The Minimalism Challenge
At work the other day, I was speaking with a coworker about the fact that I don't own a lot of jewelry because I don't know what to do with it. I'm not a sparkly kind of girl. I wear my wedding rings, my fitness tracker, and a necklace my daughter got me for Mother's Day. That's it. He suggested that perhaps people like it for the sake of having it. For the sole purpose of possessing it.
Now look, I'm a Taurus. I totally get wanting to own things for the sake of owning things. That's why my office is littered in Funko Pop Dolls and Harry Potter Action Figures. And that's why none of that shit is allowed out of the boxes. Those are my THINGS. I worked hard to make the money used to pay off the credit cards I charged that stuff on.
As I get older, and broker, I'm starting to realize what a mistake I've made. I seriously cannot fit another toy into this office. My shelves are double stacked to the point that I don't even get to see all of it anymore. Sometimes I rotate them, though more to make sure I don't buy duplicates when I'm out than for any aesthetic reasons. And let's not get started on books and records. That's a whole separate hoarding issue.
Fortunately, I am not an actual hoarder. My house is clean and I don't keep trash. I just like stuff. My stuff. It makes me feel happy. But it shouldn't. I have a nice house, a wonderful, healthy family, kick ass friends and a fucking writer career. I don't need The Golden Girls Funko Pop Set to make my life complete. (Yes I do. No, no I don't.) (This post contains affiliate links. It won't cost you more, but I will get a few pennies that can be saved up to buy more stuff.)
I've been reading up on minimalism, and it sounds like something I should really try. If for no other reason than to provide a better example to my kids. I don't want them to grow up thinking that the goal to life is to own the most stuff.
So I've taken to donating and/or throwing away 5 things a week. At the beginning it's easy. Why am I holding on to this stained up sweater? Pitch it. What the hell is this? Gone. This hasn't fit me in six years. Goodbye. This is the fourth one of these I found in this drawer. See ya.
Where it gets trickier is once those things are gone, I have to start really examining what I need to survive. Not want, not things that look pretty but serve no purpose, not things that someone gave me so I guilt myself into keeping it in the back of the closest. Not the forty-eight notebooks and seven hundred and twenty two thousand pens/markers/highlighters/colored pencils. That's the shit that is taking over my desk, my bedroom and my life. I have to draw a line in the sand. There are collections, and then there is just owning for the sake of pointing and saying "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat. What? No. No. I don't write in those. Those are for having, not for using." (Yes, I may have said that to my husband at one point.)
So that is my challenge. Let go. Move on. Own what I need, don't let my possessions own me. It won't be easy, but I honestly believe in the end it will be so worth it. (I'm keeping my Pop Dolls though.)