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