My Hoarder vs Minimalist Psyche*
*maybe not an actual psyche, but to me this is the best way to sum it up
I have touched on the subject before of “stuff” – as in we all have it… in a previous post I have mentioned about why I have stuff..
But where did it come from? I look around and there is a lot of stuff in my small house that I share with my husband, 2 cats and 4 guinea pigs.
There is a “movement” of sorts emerging in America, and other western countries, about being a ‘minimalist’ – having ‘quality over quantity’ – why do we need 10 tops, 8 pairs of jeans (I actually don’t own a pair of jeans), all this stuff? So many cups, and glasses, so many coats and jackets.
I, however, am not in America, we have smaller houses over here in the UK, but we have a lot of ‘American-isms’ in our culture – including the culture of having stuff.
Years ago, I stopped worrying about having the ‘latest fashion’ or ‘latest phone’, in my early 20s, I was all about having the newest phone that did the new thing (back in the early 2000s, when phones were starting to become something other that a ‘phone’) – then one day I realised why should I care if someone ‘sees’ me with an older phone? I don’t pay attention to what they had..
Same goes with things like shoes, I have big feet for a girl, and at the time couldn’t get really ‘pretty’ shoes, and even when I did get ‘pretty’ shoes, no one noticed. No one cares what shoes I own, what bag I have, as long as it does the job, why should I care?
I have (what I determine as) both a hoarder and a minimalist psyche – I have a lot of stuff in my house, things that I use, that I have used, that I will use – things that I am keeping for sentimental reasons, things that I am keeping for ‘to-do’s’ and ‘what-ifs’.
I however, really want to get rid of things, to simplify my life, have less stuff, and have more space…. over the last couple of months I have made numerous trips to various charity shops (at least 3 different types, so that my donations are spread around, and also so that the charity shop doesn’t get overloaded), – I have sold items on eBay, sold items locally on Facebook, given away large items, ‘freecycled’ them, and even thrown some things away (I try not to throw things away if possible, but sometimes things are broken,or non-recyclable).
I am trying to become more ‘minimalist’ but it isn’t easy.
I have become aware that after I’ve got rid of the ‘things’ that I don’t miss them. When I do (rarely) think of what I have donated, I don’t miss them. So what am I holding onto things for?
I have made a list of things I have got rid of / sold etc.. some may seem obvious
• Pens that don’t work anymore (I have a lot of pens!)
• Old Boxes (I had kept a lot of boxes and packing material for my ebaying, but became aware that I always seem to accumilate boxes, so had no need to keep a lot)
• Gifts that we had never used – we had a boxed teapot + cup set given to us as a wedding present – never been used – and we’ve been married 10 years this year!
• Excess cutlery – who needs 6 wooden spoons?
• Clothes – not only ones that don’t fit anymore, but the ones with tags that have never been worn, or the dress / top that I hadn’t worn in months.
• Books – I had a few books that I had never read, I sat down and thought ‘will you read this?’ if the answer was no, I donated it – I also checked to see if I could get a ebook for the ones I didn’t want to keep ‘forever’.
• Kitchenware – I bought (on sale) a few Mason Cash bowls a few years back, – and they sat in the back of the cupboard unused! – I sold them on facebook locally, and managed to get my money back for them.
• Old Magazines – I had a few old (2009?) knitting magazines and sewing patterns laying around, and I have donated them to a charity shop as I think people buy them
• Spare fabric – as above, donated to a charity shop, I hadn’t used them! Someone will.
• DVDs – there are a lot of things that I used to have on DVD, but times are changing, and thing are becoming ‘streamed’ or ‘downloaded’ and I can get digital versions of them (also there are those DVDs that I will never watch again)
I’ve realised that if i were to throw it all away, and have x amount of items, that I would end up getting more to replace the things that have use.
By getting rid of things, little things, here and there, it is more theraputic, and better for me.
My brain has to come to terms with letting things go.