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:
- What goes on sale today will go on sale tomorrow. Stocking up on clothes, toys, and household supplies is generally unnecessary.
- 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.
- Books are a colossal waste of money for me. I will borrow books from the library so I can return them.
- I will not be afraid to purge. If I desperately miss something, I can rebuy it.
- 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.
- I never want to own another filing cabinet. Except for a few special love notes from my husband, everything can be scanned and recycled.
- 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.
- 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.
- Having more money often means owning more stuff. When I embrace simplicity, I can follow my dreams without the need to earn so much.
- 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”
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.
I CRAVE paper books! I cannot get the knack of e-readers either. Using a thrift store/charity shop sounds like a perfect solution!
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.
The less I have the happier I am. And although I don’t love my kids stuff, I know one day they will grow up and I will miss seeing their belongings in my home.
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!
That feels like the ultimate goal to me!