Lately I’ve decided that there are too many other things that I would rather spend my time on than constantly maintaining my possessions. I don’t enjoy having to put things away, dust them, organize them, and remember what I have. I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, less is more.
Having drawn that conclusion does not make it easy to let go of stuff. After all, there are memories attached to stuff. And what if I need it some day? But I am getting better at letting go.
I think one thing that has helped change my perspective is my current favorite place to shop. That almost sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it?
For most of my life, my budget has been too tight to enjoy shopping much as a recreational activity. However, I do like to go to the thrift store now and again. Even better, I’ve discovered that Goodwill has an outlet store.Now, shopping at the Goodwill Outlet is not for the faint of heart. It is kind of a cross between dumpster-diving and treasure-hunting. Nothing is organized. Everything is piled in a big jumble in row-after-row of shallow bins. The quality ranges from brand-new-with-tags-still-on to should-have-been-trashed-instead-of-donated, from designer-brand-names to dollar-store-cheap. Whatever you can pile in your cart, the price is 99 cents a pound. The fun comes in never knowing what you might find. It’s not a shopping experience everyone would enjoy. I get that. But I think it’s kinda fun.
Just the sheer bulk of perfectly-useful stuff at this place has helped change my perspective on accumulating more stuff. What makes it seem like a contradiction is that I’m there to take home stuff. However, seeing the ginormous mass of perfectly-useful stuff that someone wanted, bought, took home, and then discarded is downright embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong. When I find something I can truly put to good use I’m happy to get it for a bargain– not to mention keeping it out of the landfill. But it does make me think twice about what I do take home. Not only there, but in other stores as well.
I’m realizing that once I have something in my possession, I have to start thinking about it– where to put it, when to use it, how to maintain it. And then after awhile– do I still want it? do I really need it? should I get rid of it? At that point, it becomes easier to stash it somewhere and not think about it.
Which is how clutter builds up.
It seems to me that in our consumeristic society there are 3 kinds of people: hoarders, declutterers, and minimalists. I can’t imagine that I will ever become a minimalist, but I’m working hard at clearing away the clutter so that I can truly enjoy the things that I choose to bring home and keep.
It’s an overwhelming job. Got any good tips?