Someone commented that I should look at what I'm buying (adding), not just what I'm getting rid of. Today was my errands and shopping day, so it's a good day to look at what I bought. Mostly groceries, and most of the groceries I bought were on the list: milk, bread, veggie burgers for the freezer (in case of a burger emergency. It happens.). I did pick up some ravioli that were super cheap, and if we don't eat them for lunch this week I'll make them for a quick dinner next weekend.
So I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I remembered that I bought a pop-up canopy. We've been getting by with the old kind (with the legs that you put together) after our old canopy broke and we had a canopy emergency while camping out of state (I feel like my life has lots of emergencies today). So, this will be one in, one out for canopies. Part of me wonders if I can bring the canopy to the beach instead of the umbrellas I was given this week, but that seems like it would make trips to the beach much harder, and the point of minimalism is to make life easier. So I will keep three things instead of one thing, but it will make regular outings easier this summer.
I feel a little like it is wrong to keep more items. Even though I know more items will make life easier, I feel like "minimalism" requires I have fewer items. I will tough it out and go with the easier life, rather than the fewer item count.
So, I just went outside to put some bags away, and I found a soft dog bowl (for hiking) I also bought today. I didn't even remember it when I wrote the above! I think I have a problem! (But, we've tried lots of strategies for watering our dogs, and this worked best for us, but our old one was destroyed somehow, and we'll need it this summer for hiking. I know I have a problem with stuff!)
However, I did get rid of a couple of cardboard boxes that were either empty or full of trash. Why were we storing trash? It wasn't all trash when it went out to the garage, but it has deteriorated in the years its been out there (plastic) so that was an easy decision. I've spent a lot of time trying to recycle batteries I found out there -- although batteries account for only 1% of waste by volume they contribute 88% of the heavy metals in landfills. So I really need to dispose of used batteries responsibly, even though I really don't want to at this point. I have a call in to the Hazmat site here, so I hope to be able to get rid of the batteries next week, as well as some paint and old lightbulbs. The shelving unit is almost ready to move out, and I'm optimistic that just a little more work in the garage will make room for the buckets we have out there. (I also hope to donate several buckets, but I see my family balking at that, because buckets are useful, even though we haven't been using most of them.)
Progress was made, and I have identified a tendency to buy things without remembering that I did. Hopefully I can decrease that tendency and see greater progress.