One of my New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of 2019 was to start giving things away. I grew up in a household where if anything had any value, even for parts, you would hold onto it because you “might need it” in the future.
The result of that upbringing is that my apartment is full of “quality” items that I’m not really using. While I’m pretty good about donating things like clothes and books to charity, things like pint glasses, candles, tote bags, and Bluetooth speakers (which were the go-to giveaway at every press event for a while) tend to pile up. They’re great items. I certainly could use them. That said, the reality is that I don’t need 100 different pint glasses with logos from various breweries or events I’ve attended.
Earlier this week I came across a story of a couple that took an interesting approach to getting rid of the stuff they don’t use anymore: they threw a downsizing party.
The couple, which lived in D.C, was moving from a larger home that they had lived in for 45 years to something a little smaller and needed to get rid of things. To do so they had a party and encouraged guests to take a few books off their bookshelves or items off a table they had laid out for the taking. They also asked guests to leave with the glassware they consumed their drinks out of while they partied.
It’s an interesting idea.
In the case of the couple in the Washington Post story, they were looking to get rid of the majority of what they had. They set aside what they planned to take with them to their new home, and then encouraged guests to grab anything else they wanted. So, Sally could get that throw pillow she’s always admired and maybe Bob could take home that lamp you bought when the two of you went on a road trip.
You’re kind of giving your friends first-dibs at the stuff you plan to give away.
Maybe you received a bottle of expensive perfume as a gift only to realise it’s not a smell you enjoy wearing or you have twenty different sets of those charms that identify guest’s wine glasses but never actually have a wine party where they’re used.
I’m definitely not suggesting not giving items to charity, but there are definitely a lot of items that charities are overrun with, or they won’t accept in general, that might be better off passed along to a friend. My pint glasses, for example, would be a hard pass for our local charity spots, but a big win for some beer-enthusiast friends. The same goes for fancy toiletries I purchased or received as gifts and used once only to discover I hated them.
With a downsizing party, you get to enjoy the company of your friends, have a good time, and hopefully cut down on some of that excess “trash” that might be a friend’s “treasure.”