Alternative title: Why the crap do I own so much stuff? 30 bras (most of which are pretty much falling apart), a mini library of books that I’ve acquired (many in genres I have NO interest in reading), CDs from bands I stopped listening to (when I realised their lyrics were drivel) and not to mention clothes with tags (yes really), DVDs (as in cheesy horror box-sets that make my eyes bleed), paperwork upon paperwork upon paperwork … What the actual?!
Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about the meaningful things in life; the need to downsize my belongings (recycle and donate whatever I can) and live within my means, the need to remove people I consider ‘toxic’ (post to follow!) and replace them with positive influences and experiences, to spend quality time with those I love and to stand up for causes I believe in.
I suppose this is all rather normal when you undergo a life changing event … But there is a difference between thinking about it and doing it.
The day after I watched “Minimalism : A Documentary About The Important Things” I grabbed a couple of cardboard boxes and a mug of coffee then started to work my way through my book collection … Keeping only the ones that mean something to me or are yet to be read. The rest were placed into the boxes in neat little rows, their stories sharing a space as they traveled to the next stage of their respective journeys … I can’t bring myself to destroy books, I believe that they are made to be shared and enjoyed, a source of information, escapism and inspiration. So I donated them to our local charity shop.
I then grabbed bin liners and took to sorting through years and years of collected shoes and clothes – many of which, I’m ashamed to admit, had never been worn! They had just moved from house to house without being used as I kept telling myself that eventually there would be the perfect opportunity for said dress or boots or jeans. The opportunity never arose. So they sat in wardrobes and drawers collecting dust.
Items that could be donated found their way to the same destination the books had, items that couldn’t were taken to be recycled.
The more items I removed, the more I realised just how much consumerism plays a part in our daily lives. Adverts springing up during TV shows (‘brew breaks’), billboards cropping up wherever there is a sniff of constant traffic, magazines (’nuff said), etc etc etc … All promising a better life if only you had a certain look (cue make up, hair products, clothing items) or item of furniture or electronic item.
All promising a happier way of life.
Only to switch the goal posts when you have purchased said item.
An unattainable goal if you will.
I guess I’ve switched from seeking happiness in the form of items to seeking it in the experiences I will have (or have had) and the relationships I will form (or have already formed).
Have any of you watched the Minimalism documentary? Did it inspire you to declutter your home/life? Can you recommend any other documentaries that are similar (as I’m currently loving documentaries)?
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