2015 means less stuff to hate

One of my many goals this year (including resurrecting this blog) is minimising and simplifying my life.  I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to become a “minimalist”. I’m not lusting after empty walls, counting everything I own, or planning to only wear black from now on.

Not that I even think minimalists do that.

Ever since I realised just how much I hate my stuff I’ve been slowly but surely chopping away at all the clutter that surrounds me and purging it. I came across a great quote recently that really resonated with me: That which you hold holds you.

The truth is that having the stuff has been more of a burden than a reward. Any clothes I buy I have to wash, knick knacks have to be dusted, books have to be stored, and on and on and on. What a nightmare it has all become. Like the ring. Not the ring where the creepy girl crawls out of the TV (that’s an entirely different nightmare), but Frodo’s ring. Carrying that little ring is such a massive burden for him and that’s exactly how I feel about my stuff.  I need to take it to Mordor and be rid of it forever.

That’s not to say I haven’t already come a long way. I might not be traipsing into Mordor just yet, but perhaps I’m at the Black Gate. Here’s what I’ve managed to oust in the last year and 10 months since writing about this the first time:

  • All of my childhood toys/stuffed animals. My previous neighbours had a young daughter and one day I asked the mom if she would be interested in them. To my luck she was and poof! They were gone. Not only that but I was able to see the daughter playing with and enjoying the stuffed animals on numerous occasions, so not only was I unburdened, but they were fulfilling their purpose again. That felt nice. Like in Toy Story. Aw.
  • All the cables/wires/plugs/phones of old. Those things that I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to throw out? I finally sorted through them all and took them to a recycling depot.
  • Clothes. So many clothes. Ridiculous amounts of clothes. I got rid of them. I donated so many bags I couldn’t even fathom a guess at the number. I don’t know how I even managed to amass as many as I did considering I have never been much of a shopper, nor very fashionable. In fact I spent 4 years pursuing a dance degree where I wore sweatpants to school every day and was asked what the special occasion was if I was wearing jeans.
  • Miscellaneous items I can’t even remember. Things that sat on shelves collecting dust, extra sheet sets, blankets, etc.
  • Several pieces of furniture.
  • Books… the hardest to part with. I took about 85% of my book collection for donation. Along with the three bookshelves that were their home for the last few years. Actually I wrote an entire blog post about this but never got around to posting it. Although I love my books and it was painstaking to part with them, I’m glad they’re gone to be read by new eyes. All that remains are a few favourite novels, my poetry collection (which I’ll probably never be ready to part with) and books that I have yet to read.

It all comes down to time. I want to spend more of it on the things I love and less of it fretting over the mundane chores on my to-do list.  Now it’s just about being certain that I love everything I have, and that everything brings something positive to my life so that it is worth the effort to maintain. My main goal is to ensure there’s absolutely nothing wasting away in a box in a closet. Everything I have, as William Morris would say, should be either useful or beautiful. That’s why I’m keeping the dogs. Not only are they beautiful, but they help keep me warm on those horrid winter mornings where I just don’t want to get out of bed.

Lastly I’d like to send a belated Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you to those who might still be reading this, you are all amazing.

I hate my stuff

I was sitting here just now looking around my house and realising.. I have a lot of stuff.

No, not stuff. Crap.

Useless crap.

I hate it all. Everything I own. Sometimes I think about how liberating it would feel if I only just collected it all, brought it outside, and had a magnificent bonfire. Let the memories burn away with the flames.

Occasionally I try to purge my life of unnecessary belongings which I feel are slowly throttling me, and as I go through it thoughts like ‘oh I can’t get rid of that, that’s when yada bla bla happened.’ Or ‘wow that’s such a great little trinket from when I went on that trip that one time.  I should keep it, better let it sit neglected in this dark box for another few years.’

I mean it’s getting ridiculous. I have clothes I haven’t worn in years, clothes I bought and never wore, trinkets from elementary school, and tons of books. Books from uni, books I read as a kid, books I hate, books I still have to read, cookbooks. There are binders, boxes, cables, wires for ancient computers, plugs for phones I don’t use anymore, phones I don’t use anymore.. I could go on. But you get the point.

Part of it is I don’t know what to do about certain things. Like wires and phones. What the hell do you do with them? I don’t want to just throw them out. I think there’s a way to recycle them, but I don’t know where or how. I’m too lazy to look into the matter so I just think I’ll do it later.

The worst is the sentimental things. I have a cardigan that my grandmother bought me when I was 11.. I am in my 20s now. I have always hated this cardigan and have never once worn it (sorry, Grandma. RIP.) Every time I think I should donate it I feel  this overwhelming sensation of guilt. Like my Grandma will somehow manage to be sad even though she’s been gone for years.

And I have a Furby. That’s right, a Furby.

If you don’t know what that looks like go ahead and google it. It’s one of those hideous little talking toys from way back in the day (although I think they have since made a comeback.) Every time I look at its stupid face I wonder why it’s there yet I never get rid of it. Annoyingly it still works, and every now and then someone accidentally tips it over and you hear it waking up, making its yawning noises, and asking to play. This happened the other day when my boyfriend stumbled upon it. I yelled out Noooooooooooo! very dramatically because once it wakes up it takes FOREVER to put back to sleep. My dogs started barking because of course they don’t understand what could possibly be making such inane sounds. I ended up sitting there for countless minutes like a pathetic minion holding my hand over the Furby’s light sensor so that it would sleep and shut up. All the while my dogs are barking their heads off and the Furby is singing “lalalalalala” to itself and wiggling its dumb ears up and down. I mean it’s been a while since I was in the 6-9 year old demographic. HOW HAVE YOU BEWITCHED ME, FURBY?!

I am moving in a month and a half, and when I go I want to go with a clean slate. I don’t want to bring all this baggage along with me. I am cluttered to the core.  So over the next couple of weeks I am going to have to learn to be brutal with my possessions. Even the thought that I won’t have any of this crap around anymore makes me feel lighter somehow. I don’t need things to keep memories, I should just write down the important ones instead of keeping them around in the form of stuff that piles up around me. I should learn to be a minimalist.

How do you deal with your excess stuff?