Platter for an impromptu get together

Day 34 – #joyfulgiving366 – clothes and dinner from leftovers

Part of our dinner feast. I had planned to go out shopping for dinner, or order something to be delivered, but I found some odds and ends in the kitchen instead.

Still jetlagged, and still decluttering. Today, much of my focus was on giving away clothes. And I ended up making an impromptu evening meal from things I found in my fridge and cupboard.

Canberra was hot, hot, hot

It was a super hot day, reaching at least 42C in my suburb. This used to be unheard of, but sadly it is becoming our new normal this long, hot and dry summer.

Neil went out to see his GP, and while he was gone, a State of Emergency was declared in the ACT due to the fires burning in the Namadgi National Park to the south of Canberra. I knew he was safe, but I was glad to have him home. Thankfully we live in the inner North so the risk to us personally is minimal. But we have many friends who live in southern Canberra. We also worried about many of the small towns to the south of the Namadgi National Park.

Op Shop giving

As Neil was heading out to go to see his doctor, I handed him a bag of clothes. Well, mainly clothes – it also contained a plastic container that we no longer needed and a woollen baby’s jacket.

Most of these clothes were leftover from a clothes swapping party I hosted in October last year. I donated most of the good quality leftover clothes to the Zonta Preloved Fashion Sale. I attended one of their sorting sessions in November and passed on clothes myself. Some didn’t make the grade, and there were also some clothes that the Zonta ladies discarded (often, because they needed to be washed or mended).

I also put some clothes aside for one of my good friends, who is a petite Asian lady. She, and some other friends with a petite build, went through that bag of clothes at a dinner in late November to sort through what they would like (or not).

I’d put this bag of clothes aside near the front door to take to an op shop, and added a storage container and a baby’s jacket, but I’d put another shopping bag on top of it and had forgotten about it for several months. Part of me is somewhat appalled that I have so much stuff in my life that I didn’t notice a whole bag of clothes. It screamed Western privilege that I have so many perfectly good clothes that a) I am too fat to fit into and b) that I didn’t even notice. But it is what it is.

Neil wasn’t that happy, on a hot day, to be my op shop sherpa. But I pointed out to him that he would likely have a long wait to see his doctor, and that the surgery was next to two excellent op shops. Being the good man that he is, he dropped them off for me.

This is why I always keep things to be gifted near my front door: you never know when you are going to be near an op shop, and it always pays to have things that you no longer need to give away. It is part of my daily practice of giving

My door is always open for good friends

My eldest son has a good friend at school. Actually, he has several friends but this friend has a mum (Hazel) who I used to work with. We are also good friends.

His mum dropped her son off for a few hours for a playdate. She has been working from home on the school holidays, and she needed to go to a meeting. My boys were delighted that her son was over for a playdate. Late in the afternoon (while it was still hot – my phone said 42C), we walked to school to find out what classes they would be this year. Unfortunately, the two good friends will not be in the same class. They were really sad to find out they won’t be together this year. There were tears.

Afterwards, Hazel came back to our place. I was originally planning to go out shopping to Costco as I’d only done a quick shopping trip since coming back from Spain and my fridge was quite empty. I didn’t even have bread! But as it was hot, I suggested I try to find things for a platter. I found some random things, mainly leftovers from Christmas, and Hazel did the styling for the platter. Isn’t it amazing?

I told her about my decluttering project, and we had a lovely chat about giving, sustainability and minimalism.

She decided several years ago to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. She and her son now live in a brand new two-bedroom apartment in a funky area of inner Canberra. Decorated with stylish finds from overseas, especially Myanmar where she has spent considerable time, it is an uncluttered and welcoming space – and walking distance to school. I really admire her discipline and the way she has curated her space to be both warm and uncluttered. Something for me to aim for!

Then I suggested she look through some clothes that I had put aside since my last clothes swapping. There were some items in there that she totally rocked. She looked amazing! The items included a Calvin Klein pair of pinstripe black and white pants and a classic white Cue blouse – plus several other tops. She said that she had planned to go out to buy a pair of new black pants for work, so I was glad I had something to give her.

My friend kindly agreed to be photographed
And she agreed to model this jacket – I have the exact same one.

What I gave away today

  1. A white Cue brand shirt;
  2. A pair of Calvin Klein pants;
  3. A purple/blue jacket (coincidentally, I have the same one so we will have to wear the same one day);
  4. A light grew top
  5. A white top;
  6. A light green knit top;
  7. A navy blue knitted baby’s jacket (Country Road);
  8. A size 6 grey skirt;
  9. A Korean black and bright red floral dress;
  10. A pair of black platform shoes;
  11. A retro (80s?) handmade top and skirt;
  12. A size 6/8 black skirt;
  13. A plastic container.

All in all, today was a good day for giving – lucky 13!


I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism today. I’d been fairly dismissive about the movement, but I acknowledge that I have too much stuff. Way too much stuff. Like as in I get upset looking at our bedroom because there is so much crap lying around and there is no room to put everything.

Further, what I am enjoying the most about this challenge is in the giving – about knowing that the stuff I have that is just clutter to me is going to good friends like Hazel, who I know will use and enjoy the stuff I am giving away. Giving to people I know or within communities that I am apart of is much easier than giving to random people. Good friends are less likely to think I am weird, for instance, when I offer them second-hand clothes.

Do you enjoy giving? Why? Why not?


  1. I love giving away things my family or myself no longer uses. We have many different groups from where I live and people are always happy to take the items. I truly believe their is more happiness in giving than in receiving.

    1. It sounds like you are enjoying giving things away, and are being thoughtful about how you do it. Giving with love makes a difference, doesn’t it?

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