When I started my journey towards minimalism and a life of frugal living, I wanted to remove all items in my apartment that were officially categorized as “clutter”. Clutter to me meant items that took space in my life, but currently did not add value today nor did it add value in the past year. De-Cluttering the apartment was a fun project and when someone visited and stated, “Wow, you are a minimalist”, I couldn’t help but smile. It was working!
As I opened every drawer and every cabinet to determine what had to go, I stumbled across a challenge: gifts from others. For example, I kept every shot glass someone has given me. I probably had over 25 shot glasses. Now that I live in a small studio space in San Francisco, I can’t even imagine throwing a party that required 25 people to take a shot at the same time. It was time to let go of a few. I started with my own purchases when I traveled. I had the memories of the vacation and I no longer gave the shot glass the power over my memorable adventures. I then said farewell to shot glasses that were faded and/or chipped. I then accidently broke one (annoying, but a blessing)! I decided to keep the rest and wanted to make sure I made use of the them whenever I had friends over.
I used to put so much pressure on myself to buy the perfect gifts when I went on vacation. I felt guilty if I bought a gift for one person, but not another. It got to the point that I was buying group gifts just so that everyone was included. I then realized that although my gesture was well received, I was guilty of potentially adding clutter to someone else’s life! My thoughts were confirmed as my Uncle from The Philippines bought me items of clothes that were too small, not to my liking, and items that I had no use for. I decided that moving forward, I needed to buy items that were not only going to be thoughtful, but would add value, not clutter to someone’s life. Since the item would be used, I no longer felt my money was wasted.
Recently, I went to Charlotte for FinCon15 where I had a life changing experience meeting fellow personal finance bloggers and the clarifying moment that I do want to take this blog and my writing to the next level. Visit my thank you Vlog:
I did have a few folks help me out as I was away such as an apartment and cat sitter. Knowing that he enjoyed food and BBQ, I thought why not purchase items that he would enjoy? I was on the hunt for North Carolina BBQ and Hot Sauces! Luckily, I was able to find them! Not only were the items affordable, but I love supporting local businesses. Once he is done using the items, it’s a simple toss of the product and I hope he is left with a loving memory of delicious food.
What frugal ideas do you have for souvenirs?
I would love your support!