Appreciation for All That We Own

The last time I prepared to move, I was an eager, twenty-three-year-old with a station wagon’s worth of belongings. Two decades later, I need a moving truck and a three-person crew. 

Moving is tough. Gathering boxes, packing our belongings, and lugging heavy containers around the house is back-breaking work.

As I yank piles of possessions out from every corner of my house, I stand in utter amazement at everything we’ve accumulated over the years. Despite convincing to stop buying stuff, there is still a sizeable mound looming in front of me. I consider myself a minimalist, but we still own more than we need. 

General Rules for Purging

After two months of packing, I created a new list for purging:

  1. What goes on sale today will go on sale tomorrow. Stocking up on clothes, toys, and household supplies is generally unnecessary.
  2. Storage areas in your house are a trap. If I have to tuck something away in a dark corner of my home, I may never retrieve it. From this point forward, I will stow seasonal items but consider getting rid of everything else. If I love something, I will bring it into the light where I can enjoy it.
  3. Books are a colossal waste of money for me. I will borrow books from the library so I can return them.
  4. I will not be afraid to purge. If I desperately miss something, I can rebuy it.
  5. Stocking up on pantry staples is unnecessary. Rule #1 applies to food too. If I let the pantry get too crowded, I lose track of what’s in there.
  6. I never want to own another filing cabinet. Except for a few special love notes from my husband, everything can be scanned and recycled.
  7. Unwanted gifts take up unnecessary physical and mental space. I will no longer keep stuff just because a loved friend or family member gave it to me.
  8. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to decide if I want to keep something. If I have to ponder the decision too long, I should get rid of it.
  9. Having more money often means owning more stuff. When I embrace simplicity, I can follow my dreams without the need to earn so much.
  10. Living with less is good for my soul and my wallet.

Appreciation for All That We Own

There was a time in my life when I weighed every single financial decision. 

  • Which dishes cost the least? 
  • Could I afford to buy new candles for my living room?
  • What if I get rid of something and can’t afford to buy a new one?

The weight of those decisions no longer looms before me. I can now pull out my wallet without anxiety or fear of paying our monthly credit card bills.

Under different financial circumstances, I wouldn’t callously choose to throw out something I might need one day. I wouldn’t decide that I could rebuy an item on eBay.

As a twenty-three-year-old moving into this house, I would’ve laughed at these rules. To my ears, they would’ve sounded utterly absurd.

But as the stacks of packed boxes grows, I am appreciative of all that we own. I am thankful for healthy savings accounts that allow me to release the weight of my physical burdens. I am grateful.

6 thoughts on “Appreciation for All That We Own”

  1. I tried using an e-reader for books to try and stop the book clutter, but I didn’t like it.

    Our local library is too awkward to get to, but I have a charity shop really close where I can purchase books for £1 each. I buy a book, read it, then donate it back.

  2. Books are a tough one for me- I love them and there are some that I actually WILL re-read, but I have too many. Like you, I discovered when I moved about 8 years ago, that too much stuff made my life MORE complicated and harder to keep organized. I haven’t come up with a way to keep it permanently down, and have to purge now and again. It’s better though, and my life is simpler with less stuff.

  3. I can relate! I have moved more than most during childhood and adulthood but every time I still try to purge all the splurge. I feel grateful too that our houses are getting smaller and that we dont need to finance a storage unit. Winning!


Leave a Comment