It seems to be part of the human condition to be driven to collect things. Most people appear to have a penchant for collecting something, usually something which is relatively pointless, and I have always been fascinated by the tendency. Why is it that people cannot confine themselves to one or two versions of something they like and have to accumulate dozens, hundreds or even thousands of examples?
I have long believed myself to be immune to collecting. I don’t deliberately collect anything but it dawned on me recently that my reasonably sizeable house was looking rather cluttered. I couldn’t squeeze another thing into any of the cupboards and actually dreamt of a larger home. It was then that I realised that the size of the house was not the problem. It was the amount of pointless stuff in it that was at the heart of the matter.
It was time for a clear out which I began with enthusiasm but I was to become incredulous about how many things I had accumulated. Without thinking I have given the issue any consideration, I had definitely been collecting. I think I kept everything for the same reason that most people do. I wondered if the things would come in useful at some point, which of course they rarely did, and I hated disposing of anything that had cost me money because it seemed such a waste.
A change of focus was certainly required. If I hadn’t used or admired something for more than a year then I clearly didn’t need it so it had to go. I may not need the things but someone else probably would so nothing would be wasted as I determined to throw nothing away but rather to sell everything or donate it to charity.
The Clear Out
I went from one room to another removing the debris that was cluttering up my life. Who needs 4 duvets, 5 spare pairs of curtains, a dozen pictures that hadn’t been near a wall for years and a mountain of books that they have already read? Anyway I have a Kindle! Many eBay auctions, half a dozen car boot sales and at least six trips to the charity shop later I have acquired a whole new world of space and I haven’t finished yet.
I have made enough cash to pay for a holiday and there are doubtless many beneficiaries enjoying the items that went to the charity shops. My house feels bigger and yet more manageable and I am feeling really rather smug! My attitude to shopping has changed dramatically as I now ask myself big questions whenever I look at anything and I quite often walk away from items that I would have purchased in the past just because I liked them. Liking something is not the same as needing it and liking it does not mean that it will enhance your life in any meaningful way.
It is perfectly healthy and pleasant to ownthat you really like or the odd spare practical item for emergencies but it really isn’t any good just piling stuff up because you feel bad about letting it go. That is hoarding and at its extreme it can simply ruin your life. I have a few treasured pieces and some back-up items but that is it. The whole process of clearing out has been liberating and I can honestly say that I don’t miss anything that I have passed on one little bit. I am now so keen on a more minimalist lifestyle that I am in danger of moving on the things that I do need!