What is “new” minimalism? Co-author Kyle Louise Quilici explains that minimalism doesn’t have to be about giving up all of our creature comforts. “It fills the gap between ascetic minimalism and the typical American consumption habit, to find a warm and inviting balance of minimalism catered to the person at hand,” she says. It’s finding the sweet spot for how much stuff you, personally, like to have around to meet your needs and add beauty to your living space without the distraction of a bunch of unnecessary items.
Make your stuff work for you. Pay attention to the tools you reach for again and again in your kitchen or home workspace. You may not need the rest of the stuff cluttering your kitchen and desk drawers. Instead of investing in a complicated organizing system for tools, Fortin and Quilici recommend, first and foremost, thoughtfully decluttering and then keeping things simple in terms of organization.
Where to donate stuff. Apart from Goodwill and other traditional charity organizations, the Fortin and Quilici recommend a number of other organizations that accept donations. “The local library is a great resource to donate books,” Quilici says. “We’ve partnered with a local preschool to donate paper and art supplies and office supplies. Bloom in Marin (formally Dress for Success) provides professional clothing to the unemployed who are seeking work. Some church organizations will take unopened toiletries and unexpired pantry goods. Also, search for a local mom’s group as a place where gently-used baby gear and maternity clothing can be donated. Most pet rescue centers accept old towels that are too worn to be donated.”Since they started working with clients in 2011, Fortin and Quilici have donated over 10,000 cubic feet of clothing, furniture, books, and household goods to organizations that put the items into the hands of those who can use them.