Sunday, February 7, 2010

Net Loss 352, Day 38

This past week during our morning math intervention at Mission Hill Middle School students were asked to come up with a question they could ask 25 people and get numerical answers to in order to do a mean, medium, and mode study. One of the girls in my class decided her question was “How many pairs of shoes do you have?” I was surprised to find that my students think 30 is a shocking amount of shoes for one person.

Later, in the afternoon I counted 42, which is really ridiculous, I only have 2 feet and not that many places to go.

I have heard the saying, “less is more”, and I’ve read accounts of people who feel a great relief when they give away lots of stuff.

I’ve decided to make this one of my projects. For the year 2010 I will give away one thing a day. Rules for myself:
• Has to be stuff someone else would want, trash does not count
• I have to take a photo of each item (which means that the leather coat I gave away on Wednesday can’t count)
• I’m giving this away, if I get money for the object it does not count.
• I want a net loss of 352 things, so if something new comes into the house I have to get rid of an extra item to off set the new item. (Bill is ordering new curtains right now…)
• Consumables like food and cleaning supplies, home repair things and art supplies are the exception to the net gain rule above.

I had some catching up to do as I began this process on the 6th of February, so far, finding 37 items has not been so difficult, I wonder at what month this will start to get painful… I bet I will need to revisit my shoe collection and the coat closet again before this is over.


  1. Kathleen, I have thought of this...and began doing this the first of January, giving away our hot tub! I have a pile of do you find the right person for something each day? I like photographing the items...I did this with the hot tub.
    You've inspired me to go further with this!

  2. I hope I get to check out some of the items before they all are given away! There's definitely a few items in your closet I have coveted over the years. Too bad we're different sizes on a lot of things. :-)

    I am putting my money on early June starting to get a liiiiiittttle hard. :-) Which makes me think, should I give you consumables for Mother's Day and your birthday instead of socks so you don't have to give away more things?

  3. Well, let me know if you do not want those Frye boots back after all. I may have a great home for them. ;)

    Also would love to recommend a great book and film both titled Affluenza, about the epidemic of too much stuff. Voluntary simplicity (and moving a lot) works for me!

    Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  4. Fleenie,
    What fun you are!!!
    I'll take something for the fun of it...send me anything.
    I have a trash can I keep in my pantry and I've been putting things in it for years, usually when it gets full I take it to good will.
    A couple of years ago I went through every closet, drawer and room. Last summer I went through the outside sheds. Creighton made a couple hundred dollars at a garage sale from all the stuff I had.
    It's a great endevor and I will enjoy checking in to see what's been going!
    Love you

  5. I found your site thanks to Gini. I love your plan to live with less. In some areas of my life I live simply then in others I have an over load, like art supplies. I try to get ride of old clothes before getting more, but I'm long overdue to toss some of the grungy sculpture clothes.

    I'm going to enjoy reading your older posts.