In honor of my most recent donation trip to the thrift store, I wanted to share why I’ve been yapping about de-cluttering here so much. Clutter and the art of de-cluttering (a constant process, I’m finding) are two of the larger concepts I’ve been learning to practice these days.
I come from a family of very careful, thrifty and diligent consumers. I’ve always called it the ‘Depression Era’ stronghold. Both sides of my family were greatly effected by the economics of the 20’s. And, there’s a strong thread of hoarding, buying ‘sale’ items, and consequently, ending up with a lot of unused-but-potentially-useful-stuff in my family’s history. And I know it’s influenced both the way I live, buy and save to this day. Actually, it’s really hard for me to drop off my thrift donations without peeking around just a bit.
Most of this thoughtful and thriftiness I’m proud to say, allows us to live the way we do. I don’t know too many other Californians who can live on as little as we do, and quite happily and comfortably I might add. But, the clutter-factor is a whole different beast.
As a child, I was always one of those overly-careful ones who didn’t want to write in the nice journal, avoided using the paints since they were nice ones, organized my collection of stuffed animals by species. As I grew older, there were so many things I owned that I was worried about ‘using up.’ When would I ever have something this nice again, I always wondered.
Scarcity affected the way I viewed most everything. If I saw someone else really using something that was nice, I felt judgemental instead of alive. How could they waste things so easily?
Not until recently have I been able to finally separate myself from it enough to break the thought cycle.
Use all of the stuff, including the good stuff.
Only save some of the stuff, if I really plan on using it for something specific.
Get rid of the unused stuff.
And with three littles, it feels like a natural and realistic progression. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to find sanity if I continued living so carefully, and with such reserve.
So, cheers to allowing my little ones to wear their dress-up clothes outdoors, letting things break as they will, and moving things along on their way instead of letting it pile up. It feels so incredibly good to get our things moving.
Every few weeks I hit a plateau, settle in again, and then find new energy to peel off another new layer. A few months ago, useless-but-sentimental items. Last month, childhood-memories, many of which brought back so little for me. And last week, it was time for the rarely-used-but-useful items. Good bye stuff!
Anyone else have difficulty getting rid of things? What are your hardest items to move along? Sentimental? Hand made? Antique? Useful?