January Challenge: One Thousand Things

Last week I told you about my word for 2020 – Challenge

This week I’m sharing my January challenge with you. I call it ‘One Thousand Things’ and just like the name implies, I’m getting rid of one thousand things. When I told my son about it, he asked if I even own one thousand things. I assured him that I have that and more – LOTS more! We all have a lot more stuff than we think…

So here are the rules:

  • Regular garbage like packaging, used tissues, junk mail, and food waste don’t count. That’s just garbage. But things that need to (finally…) be sorted or which could be kept do count. So expired medications, leftover candy, or the frozen bananas I’m holding onto for the magical “someday” when I’m going to make banana bread – those things count.
  • Things which don’t get separated, like shoes, socks, or earrings, count as one item. Likewise, the pills in a bottle are not counted out – a bottle of expired ibuprofen is one item. Things that are separate items are counted individually, so five old magazines is five items.
  • Items are sold, tossed, or donated. The goal of decluttering is not to fill up the landfill, nor is it to inundate Goodwill with things that should be trash. The goal is a thoughtful sort, and that means that things with value are sold, things with life are donated, and things that are beyond help are recycled or tossed.

To be brutally honest, a thousand is a huge number. And here on day three, I’ve only gotten rid of three things. I don’t know if I’ll hit a thousand, but that’s what makes it a challenge! I’ll let you know on Facebook how it’s going.

My other goals for 2020 include:

  • I will purchase for myself ONLY clothing, shoes, and accessories which were produced using fair trade labor, or which were bought second-hand. I’ve done this before, and I made it deep into the year before I needed something I couldn’t find fair trade. The real key to this goal is remembering that I really don’t NEED more clothes, shoes, or accessories. But when I’d really LIKE to have something new, it’s fun to look for fair trade options or shop thrift bargains. As long as I don’t need undergarments, a swimming suit, or another pair of running shoes, I can do this!
  • I aim to read 100 books per year. I’ve never gotten there, but it’s my goal again in 2020.
  • I will make three microfinance loans through Kiva. My little lending profile is almost at the point where payments on outstanding loans are fronting the next loan (sometimes I have to supplement just a little to get there). I started doing this a few years ago by making two loans a year with my birthday and Christmas money. Last year I added a third loan in August because the returns allowed it. I plan to keep that up until managing my loans becomes a monthly thing. I really love looking at all the projects and supporting men and women around the world who just need a small loan at a low rate to increase their capabilities.

Don’t forget to follow @FoodShelfFriday on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. There’s lots to see and lots of ways to get inspired! Happy new year!

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