The bizarre things I can’t stand to throw away

I’ve long been convinced that I could unlock true happiness if only I would downsize to two pairs of shoes, one handbag and an adorable capsule wardrobe. A great theory, but one hard to action. I supposed my deeply flawed attempt to buy nothing new in 2013 was an indication of this confused longing for less.

capsule wardrobe

My housemate Bec and I recently swapped bedrooms. I gave her the master bedroom complete with ginormous three-section wardrobe and ‘study cove’ and I took over two much smaller rooms. In one room I’ve put my bed and a small selection of the clothes I actually wear and into the other I’ve forced the rest of my clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and random crap.

During the process of the move I managed to cull quite a lot of stuff, but there were a few bizarre items that I found it hard to part with. These things made me pause and stupidly consider whether landfill was the right destination for them:

1. Cards and letters

What if the person who wrote ‘Dear Bec, Happy Birthday, Love Friend’ in 2009 tragically dies in a speed boat accident next week and I’ve just callously parted with the last (admittedly, boring) thing they ever wrote me?! I find it very hard to throw out cards, more so when they actually have something sentimental written in them. So to get over this I just threw out all my cards without looking inside them… Sorry Friend…

2. Old business cards

This one is stupid. Why will I ever need a business card that says I’m a journalist at the Kalgoorlie Miner again?! I guess they might be useful if I’m ever part of a covert operation and have to assume another identity… Under the same name? At the place I used to work? GONE. Managed to chuck them all.

3. Nail polishes

I have so many of these and since I’ve been a Shellac convert for over a year now I imagine they are all thick and gloopy and useless. But stiiiiillllll. What if I desperately need to have Moroccan Sunset coloured fingernails again one day? I managed to throw away the cheap nail polishes but have temporarily re-homed the more expensive ones in the bathroom for a few more months. Consider them on death row.

My downscaling plan

The things that were surprisingly easy to part with were shoes. I culled at least half of my footwear, mostly the cheap, crappy synthetic pairs, the ones too uncomfortable to wear and the too worn ones. It felt so liberating.

I get the feeling that I’m going to forget all the clothes in my ‘second wardrobe’ which will make them all the easier to part with in a few months time. I’m determined.

As for all my ‘sentimental’ crap, I need to try to remember that memories are within us, not within our things.

On a similar note, I came across this article (Downscaling to a tiny house to find big happiness) today. How amazing. Obviously I’m never going to get to the point where I can live in a house the size of a parking space but I find this so inspiring. I feel quite bogged down with so much stuff. I’m going to make an effort to throw out more and buy less.

{Image from A Pair and A Spare}

How do you go about throwing things away? Are you a minimalist or a hoarder?

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6 Responses to The bizarre things I can’t stand to throw away

  1. Ellenmary says:

    Oh, I understand all of these important issues you are facing. It’s a never ending saga for me. I’m so jealous of people who have hardly any clothes. I have a dressing room FULL of clothes. I also have a three meter long rack in my study, crammed full of death row garments that I don’t know what to do with. I also have tubs in the garage of the same. Yet I constantly lament about how unhappy this makes me and how one tiny rack of fabulous classics would be a cure-all for my entire life’s problems. It’s like my version of becoming an enlightened being.

    • Bec says:

      But Ellenmary, I imagine your racks are crammed full of vintage wonders, made from quality fabrics and so skillfully tailored they will last a lifetime.
      My wardrobe is full of crap. Cheap crap. No more cheap crap!

  2. Kate Didds says:

    I have the same problem! Cannot throw away cards or notes written to me during class in high school (just in case one day I might like to read them…it’s been over 7 years and I havn’t yet)

    • Bec says:

      Hahaha if you throw away any of the notes I passed you in German class I will be VERY disappointed.

      Ps. Frau Grau ist schlau

  3. Haha I love reading about your antics!
    I’m a thorough cleanser, at the end of every year of uni I’ve thrown out all the ‘stuff’ from the house! OK, so I reeeallllyyyy regret throwing away my running race numbers BUT apart from that it’s so nice to start each year afresh 🙂
    x x x

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