Declutter Your Life with The Minimalist Practice of a Packing Party
A packing party is a perfect way to declutter your life.
The practices and ideas of essentialism and minimalism is something I’ve attempted to incorporate the past seven years. About six years ago our family downsized our entire house and moved 2,000 plus miles away to a smaller home in a strange new world…that being Las Vegas, NV. When we arrived at our new home we filled one garage spot with all of our possessions. We kept these items in the garage and only brought in what we needed, such as beds, coffee makers, clothes, etc. Any item that wasn’t needed or didn’t bring us value was donated. Over time we did acquire more items such as clothes, some furniture and other items that brought value to our lives.
Twice a year we host a packing party, where we box several rooms in our home. We only take out what we need. If we don’t remove the items from a box within 90 days then we donate these items.
A packing party is pretty empowering, try it.
This practice provided me freedom and peace of mind. Our house is efficient, peaceful and works for us. We accumulate less, spend less, have easier maintenance, less waste and this allows more time to focus on the things that bring us joy.
This year, I shared the story of a notable minimalist personality Jennifer Burger and her platform Simply+Fiercely on This is a True Story Podcast. I also shared the stories of others living a minimalist lifestyle. They brought ideas regarding how minimalism can work for us. Find these interviews on This is a True Story Podcast.
What is a packing party?
- Pack all of your belongs just like you’re moving.
- Label the boxes such as coat closet, bathroom cabinet #1, and whatever else you’re packing. This will help you locate things you actually do need or find brings value to your life.
- Only unpack items you need over the next three weeks. For me, I chose 90 days instead of three weeks.
- Donate or sell anything not unpacked.
Here’s what happened at my last packing party.
I chose three rooms, not my entire house to box. I boxed my home studio where I record podcasts. This space is where I also store all my hiking gear, other adventure equipment and clothing. The only things I didn’t box were items I was currently using, such as a mic and accompanying equipment. I also boxed the bedroom and coat closet. I did not box shavers, tooth brush, bed, bedding and similar stuff because I would use these items that day.
After 90 days, 70% of the items boxed remained boxed. I donated all the boxed items minus a few things I found value in, even though I didn’t use these items. Therefore, I broke the rules and kept some things that remained boxed. But that’s the thing, you don’t need to make incorporating minimalism miserable. Enjoy the process and create a version of minimalism that works for you. There’s no central authority on minimalism. You will find many variations of the packing party.
Why I share this story. Going into podcasting, developing my writing, seeking travel and adventure I felt so cluttered. I had so much shit that I felt overwhelmed. Instead of making the stuff I own work for me, I really ended up working for the stuff I owned. By getting rid of items and even subscriptions such as a streaming video subscription, by donating furniture, clothes, an extra vehicle, ten boxes of books and all kinds of stuff filling the home, I began to feel free. I felt like I had room to create in my home. As my space became uncluttered, my mind did too.