The Battle Between Minimalism and Wanting All the Things

My friend was over the other day and we were talking about cool things we have seen for sale lately. You see, when you are a person like "us", you are always on the hunt. You go to thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, facebook buy/sale pages, etc and are always looking. It's fun for people like us. We get a thrill when we find something really cool for really cheap. But here's the thing, a few years ago, an internal battle started inside of me.

The battle between minimalism and wanting all the things.

And through this battle, I have learned a few things. Now, I must preface by saying this is a battle that always needs to be fought. There are small victories, but the war between myself (or really anyone) and consumerism is never truly over. Here are some of the things I have learned so far.

1. I can enjoy and appreciate something's beauty and not have it in my home. This is a big one for me. Especially going places where I know I will see one of a kind things. If I don't buy it, someone may snatch it up right behind me. But, I have learned to slow down a bit. To picture where I would put it in my home. What I would do with it. If it would add value. To actually think before I buy. And, I've learned that I can just point out to someone the really cool thing I see without needing to buy it.

2. Be practical with how much I keep or save of the kids stuff. Kids have a lot of crap. Like a lot. Way more than adults...well, at least in our house. And the thing is, they are attached to pretty much all of it. Including the garbage. Like actual garbage at times. The struggle is real folks. It's my job to help them pair down when needed. Which usually giving them a certain number of items to get rid of works. But then there is me. I have to figure out how much I should be keeping for younger siblings. Which toys should be saved, which ones should be given away. The thing I try to remind myself all the time is all of them will have birthdays and Christmas and every other reason kids get given toys and I have to make sure to compensate for that. But there's also clothes and baby and kid gadgets and all that stuff. I'm learning to get rid of stuff because I am pretty good at being scrappy and can pick something back up on the cheap if I really needed.

3. Why keep it if you won't use it? A couple years ago I was given my great grandma's fancy wine glasses. I immediately made the decision that we would use them and not just store them. They wouldn't be appreciated if they were just stored in a cupboard. I would much rather one get broken while them being enjoyed then them never get any use. If I keep something, even for sentimental reasons, it has to be used or on display or I really see no reason in keeping it. Well, except for the old letters Ian and I used to write back and forth. I really do just keep those for sentimental reasons because every time I see the box, it makes me smile.

4. What if? I don't think I should even admit how many things I keep because "what if". I like the idea that if it hasn't been used/worn/looked at for a year, then it's time for it to go. I'm really good at always going through my clothes and keeping what I own to the minimum. In fact, I have way less clothes than Ian. I know he works and I don't, but still! The same can be said for kitchen gadgets. I have slowly over the past couple years gotten rid of some of the obscure kitchen gadgets that we just never used and were just hogging space.

I have been working hard over the past few years to fight against consumerism. To fight for contentment. To remind myself that what I have is enough and that I don't actually need (insert any and everything here). It's helped a lot. And it saves a lot of money. Not just when we are home, but also on trips. We aren't huge buyers of random crap when we travel.

That's it for me. But, I would love to hear how you curb your inner hoarder and deal with stuff in your life. Or perhaps share a funny story of someone giving you something horrid as a gift, but you being stuck with it because they give huge guilt trips if you return it/give it away...because, yeah, that never happens to me. 

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