The question I keep asking myself as I sort through my mountain of possessions is: Why did I ever buy all this stuff in the first place? Only when we go through everything we own all at once do we realize how many things we buy that we don’t really need, even if it seemed like we needed them at the time.
I’ve noticed somewhat of a trend. A lot of the things I have that we rarely used, or rather useless, were impulse buys. I’m sure everyone has caved to impulse buys. You see a cute little figurine, or a beautiful soap holder which also happens to be inexpensive. Impulse buys can also pertain to a certain hobby, such as reading. I’m sure we’ve all walked into a bookstore and bought a book that seemed really cool at the time, only to have it collect dust on a shelf. We never really stop to ask: If I really want to read this book, couldn’t I get it from the library? Or: Do I even need a soap holder? Doesn’t my sink have a built-in dip where the soap goes anyways? The point is, impulse buys often lead up to a collection of unnecessary items. So how can we avoid them? I think it’s pretty simple. If you see something you like wait until the next day. If you still really want it enough to make the effort of going back to the store to get it then it is probably something you could actually use.
Buying Office Supplies At Thrift Stores
I have a ridiculous amount of office supplies left over from when I was in school, more than I could ever use. As I back them into boxes to be donated, I am kicking myself for never thinking of going to a thrift store to shop for school supplies. Each binder I bought was at least $5… and now I’m giving them away to be resold for probably $1 if not less. I could have saved so much money, so now I’m passing on the thought in the hopes that somebody else who still needs school/office supplies will think to look for them at a thrift store.
There is a reason reduce comes first in “reduce, reuse, recycle”, yet I feel like when we learned about it in school they mostly focused on recycle. As I head to donations with 5 whole boxes filled with things, and many more to come, I am planning to lead a less wasteful life in the future.
I’m getting rid of all of my possessions. That sounds dramatic, but I have realized in the past few months that all of these objects are more of a burden than an enhancement to my life-even things I once considered my favourite, like my books. So piece by piece, box by box, I’m going to give these items one last time to shine before they go off to donation.
Yesterday I managed to put together two boxes. The first was filled with old gifts. A six foot stuffed toy snake that I got from my grandfather when I was a child. A bag full of scarves and mitts. A collection of unused journals (it seems that all my relatives ever got me for gifts). A large jewelry box that I got from my sister one christmas. This jewelry box was something that I wanted for a really long time. Now it is filled with old jewelry, gifts from past boyfriends. I almost kept the jewelry because I knew some of it was expensive. Part of me felt bad for giving away gifts; that’s part of why I’ve held on to them for so long. But whether they were gifts or not I don’t need these things. I am thankful for them, but they will serve a better purpose in somebody else’s hands.
The second box is full of all my books. Even my favourite ones. I’ve realized through travelling that it is much more practical to carry all my books on my kindle. I used to dream of having a library in my house one day. But what good are books sitting on the shelves of someone who has already read them? They belong in the hands of someone who hasn’t heard their story before.
It took me about two hours to put together these two boxes. I still have many, many more things to go through. But as I put these boxes into my vehicle to be taken away, I feel a small weight lifting from me. For a while I was dreading going through this process, but now I look forward to it.
Do you have any downsizing stories you would like to share? Does this story inspire you to rid yourself of the excess in your life? I’d love to know in the comments!
Hoarding. We all do it-to a certain extent. I have way too much stuff, so much that it stresses me out. When I went to Australia I thought I only brought the bare minimum. After spending five months there I noticed that even that was too much. A lot of the things I brought only sat neglected in a corner, unused even though they had made the cut to journey across the world.
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