it comes to conflict. I also have to understand that most of my cries are not going to be met with my roommate filling up a donation box. But, we are good at finding a compromise. For instance, my roommate empties out their pockets either on the television stand or my dresser. The compromise? They now have catch-alls in those locations to contain the clutter.

Like I’ve said, living with a non-minimalist is hard. I am not perfect at it, but I try. Comment with any comments or tips you have for me with living with a maximalist! Let me know what you want to read about next!

What to do with all these clothes?

This week I was hoping to do a video of a closet clear out for you all. Due to unforeseen circumstances leaving me on crutches, I decided a video of me hobbling around my bedroom did not seem fun to watch. So, I decided to provide you with three ways I get rid of my clothes after a closet clean out along my journey to minimalism.

1. Donation. This probably seems like the obvious one. A lot of my clothes go straight to the purple bins for Big Brothers Big Sisters that are scattered all over my city. The organization resells the donated items to fund their mentoring programs. I am also always on the lookout for a donation center that gives the items to those in need rather than selling them, but when one isn’t available, the purple bins are my go-to. I always recommend that you research an organization before donating to them to make sure that they line up with your goals.

  • Pros: Easy, free, helping kids (or your chosen charity) in need.
  • Cons: Are there cons to helping others?

2. Thredup. This site is where a lot of my clothes have gone in the past. On the site, you can order a Clean Out Kit. They send you a giant bag to fill, seal, and send back. I have always opted to sell my items to them for store credit, but they also have an option to receive the money or donate. One of the things I like is that you can opt to have your unaccepted clothes ethically recycled or donated.

  • Pros: I have always used the money to buy high-quality items from the site that enhance my wardrobe. They have very high standards for accepting items, so you can always shop with confidence. Overall, selling on Thredup is relatively little work for you to get some monetary benefits. They even recommend you do USPS next-day pick-up to ship your bag so you don’t have to leave the house.
  • Cons:  You do not get a lot of money for each item. Depending on the brand and condition of what you send in, you typically get $1-5 per item. I’ve also had items that I thought were great condition be rejected. Of course, if you send in something designer price increases, but I don’t own designer things. Depending on their influx at the time, it may take awhile. They actually went through a 6-9 month span last year where they were not accepting clothes because they were so behind on processing.

3. Poshmark. After not being able to get a Thredup Clean Out Kit for so long, I decided to take a stab at selling my clothes on Poshmark. I’ve been selling on there for 4 months now. I have mixed emotions about selling on Poshmark, so I’m just going to dive into the pros and cons.

  • Pros: You get to choose the price for your items, meaning you make as much as you want off of an item. I have made around $100 so far. When you do make a sale, shipping is easy. They send you a label, you stick the item in the box and send it on its way. If you have the time to dedicate to it, I do recommend it.
  • Cons: It takes a lot of dedication. Like, a lot. Which I’m not sure it is worth the $100 I’ve made over the past four months. Poshmark is big on sharing and connecting with other sellers. It’s basically a social networking thrift store. You have to constantly be sharing your items, following people, and connecting with others. There is supposedly a 30-minutes-a-day “hack” to selling more on Poshmark, but after trying it for awhile, I did not see an increase in sales. Additionally, buyers will send you lowball offers that are just absurd. I understand why though as Poshmark charges them $6 for shipping. While it was (kind of) fun at first, I’m over it and will most likely be closing my Posh Closet in the next month or two and giving away my remaining clothes to friends and charity.

These are my top ways of getting rid of clothes. Let me know what yours are in the comments! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @materialismdiet. You can also see my feed at the bottom of this page!

Why? TBH, I’m tired of doing laundry.

I have two reasons for becoming interested in minimalism: moving and laundry.

I moved into my first apartment in 2013 while pursuing my masters. It was a tiny, one bedroom in South Carolina. Prior to then, I lived in a 11×16 dorm room with another person for four years, so to have my own place to decorate freely was liberating. So, I bought a lot of stuff. I did not realize how much I had accumulated until it was time to pack it all up and move to Florida. After arriving in Florida, I’ve moved three times in three years due to rent increases and other unfortunate circumstances (but that’s beyond the point). I’m tired of moving stuff. While I thinned out a lot in my last move, more needs to go before my next.

Secondly (and probably the bigger reason), I am so tired of doing laundry. I can literally go a month plus without doing laundry and not have issues. It’s ridiculous.

About two years ago I started buying my clothes secondhand which somehow translated into me buy a lot more articles. Don’t get me wrong, I was thinning out my closet by donating and selling at this time, but I still accumulated so many clothes. I would sell my clothes to online secondhand stores for store credit, allowing me to buy more clothes. Have you ever taken inventory of your wardrobe? If not, I recommend it. I have already thinned through my closet quite a bit, but I still own 187 items of clothing currently. This is after I have listed around 100 items on Poshmark to sell and donated another 50-75. This means I most likely had 350-400 items of clothing. INSANE.

I’ve looked to minimalist YouTubers and bloggers for guidelines for narrowing it down. While they are incredibly inspirational, they are already #goals with 30-50 items wardrobes. I applaud them and thank them for showing it’s possible, but I wanted someone to show me what it was like from the beginning. How do you narrow down a wardrobe of 350+ items to 50?

So, here I am. Follow me as I try to slim down the extra weight of growing up in a materialistic culture.