Those of you that have followed my blog since the beginning know that I have been steadily de-cluttering my home over the past several months.
And yet, despite numerous trips to Goodwill (maybe 15?) I continue to feel that I have TOO MUCH STUFF!
Part of the reason is that, to begin with, I did have too much stuff (although it was a normal amount by United States middle-class standards).
Another reason is that my perspective has steadily shifted. In the beginning, it was quite difficult to part with treasured items. Some memorabilia I had kept since childhood, college, etc. It was very emotional to let go.
Some items that I initially felt I could NEVER part with are no longer in my home and I don’t miss them at all!
However, if you came to visit, you probably wouldn’t peg me as a minimalist. My kitchen and bedroom are pretty bare, but the other rooms still have some knicknacks and pictures. I have a plan to divest my guest room of additional furniture soon! My eye is adjusting to the aesthetic of less.
The more I get rid of, the more I realize I have. Before it was just “a lot of stuff” in that closet. Now I know that I have X number of shoes, bags, sweaters, etc.
I realized something else recently. The statement is also true in a philosophical sense. The more I give away, the more I appreciate the things that I decided to keep. I love every item of clothing I own. Can you say the same?
I also appreciate the space and free time that removing these items has given me. I’ve learned to focus not only on the possessions I want to keep, but the life I want to lead.
Analyzing my possessions has led me to look within myself and ask what makes me feel happy and fulfilled. This has led me to realize how much I really do have.
The holidays can be a time of great financial and emotional stress. Let’s take the time to pause and reflect on the riches we already have in our life – the special things, people and experiences that make every day memorable.
2011 is going to be a GREAT new year!