Letting Go – Day 3

The third day of my challenge to simplify my life by taking a minimalist approach to what I consume was a little less involved than Day 2. This doesn’t mean my day was any less involved. 

  1. 10 am – Pick the kids up at their mom’s place 
  2. 10:30 am – stop for breakfast when I am informed on the way home by Drake and Daniela that mom did not feed them
  3. 10:45 am. – deal with a difficult tenant when I arrive home (the less than landlord-friendly Ontario rental system will be a blog subject for another day), 
  4. 11 am – get ready for a long day ahead
  5. 11:20 am – leave for the rink to get Drake to an exhibition hockey game in Pickering
  6. 11:55 am – drive to local Dollar Store to pick up items for a work event later that day
  7. 12:10 pm – arrive back at the rink, get Daniela set up with popcorn and a mobile device to keep her occupied while Drake’s game is on
  8. 12:50 pm – join Drake’s team as I will be on the bench helping 
  9. 1 – 2:15 pm – help on the bench as Drake’s team gets a little lesson from a much better team
  10. 2:30 – 3:30 pm – drive from Pickering to Molson Canadian Amphitheatre for work event. The kids are in tow as Daniela is meeting a friend to attend the concert
  11. 3:30 – 5 pm – help set up our VIP area before doors open
  12. 5 – 9:30 pm – help host the VIP area for our event
  13. 9:30 – 10:15 pm – drive home with Drake
  14. 11 – 11:30 pm – pick up Daniela from friend’s place (they are exhausted but they had fun!)
  15. 11:30 pm – 12 am – get kids ready for bed

Part of the reason I posted this was because I bristle at the commonly held belief which permeates media, the public and indeed our government through our Family Court system that many dads are not often heavily involved in the lives of their children. We often hear about “Super moms” balancing life and work but when have you seen a nod in the media to the “Super dads”? If I sound as if I think that dads are marginalized by society in many ways while mothers take up the lion’s share of the oxygen when it comes to parenting. Bingo!!!

Given this schedule I leaned on Daniela to keep the ball rolling on my month long challenge of Letting Go. She did a fabulous job of cleaning out unwanted, unworn and/or too small clothing items all to be donated to charity. Photos of her basket of items plus one of some more finds in the back of my closet which will be finding a new home are below.

Bring on Day 4!!


Letting Go – Day 2

It was a very productive day. Have you ever noticed when you get rolling you forget about the necessities of life – like eating? That is how my second day of “letting go” was like. By the time I realized I was hungry it was almost 4 pm! The souvlaki pita which was my first eats of the day could not have tasted better!

Day 2 of my challenge started with two hours of cleaning and purging. I felt like a minimalist bulemic as I went through items which had me saying on many occasions “I had no idea I still had that”.

After piling up my forgotten and neglected treasures (see some shots below of what was on the chopping block) it was off  to Once Upon a Child to drop off a rarely used doll house. The $30 I received seemed a little low but my haggling dna was on the backburner pushed aside by the purging mode of my new minimalist attidude. The dough came in handy to pay for the aforementioned pita.

Next up was a trip to Deja Vu Disc to sell off some dvds. No dice! Some little old lady had just dropped off eight (yes, eight!) garbage bags of dvds before me and the staff said they could not process anymore today. Crap!

After that minor setback I was off to Long & McQuade to sell a guitar which probably was used less by me than the just sold dollhouse had been used by my daughter in the past year. Pay dirt this time! I walked out with $105 in my pocket (well, actually deposited directly into my account via interac).

At this point I had worked myself from midtown to the east end of Scarborough in my three stops. However because of my “Heisman” (an inside joke with some old friends at Gord’s Place) at the dvd place I still had a box of unused old movies. Wait! Maybe there was another store outside of Toronto where I could unload these classics. A quick google search and a call to say I was coming with a box of hollywood treasures and I was on my way to Deja Vu Discs in Ajax. After the sales guy played his version of “got ’em – need ’em” with my dvds he cashed me out to the tune of $38.50. Wow! This minimalism thing was proving profitable!

OK, time to unload about 50 books and the rest of those dvds (after a quick stop for that chicken souvlaki pita of course!). Next stop – close to my hood – Queen Street East in The Beach for a visit to Re-Read, a used bookstore. After finding out that they have a “preferred list of authors” and will not buy books from authors not on the list I am not surprised. It is The Beach after all, an area of Toronto which not long ago debated whether it should be called “The Beach” or “The Beaches” (for the record I fell on the “who cares” side of the debate). The store will however take my books as a “donation”. Maybe some of the unwashed masses who follow sports will recognize authors like Mitch Albom, Ron Maclean or Don Cherry whose books are part of my “donation”. Maybe I will go back next week to see how much my “donated” books are fetching. 

But I digress.It is 5 pm and I still have some board games and those unwanted dvds to unload from my van. Last stop Value Village. No pretense. No “we don’t take those.” The employee at the back happily takes the last of my bounty and even helps me bring them in to the loading area 

Two hours of cleaning and purging at home followed by six stops over four hours to unburden myself of items some of which had been collecting dust for years and I am back home. Tired but satisfied that I achieved a small step in my challenge.

Now, I will say that I did not go all ninja minimalist and gas everything. I saved several books including two of my favourites, both for different reasons, below. 

On to Day 3!

Letting Go – Day 1

I have been inspired to take action and become more aware of what I consume in my daily life. When we talk about “consumption” as a society we often think of what we put in our body. After I discovered The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – I now understand that consumption relates to everything we purchase. Consumerism in North America has spun out of control. At least in my corner of the world I am going to try and stop the cycle. 

With this goal in mind I am going to take a 30-day challenge which will be two-fold:

  1. Remove at least one item per day from my own personal stash (given that Millburn and Nicodemus say there is evidence to suggest that the average household contains over 300,000 items I think I can spare 30 items in a month, give or take)
  2. Don’t purchase ANYTHING new that does not add value to my life (this will probably be the more challenging part).

So my journey begins. Below is an image of three items I dug out of the back of my closet which will be off to find a new home via a clothing donation service. Watch each day as I continue to free myself of stuff. Wish me luck!