Sunday, October 7, 2012

The story of my stuff

So, I had a lot of stuff. I say had because a lot of that stuff is no longer in my possession. Why? Because I got rid of it! It's an incredible feeling to get rid of things- like the reverse of shopping. Instead of feeling that rush of "wow! I bought something great!" it's the feeling "I finally got up the guts to get rid of that!" 

I've been in the process of getting rid of my stuff for a few years now. It's been slow, box by box, but has considerably whittled down my possessions. This time, I decided to attack two areas that really needed some attention: my books and my clothes.

Part 1: My Books
I went through my books first, and managed to find an entire laundry basket and box and pile worth of books that I no longer wanted. Most were books that I had been holding onto since I was a preteen, thinking that maybe I would read them again. The truth is, I don't have the time! And, if I really want to read a book again, I'm sure the public library has a copy. That's one of the hardest realizations when getting rid of things- deciding that though you may want to use something again, you just won't. I know that I enjoyed a lot of the books the first time I read them, but I wouldn't get the same enjoyment out of them if I read them again. 
The hardest thing to get rid of was my collection of Berenstain Bear books. I spent most of my childhood collecting these books, and most of them have been read a million and one times. The thing is, they had been left virtually untouched for about five years. I used to think that in the distant future I would want these for my kid, but what I realized was that they wouldn't hold the same value to them as they do to me. The reason that I'm attached to them is the time that my parents and I spent collecting them, and when I have a child they would not have the same connection that I do. My kid will have the same fun I did collecting a series that they love.

Part 2: My Clothes
I got rid of an ENORMOUS pile of clothes. I was astounded to see how many things I had that I just don't wear. So many things that once I got rid of them I was able to get rid of an entire shelving unit. Just being a teenage girl, I had collected so many clothes while trying to find my own sense of style. Now, I know what I like to wear, and that was only a fraction of my wardrobe, leaving the rest to take up space.

My closet now contains the clothes pictured above, plus a rolling rack of hanging items. To me, it still seems like I have a lot of things, but I know that compared to other girls my age, I have very little. I love being able to see exactly what I have, and not having to dig through piles to find something. When I go to pick out what to wear, it takes me very little time, as I have very few choices, but almost every choice is something I love. 

The books were sold to a used bookstore for store credit, and the ones that they didn't want were donated to our public library to sell at their fundraiser. I had a clothing swap with a few of my friends, and what none of us wanted will be donated to a local charity.

It's a great feeling to have less things, and over time I hope I will be able to pare down even more. My favorite benefit is that it takes me much less time to tidy my room with less things around, and I don't stress out seeing piles of things waiting to be put away. That certainly adds to my happiness!

I encourage you to try getting rid of a few excess things, it's a great feeling and maybe you'll get addicted like I did!

Enjoy today,

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