How to Shop Minimally

Today’s post from the Daily Prompt inspired me to write about a concept I’ve been trying to adopt for a while. Replacement.

 

Today when I buy something I ask myself questions.

  • Do I need it?
  • Does it fill a void that I’ve been wanting to fill for a while?
  • And in relation to this post,
    • Do I already own something that can do this?

 

This unfolds another series of questions:

  • Why do I need this thing if I already have something similar?
  • Does this do it better/faster/more sustainably?
  • Do I need two of these things because one is always borrowed or used elsewhere?

 

I now have a rule for when I buy things:

 

For everything I buy, I must get rid of one thing.

This keeps me from falling down the slippery slope into hoarding again.

 

When I went to Goodwill the other day I donated at least 150 items of clothing. I then went in and bought 3 new things.

I had already met my rule by donating 50x the amount of things I was accumulating. But, there was a problem. I had bought a pair of jeans. I already have a pair of jeans.

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The pair of jeans I already have don’t fit well, I hemmed them (poorly), and they ride way too low in the back. I never wear them.

The new pair fits me wonderfully, I feel great in them and I’m not afraid to move around in them.

So, out with the old and in with the new, my old jean are one of the things I will be getting rid of today in my 30-day challenge. Along with an old box and a stained pair of socks.

via Daily Prompt: Replacement

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The Best Life

He talks of plans, of dreams, for us,
of all the things we often lust.

The house, the car, the fancy toys,
are all too tempting to ignore.

‘We will have the best life’ he says to me,
and I nod, hold his hand, I agree.

But I’m not waiting for those days,
they only come from long delays.

A year ago, I was made his wife,
and that is why ‘I have the best life.’

Restlessness

The restlessness I feel tonight,

will only last until it’s light.

 

It’s all because I can’t ignore,

these jumbled thoughts, I’ve had before

 

I remember things I wish had’t,

Things that had been long absent.

 

My mind will rifle through these files,

when it knows I haven’t slept awhile.

 

And, when I’m done with past regrets,

I conjure up new things to fret.

 

Oh, how many nights I’ve troubled.

Behind my eyes, these thoughts have tumbled.

 

Pound by pound, they add up,

If only I had a measuring cup.

 

Because, I will watch and watch these shows,

Until that cocky rooster crows.

Two Bottles Unwanted

Today is day two of my minimalism challenge.

 

I got rid of two crown royal bottles.

Two bottles I didn’t need, and who didn’t need me.

I’d held on to these bottles for god knows how long.

With grandiose plans of repurposing them.

They’d make great soap dispensers.

They could hold buttons,

or seeds,

little trinkets,

and things.

 

Yeah, right.

They’ll sit in that corner, gathering dust.

Just to be thrown into a box when I move.

So they can be forgotten again.

 

I’m saving us both the trouble.

Your Clutter is Charging you Rent

I am constantly fighting the mindset that saving things is a good thing. It sounds like a good thing, saving. It’s a word that makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

But, sometimes what you are doing is crazy.

I had around 100 good and plenty boxes. Empty ones. I didn’t want to throw them out, there had to a use for them. A use that I would stumble upon one day.

Those boxes took up a large bookshelf for five years.

I finally threw them out a few months ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about repurposing.

But there is a point at which you must stop yourself. A point at which you realize that you are hoarding things. Giving things value that they don’t deserve.

In fact, those boxes represented negative value. For FIVE years they charged me rent. For FIVE years they resided in that bookshelf while a stack of books squatted chaotically on the floor.

For five years they took up space. For five years they stared at me. And, for five years I felt guilt over my ownership of them.

They collected dust. And I collected guilt.

A few months ago I moved back into my dad’s house. There they were, staring at me. Judging me. How had I let it get this far?

I had made fun of my dad’s borderline hoarding. And all along I had this dirty secret.

I threw them out, and 10 ounces of cardboard felt like two tons lifted from my shoulders.

Now I am constantly chasing that high. Today I got rid of half of my clothes. This freedom I feel is the only thing that’s free.

I discovered KonMari, I got rid of so many things. Things that could find better homes elsewhere. Other people would be happy to pay the rent for these things to be in their homes.

And I was free.