Clearing Things Out

I’ve been trying to clear out some of the crap I’ve been accumulating and live a little bit more like a minimalist. I’m not making as much headway as I’d like, but I would like to share a little bit. (You can skip down to just the numbered advice if you don’t care about my little experiences.)

One thing I’ve been trying to do is get rid of at least one thing every week (other people might take it slower, like one thing each a month). I’d like to throw out or donate or trash something daily, but I tend to feel disinclined to move around after work. Some of the things I’ve parted with have been small: like a paper clip! haha. Others have been bigger, like clothes. I wish I could part with things easier and just toss out a lot of things. I’m also holding onto a few things to give out to friends (should they want it): a folder, a CD, and some Korean books.

I think most people back home would think I don’t have very much, but it feels like a lot to me. Considering I came to Korea with just one luggage-sized duffel bag, an over-sized beach bag, and a rolling carry-on–I’ve accumulated quite a bit. Some larger things I won’t part with unless I leave Korea (i.e. appliances, furniture, winter clothes, and kitchen utensils), but I don’t see the need for having a bunch of things I don’t use or even look at.

Anyway, here are a few beginner tips on when to get rid of things:

  1. Clothes: If it’s too big! (No need to hang onto things for a weight that you worked hard to get away from!) If you don’t like it. If it’s changed seasons and you didn’t wear it more than one time during the previous season (I.e. It’s now winter and you have summer clothes you didn’t wear: don’t even pack them.)
  2. Shoes: If you haven’t worn them in a year
  3. Make-Up: If you don’t use it, it smells strange, it’s more than 2 years old, or you don’t even remember when you bought it…any ONE of those criteria. Or if it’s liquid based and more than 6 months have passed since your first use (i.e. creamy eye shadows, foundation, mascara, liquid eye liners)
  4. Food: If it’s expired!!! (I couldn’t believe how many things I hung onto past the expiration date.)
  5. Books: If you will never re-read or reference it in the future
  6. Electronic devices: If it doesn’t work or you haven’t used it in over two years

Okay, that’s a pretty short list, but I hope it helps some of you out there!

For those who are curious, here’s an ankle update from my last post: I’m no longer wearing the half-cast thing, my calf muscle is smaller (and sore from the walking I’ve done on it), I’m wearing a brace because my ankle is weak, and I have a slight limp.



  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    I understand, I recall departing only with a luggage the size of a backpack and accumulated so much stuff throughout the years. Books were hard to let go, but like I once mentioned you, when we came from Germany, I could not believe that most of the weight I carried were books. Kindle is the best thing that ever happened. Even in that little device hard to delete books. ha. My thought on things, if you don’t use it in six month, see yeah, except for tools… God Bless and keep rolling in those thoughts.. Luv you all..
    . .

    1. Yeah, I’m trying to keep with that too. I have just like random things that I ‘might’ need that I can’t part with: like thread, buttons, and some jewelry. Small things but I feel like they add up and contribute to clutter (even if they’re packed away and really don’t take that much space). I have 112 books on my kindle! hahaha…I’ve only deleted about 4 books because I really didn’t like them…and at least 20 of the books on there I have yet to read. My friend, an English major, moved a whole pallet worth of books from Europe to Texas (she did graduate school overseas)! I have a hard time parting with books, too, but the weight is definitely a turn-off!

  2. I came to Spain with one big suitcase and one carry-on…and somehow I’ve ended up in the same situation as you!

    I agree with the poster above me – Kindles are the best for travelers!

    The little things really do add up, but they’re helpful to have around just in case. If/when I move, I might have to take another look at your list!

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