I have a theory.
I think that having “stuff” is harder on us emotionally much of the time than it is to our pocketbooks.
A little back story. I have been moving slowly in the direction of minimalism in the past year. It may not look that way, but I said SLOWLY, people. If you knew how much stuff I’ve gotten rid of you’d be amazed. Redundant kitchen items, clothes that aren’t needed or are saved just in case I gain or lose weight, household items that don’t look right in this house but may look good in the next, electronic items that are obsolete (but we paid so much for them at the time!), piles of linens and towels just in case we host an entire soccer team to stay at our house, etc.
While going through this process, my hubby and I have set aside plenty of things that are still worth something, always saying that we’ll put up that ad on Craigslist, or sell them on Ebay. But, life gets in the way, the ads are never written, and these piles of sell-able stuff are just shifted around the house and garage. And every time we come across them, we groan, walk away in dismay, and say to ourselves, “We’ll get those ads written and pictures taken this weekend.” Of course, that never happens.
We aren’t attempting to sell all of these things just to see how much money we can get back, but rather, it’s to recoup some of what we spent on often rather impulsive purchases made with little foresight. (Don’t judge…I’m an INFJ on the Meyer Briggs scale, so go read a description of one, think of me, and everything will start to make sense.)
Mike and I don’t use storage places to keep our stuff, so we tell ourselves that whatever sits in our garage isn’t doing any harm, we just need to get it sold. I’ve come to the conclusion that the emotional rent that we pay by having that stuff sit there costs us much more than what we lose money-wise by just giving it away. So, a couple of weeks ago, I just started giving those “craigslist and ebay” items up. When Mike balked at a couple of them ending up in my trunk on their way out, I told him my theory. He laughed, and agreed, and relented.
So, this is how I look at the process now. I have made, and will probably continue to make, dumb impulsive purchases. However, in the end, the money I “wasted” is being used to help others when I just let those purchases slip through my fingers and give them away. It’s actually kind of freeing to know that each time I wake up, slap myself on the head and say “Why did I spend that much to buy that?”, it’ll be OK, because I can just give it on to someone who really needs it. No more paying emotional rent and beating myself up for being a slacker in not selling things and getting money back. Nope, it’s more like a blessing. Here you go, people, please benefit from my momentary poor judgement.
Since getting rid of alot of the stuff sitting around our house waiting to be sold, our garage is more empty than it has been since Mike and I first got married, and I don’t get stressed out when I walk in to it. The same is true for my house….I’ve gotten rid of so much furniture, tchotchkes, etc., that the rooms don’t feel suffocating and smothering. (I should point out that I’m not a hoarder or anywhere near it. I’m just a typical American when I compare my house to others’ houses.)
So, I encourage you to look around your house. Are there redundant things, items that you’ve been meaning to sell, or are holding onto for sentimental reasons that by just giving them away you would be relieved of tremendous emotional stress? Would your quality of life be better by just letting them go, forgetting their monetary worth?
Try giving some of it away, not just your worn out stuff, but things that are still in really good shape and completely usable. You might discover that it’s kind of addicting to give and keep giving,
Seeking to fully live,