By Carrie Pokrefke
Last year, I helped my friend become, RCBC. Residentially-Challenged, By Choice. Helping someone give up or pack up all of their belongings is interesting. It definitely gives you an insight into what people value or what other people struggle with or what other people hold onto. I was pretty impressed with my friend’s ability to get rid of stuff, since that is something I struggle with in my own life. Which, it will make you look at yourself and start to look at all the “stuff” in your own life.
When I got home, I took a long hard look at all my belongings. ALL of them. I have 1,250 square feet plus a storage unit. I am one person and have one dog. I have a lot of stuff! I worked on purging stuff, but didn’t get far before life swept me up and kept me busy. It seems that I have just added more stuff to my life.
I realized that the more stuff I have, the bigger of a place I have to have. Which, more space costs more money to heat and cool. And, one day I am going to move – the more stuff I have, the more the move will cost. And when I move, I have to get a place big enough to hold all of it! If you get a place that has more space than you need, you will end up buying things to fill the new space – which, that cost more to heat and cool and the cycle continues.
After my birthday in June, I made a point not to buy any clothes or anything else, except for my trip. As much as I enjoy shopping, I realized that if I bring something into my house, I will eventually have to get rid of it – maybe in a year or in five years, but I will still have to purge it one day. I also made a point to not take that flyer or brochure about *whatever* because it will just end up in the recycle bin.
Lately, I have made it a priority in life to move to a minimalist lifestyle. I started to download a book about it, but laughed at myself for thinking of buying something ELSE to learn how to downsize! I decided the best way to learn was to work through it myself and to see what lessons I learned as I went along.
One thing I have learned is that I don’t NEED a lot. I gave away a mirror and the person I gave it to asked, “But what if you need it?” I laughed and quickly replied, “I don’t need four mirrors!!” I’ve also learned that it helps if I see EVERYTHING I have that is similar all at once. When things are in different locations, I don’t realize how much of “one thing” I have.
On Saturday, I took some time to work on all my hair stuff. I used to travel all the time for work, so I kept two blow dryers and two curling irons. But I am not sure how I ended up with three sets of hot rollers and three sets of other rollers. Or where all those brushes came from! I purged most of it and it is out of my life!
I’ll update you on what else I learn as I downsize my life and move towards a minimalistic lifestyle!