formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Too Much Stuffs

Years ago, I read a book about a woman who lived with only 200 personal possessions. She was attached to almost nothing. Then I read a blog post about a man who decided to live with only 100 personal possessions for a year. Can you imagine?

I can. The idea of living with few possessions appeals to me... living light (there's that word again!).


I always say I'm not very stuff-oriented. And I think that's true.

Unless the 'stuff' is actually 'books.'

Then I'm very stuff-oriented.

But, in general, I'm not. I'm not a shopper. I hate to shop, actually. If I need something, I'm in and out as fast as possible. I'm not a collector of anything (except, you know, books). I don't like clutter (even though I can be terribly disorganized). I don't really own anything valuable -- not jewelry or gadgets or... anything.

I just don't care about stuff.

But, strangely, I still seem to accumulate... stuff. How does this happen?

I haven't worked that out yet.

I have, however, worked out a way to get rid of all the stuff I don't want or need. I read about this process, and then did it, two years ago. It worked beautifully. And I'm going to do it again this year (because, obviously, it's not permanent). Basically, it works this way:

Every day, for the whole year, you get rid of one thing.

The one thing can be given away, thrown away, or donated. It simply has to leave your possession. It can be something small or something large. It doesn't matter. It just has to be something you currently possess, which you no longer want or need.

Oh, and for every one new thing you bring in, you have to let an additional item go.

At first, and for a couple of months, it's easy. When I did this the first time, I kept a couple of bags in my closet, which I filled -- one thing per day -- with things I wanted to give away or donate. If I wanted to throw the thing out, of course, I simply did that. At the end of each month, I'd drop the donations off at the charity shop or library (yes, I can actually part with books. Some books. Occasionally). I'll use that method again.

As time goes on, however, the process gets more difficult. As it should. Toward the end of the year, I found myself really scrounging for something to get rid of. But I did it. Every day. It forced me to look at everything I owned -- really look -- and consider four things:

1. Do I use/wear it regularly?
2. If I don't use it regularly, will I need it occasionally?
3. If I have to replace it, will it be expensive?
4. Do I love it?

I found that I owned a lot things I didn't use/wear, could get by without, and didn't love.

So why keep them?

So I didn't.

I expect it will be harder this time around. I know it feels as though I've gathered a lot of belongings in the last year or so, but I'm sure that once I get going, I'll find that it's not really as bad as it appears. And if it turns out that I've gotten rid of everything I can by June, I'll be fine with that.

My Word of the Year is light. So here I go... lightening my load. Quite literally. I won't get down to 100 things. Not this year. But I'll journey on with fewer things -- with less stuff -- than last...


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Go travelling with a backpack…that teaches you to value things, if you have to carry them.

Karen Jensen said...

Thanks for the great idea! I really need to unclutter my life.