My Eternal Quest for Less Stuff
This was originally posted on my old blog www.cyntheology.com
Yay for the New Year! Over the past several years I have been trying to weed out anything that does not add value to my life, a couple of major moves really helped. It started with a New Years resolution around 7 or 8 years ago to declutter. Let’s face it, I used to be a serious packrat. I once found a box full of old Pennysavers. Do you know how many years of saving Pennysavers it takes to fill an entire box? Let that sink in for a moment.
Since then I think I have been pretty successful in paring down my personal possessions. My road to minimalism has not been a secret. There have been some wins (downsizing from a 3 bedroom condo to a 1 bedroom apartment was a BIG win) but honestly since my move from Maryland to Texas it has been mostly losses. I say this because even though I have tossed countless bags of stuff but I still feel overwhelmed by all the things that remain. How is that even possible?
Recently I’ve read “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo, konmari method. To be honest I read it because it got really good reviews, but I didn’t think it would be “life-changing”. At most I was hoping for 1 or 2 tips and tricks to help me better manage what I have.
What I got was real eye opener.
The book started off like every other book or blog article I had read about decluttering. It talked about how tidying doesn’t come naturally to most people, why most people fail at declutter, and why her method works.
Then I got to page 22 and the headline “Storage experts are hoarders” jumped at me. In 4 words I knew what my problem was. I continued to read and sure enough she basically said people spend a lot of time and money to organize their stuff into pretty storage solutions. These storage solutions are only masking the problem, because when people buy more stuff their storage solution become obsolete.
This was me. I have countless baskets, boxes, little organizers, cabinets, and so many failed “systems”. It seems no matter how often I organize and sort it doesn’t take long for my solution to get messy again. It is a never ending cycle.
All at once I began to envision a house without baskets and less bookshelves. In my mind it is a calmer and more relaxing environment. Ultimately this is what I want. A house free of chaos, meaningless dust catchers, and piles in every corner.