the first time i saw my husband’s parents’ home, i was astonished. there wasn’t a thing in the entire building that they didn’t need. it was spartan. it was utilitarian. i didn’t know what to think of it, because i am filipina. we are a nation of consumers and he who has the most money, toys and stuff wins. my life efforts in the area of consuming, accumulation and stuff gathering have been stellar over the years.
stuff is just stuff. it ties you down, it keeps you from being mobile, nimble and flexible. it is typically a waste of hard earned money. it sits around in boxes and does nothing but take up space. just because it’s hella on sale does not mean you have to buy it. consumerism is a bad habit. a very, very bad habit. lesson learned: if you need to buy boxes in which to put stuff, that is a very strong indicator that that stuff is unnecessary and should be donated, recycled, repurposed or given away.
unlike me, my husband does not buy everything in sight. he does laundry every other day [instead of buying new clothes to avoid doing laundry altogether.] he buys what he needs and nothing more. he has no emotional attachment to the vast majority of his belongings. he is thoughtful about items on which he spends money. he compares prices. he looks at price tags. he thinks before he buys.
there is a lot of hope in my effort. i have been able to live for over a month now with no money of my own. i am not out shopping at the post christmas sales. i didn’t go shopping to the pre-christmas sales unless it was something i needed. i am being far more thoughtful about where and why i spend money.
which brings me to culling. i own waaaaaaaay more than anyone needs to own. so, in preparation for our move out of this house and somewhere much smaller, i have been going through my belongings and culling the unnecessary items for donation. to date, i have taken about a dozen giant trash bin liners to “the place.” i have at least that many waiting to be delivered. i have recycled magazines, sketches, notes, and all sorts of other papers laying around that collect dust and waste space. i have shredded the sensitive stuff. during this process, have realized that i don’t really need 99% of the stuff i own. i like a lot of it, a lot of it is valuable [art collection, etc.], but i can live without it.
on with the culling, donating, recycling and repurposing! there is much work to be done.