Simplification Is It Possible On The Current World
Over the years, off and on, dedicated and then less so, I have worked to simplify my life. In a world of consumerism it is easy to be snagged by great buys, new gadgets, the latest clothing, home accouterments, and on and on. While I try to turn a blind eye to the junk that I pass in stores or that I view in ads in my email or when browsing the Internet, it is tough to just say, “No!” to all of the goodies that I spy and think that perhaps I need.
Twice a year, or more often when I really get the urge, I purge closets, shelves, drawers, and cupboards. While I have tried and failed with garage sales for these remnants, there are a couple of thrift stores who accept some of my stuff and the landfill receives the rest. I say I fail at garage sales because I just do not seem to have the knack to set things up in a saleable fashion or I select the wrong day or maybe, and this is sad to ponder, my junk is just not very desirable. It is lovely, it is mine, but I guess my taste wanders far from the shopper’s who swing by on Saturday mornings.
Because I volunteer at one of the thrift stores I am quite careful with what I drop off as the store is already loaded with more stacks in the storage areas. I have made many trips to the dump with items the store couldn’t sell like old, soiled mattresses, broken strollers, filthy clothing, and disgusting couches. I cannot understand why someone leaves things that they don’t want at the store’s back door in abominable condition and think that someone else would want this nastiness. Since items are already loaded onto a truck to drag them this far, why not drive on to the landfill?
The dump also receives many of my items, too. As a county resident there is no charge and there are certain recycling areas such as for metal and aluminum cans. While I hate to throw other things away because so many are a long time in the biodegradable process, I am left with no alternative when I move into de-cluttering mode. Simplifying my life entails cluttering someone else’s or adding to a burgeoning garbage pile. Cleaning out and not refilling is the best choice I can make but it seems like even when I have rid myself of access junk, it sneaks back in when I am not looking.
Part of the problem is the size of my home. If I lived in a tiny house, I’d have less room for stockpiling miscellaneous items. In my town, however, home prices are outrageously high and to downsize would mean to return to mortgage payments. Now isn’t that silly? Instead I must analyze the contents of every nook and cranny and then just start hauling. A friend suggested buying several storage bins (you recognize immediately the struggle here with buying rubber tubs to get rid of stuff I don’t need, right?), placing questionable items that I might want in the future in them, and then sealing and stacking them in the storage room or the garage for one year. If I have not missed them after that time, I am to haul them away without peeking because a peek might lead to a removal of items that would then return to my muddle. I decided that while this is an excellent plan, I want to avoid buying junk to store junk to fill my house and garage.
Next week I plan to start my fall/winter reorganization simplification attack. I will unload every closet item, every stick of furniture, every cupboard ingredient, every bit of riffraff, and transport it to the hallway or kitchen counter. Then one by one I will sort and shift until the giveaway pile far exceeds the keep pile. I realize that this project may mean a week or two of absolute disaster in my home and will necessitate several runs to the thrift stores and dump, however I believe this will be the real solution to my own personal simplification project. It makes me antsy and excited with anticipation.