Before you canonize me as St. Minimalista for bringing only 3 new items into our home and getting rid of 71, I must clarify that 56 of the outgoing items were pens and pencils and 13 more were duplicates or older socks. Here’s how it broke down:
- 1 new pair of shoes in; 1 deteriorating pair out
- 1 new watering can in; 1 broken one out.
- 1 new digital scale in; 1 decades old, hard to read one out.
THE MAIN EVENT:
- 1 stuffed animal – out. Although stuffed animals can hold memories, we have several and this frog carried no special attachment.
- 4 barbecue utensils – out. Since our grill is worn out and headed for metal recycling heaven, we have no need of these utensils.
- 4 pairs of socks – out. These were left over from my “Silly Socks” blog post in which I bought 12 pairs of socks because 10 pairs came in one package. When combined with my current socks and after turning the worst ones into rags, I still had 4 usable pairs more than I needed.
- 4 hangers – out. As my wardrobe dwindles I don’t need as many hangers.
PENS & PENCILS
Since I was on a miscellaneous spree, I decided to prune all the pens and pencils in the house just for curiosity and fun. (You may also call me St. Weird or Compulsiva if you like.) I gathered up all the pens and pencils in the house except for the ones on my husband’s desk. This was not to be an exercise in marital disharmony which would invalidate my claim to sainthood.
Altogether I had:
80 pencils: Since pencils are hard to break, I only threw away 8 short ones. Gave away 23.
67 pens: Pens go bad. I threw away 22 that no longer worked. Gave away 3.
This leaves me with:
This probably sounds like way more than any well stocked home needs but we often have folks over for meetings which involves people writing on handouts, plus 2 home offices, plus we are old fashioned enough to still have 5 landline phones and it’s handy to have several writing implements at each phone.
- The one in – one out philosophy is good but it’s possible to play games with even a good strategy.
- When some items grow old and deteriorate, they may not be worth giving away. It can be insulting to give threadbare socks or raggedy shoes even to Goodwill. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
- Numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story.
- It’s OK to sometimes indulge one’s silly side just for the fun of being a pencil pusher.