Monday Minimalist Tip

Today’s minimalist tip is don’t just take things because they are free! When you go to trade shows or an event, pause and consider if you need another pen, magnet or whatever they are offering. Will this item go home, sit in a bag for months and then ultimately get donated anyway? Save yourself some time and don’t pick it up in the first place.

Same goes for sales where it’s buy one get one free, if you want two items, good, then go ahead and take it. But, if you really only need one, it’s OK to just take one. I know it’s not human nature to pass up that good deal…but try to fast forward and see if you will really use it. Think back to your last de-cluttering round if you need inspiration.


De-cluttering my books

This also crosses over into gifts. If you’re having an event like a birthday or anniversary, let others know what they can do for you in lieu of a gift. Sometimes people say “no gifts” to be modest, but my friends and family know, if it’s something I don’t need, it will be going straight into the donation box. Or you may get lots of wine and flowers when you put out the request for no gifts…which if you like that may be nice. For me 5-6 bouquets of flowers is no better than one…and they all are going to die near the same time. And I like beer way more than wine, so the bottle might set there until the next party I need to take wine to. I am not trying to be unappreciative, I am just being real about my own experience.

It’s best to let people know what they can do for you such as “please no presents, I really only want your presence” and/or “if you must get me a gift, how about we go out to lunch together.” You can insert hike, movie, etc. where I used the word lunch. But, you get my drift. I so much more value one on one time with someone than a gift I don’t need. It’s also fine to ask someone what would make them happy and use that as your guide for giving gifts.

I hope todays post has helped you look at free things in a new light. Free is not bad, just confirm you really need it, want it and will use it…versus just collect it. Feel free to share other ways you’ve dealt with free things below. 

If you liked todays post, please consider following my blog via my home page. 


  1. Debbie V. says:

    I appreciate this post. All those “free” things have to go somewhere. As children of parents who were raised during the depression we find it hard to “waste” these things. When I see a big sale at Bath and Body works (buy 3 get 3 free, hand soap $3 each plus $10 off 30….etc) I have to consciously look away.
    I’ve been doing the konmari thing now for about a month – I’ve gotten through the clothes = awesome feeling and now books and it’s already changed my life – I am so much happier and freer. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel after papers, everything else and at last the keepsakes.
    So I am so much more thoughtful – I think the popular word now is intentional – about what I buy or accept. I think more about everthing – including taking free items. It’s spread to my work environment, my pantry, my behavior – I’ve stopped doing things that I had previously thought I had to do (taking college classes because most of my tuition is funded by my employer, going to events that I didn’t really want to attend because I had said I would for whatever reason, volunteering for things I didn’t enjoy (whereas volunteering for cleaning out the fridge or storage cabinet at work was fun! and people appreciated it), supporting fund raisers by purchasing things I don’t need, etc.
    The more I let go the clearer my vision for who I am and what I want becomes.


  2. potentiallylisa says:

    I can’t resist free stuff .Lately I have donated lots of things to charity.I am lucky to have a large family so not all goes to waste .
    Schools recycle lots of things so old unwanted gifts etc can go on the Christmas Fair .
    There’s such a lot of waste still though .It would be great to have a company that just dealt with picking up your unwanted stuff and dishing it out to the right people.
    Still battling the need for simplicity though.


%d bloggers like this: