Out with the old and in with a new way of thinking, or at least, that is what I’m aiming for. Along with my new challenge of a no spend year, I am challenging myself to live like a minimalist. I figure both ideologies go hand in hand and for the most part, I’ve wrapped my head (and emotions) around living with less. It is my one true desire to effect change in my life again and to feel freedom from debt.
I endeavoured this weekend to attempt fitting my existing life into eight tote containers, four large and four smaller ones, not an easy feat when you’ve been attached to your belongings for so long. The strange thing is – they have been in boxes for four years. Why would I still be attached to things that I haven’t used in four years? It should be easy right? Just dump it all out on the ground and trash it, right? WRONG. Even though my brain is committed to living with less, once I dumped out all those things that represented what my life energy has gone toward purchasing, my brain said “WHOA there girl”, we think that there’s still use for this crap.
It’s strange yet interesting to watch (err, listen) to your brain and its ramblings and justifications for keeping stuff.
“Maybe we’ll use it again one day.”
“What if we buy a house again, we’ll need all this stuff for it!”
“You know you might use that.”
Uh huh, and that’s why it’s been in storage for four years not being used, because I’ll use it ONE day. Ahem. Pardon me brain for interrupting you in your reverie, but guess what? The likelihood of a house right now is ZERO. A better idea? Let’s pretend we will be living in 500 sq. ft. and that is all the space we’ll have. NOW what do you want to keep?
So, I told myself (or my highly illogical brain) that I was moving into a 500 sq. ft. space and had to cut everything in half. I focused on only those items that I would NEED to survive minimally.
Meh. Easy peasy, no problem, we’ll have this done quickly.
HA! Nope. I have been at it for almost 2 days and had to take several breaks. I found I became quickly overwhelmed and was just moving things from one spot to another.
The nagging question that repeated in my mind all weekend was WHY? Why did I buy all this crap?
What did I find stored away?
More than 18 candle holders,
A Beanie baby collection of more than 30,
A collector’s doll collection,
Yards upon yards of fabric, that was bought before a previous project was finished,
A dozen picture frames,
Two boxes of books,
Six board games,
And on and on.
I felt like a pack rat and yet at the same time, I could not let go. Or rather, I did not want to let go of it all for some reason. Then my thinking went extreme, what if a fire burned it all? What if the basement flooded? What if I lost my job?
How meaningful would all of this STUFF be then?
It is hard to throw away or donate things that you’ve spent most of your energy accumulating; spending your hard-earned money on. However, it had to be done and the cycle of accumulation has to stop.
Did Gandhi have all this stuff to survive? NOPE. Mother Theresa? NOPE. They had wonderful lives of contributing to the human race.
With several bags of garbage, two bins of recycling, three boxes to donate and two boxes of books to donate, I’m not even close to finishing. It will take me another week to finish and the biggest roadblock is my mind.
I will accomplish this and it will be the first step toward a feeling of liberation from stuff. Thankfully, Christmas didn’t add to the stuff!