Stuff, minimalism, and letting go

Life lately

Sarah and Abby recap their winter breaks which, included snow, travel, and unfortunately, sickness.

Reading lately

Sarah is reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, which is a beautifully written character-driven novel. The descriptions of abuse are hard to read and it is pushing her to the edge of what she can handle as a reader.

Abby is reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a classic dystopian novel that feels particularly relevant given our country’s political climate.

You can find Kady’s book cover papercuts, including one of The Handmaid’s Tale, at By the Cover Project. You can also check out her website or follow her on Instagram to see more of her amazing art.

Stuff, minimalism, and letting go

We describe the history of our relationship with stuff, what books have influenced our journey, whether or not we consider ourselves minimalists, what our partners have thought of our purging, and whether we have ever regretted getting rid of something.

Books mentioned in this segment:

Eating lately

Abby has discovered the Kitchn’s stovetop mac and cheese. It only has five ingredients and turns out perfectly cheesy every time.

Sarah is happy to have rediscovered a cookie of her childhood Liegnizter Bomben. Special thanks to her sister for reviving the family recipe!

If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at, or find us on instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


4 thoughts on “Stuff, minimalism, and letting go

  1. I really enjoyed this episode! With all the moves we do, we also have benefited from purging our stuff–especially when we moved overseas. I wanted to ask the two of you about my greatest challenges when getting rid of stuff which are that I do NOT want my stuff to (1) end up in a landfill or (2) support an organization that is not responsible to its employees.

    Issue (1) stems from the fact that I often need to get rid of broken/old plastic, metal, or cloth items that charities simply won’t accept. I really would prefer to recycle all these items in some way versus just putting them in the trash. And while I know, for example, you can drop anything at Goodwill stores, obviously if its a broken item they mostly likely would just throw it away.

    Issue (2) also relates specifically to Goodwill. I have a friend who worked there for a couple of years and consequently will never donate to Goodwill because the company does not pay a living wage to their disabled employees. While Goodwill is in compliance with the Fair Labor Act which grants employers the rights to pay disabled workers subminimum wages, it really disturbs me that the company chooses to do this while their executives make six and seven figure salaries.

    So given these two issues I feel like I spend WAY too much time researching and driving to all the right places to drop off these types of items because I just can’t bear to throw them in the trash. I am lucky that our county will do a scrap metal pickup for recycling, and we can donate old clothing (which is no longer wearable) at the landfill. I also am lucky that we live near NSA, and it hosts a once-a-year electronics recycling and data destruction event where we can bring any type of old electronics and peripheral equipment. But I still haven’t found a good way to recycle (for example) a broken plastic lamps or a broken hand-held vacuum. I wanted to ask if through your purging have either or both of you found any great recycling options for these types of broken items and/or do you have a favorite responsible charity (other than Goodwill) where you take your donations?


    1. Great questions, Rebecca! With broken things like lamps/vacuums, I would also take those items to the site at the landfill in our county that takes broken/old electronics. They have electronic components, so that should work, at least where we live.

      In answer to your question about alternatives to Goodwill, that’s a little trickier. I take everything to a local thrift store charity that’s walking distance from our house. I load Plum up into the stroller, and put my donations in the basket below and walk over there whenever I’ve filled up a bag. Maybe there is something like that where you live? I know that many women’s shelters also run thrift stores in conjunction with other programs.

      As always, thank you so much for listening and weighing in! xoxox -A


  2. So I have been loving the Kichn stovetop mac and cheese ever I heard about it on your podcast. But, recently, I’ve been making a different stovetop mac and cheese and wanted to share the recipe with y’all. It uses only one pot and twice as much cheese and is AMAZING:
    Basically you cook the pasta in the milk/water after making a roux, so it gets super creamy. I like both but do prefer the Gimme Some Oven recipe because it is gooier and makes more. Either way, yum!


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