Welcome to Experiments in Frugality, a series of personal experiments aimed at pushing the envelope of frugal living. My aim is to more fully explore simple living, learn new lessons, and possibly inspire you to do the same. If all else fails, it should at least be entertaining
Each of the “experiments” is designed to last between 2 weeks and 3 months and will be updated occasionally to show my progress. Most of the experiments are designed to go further than I would normally choose to go, in order to explore boundaries and determine the concept’s validity. I’ll be the guinea pig and you can sit back and watch.
#1 – Get Rid of 25% of our Possessions
The first experiment is designed to explore how much stuff we have. I feel like we have too much, so we’re going to put it to the test.
Let me make this clear – we don’t have nearly as many possessions as the average American family. My wife and I are 29 and 32 respectively, so we haven’t had a lot of time to accumulate. Also, we’ve only been married for two years and neither of us had much to bring to the marriage to begin with. Previously, I had a small apartment and Trisha lived with her parents. Currently, we don’t have a storage unit, a 2-story garage, or a 3,000 square foot home.
But, when it comes right down to it, I still believe we have “unnecessary” in abundance. I suppose we’ll find out.
The rules of the experiment
- We have one month to organize and remove 25% of our belongings.
- We will take an initial inventory of our belongings in order to determine what 25% entails. One week will be allowed to complete this step.
- Certain items like a silverware set will count as 1 item, not 50 or 60 individual spoons, forks, or knives. A list of these items will be made known at a later date. I don’t want to wiggle out of any tough decisions just because we could always ditch a couple extra spoons to meet our quota.
- The discarded items will not end up in storage. They must be thrown out, donated, or sold. No exceptions.
- The following items will not count toward the total:
- Toiletries that are regularly cycled through like deodorant, toilet paper, and Q-tips
- Diapers, wipes, creams, and ointments
So, I won’t count the leftover casserole, but I will count the container it’s in.
I’m hoping to learn how much value I place on my belongings and make a few tough choices along the way. Maybe I won’t. Maybe 25% is just skimming the surface. Maybe I’ll need to follow up this experiment with a similar one later on that digs a little deeper. Who knows? That’s why it’s called an experiment.
Taking an inventory of everything we own. Oh boy.
Next week I’ll reveal the details about how much stuff we have and how much must be discarded.