I strongly believe that we are all victims of over consumption. We are told on a daily basis in order to maintain (or gain) that ideal life you need the newest cellular telephone or newest tennis shoes, etcetera. We've all fallen for it but have you ever thought it shouldn't be that way? That if you had less shit to clutter your space you'd be a little happier? I've been thinking that way a lot lately. I'm not sure where or when the line was crossed, from striving to gain and obtain the essentials to needing the excess, but it happened.
My father was the oldest of five children. He didn't have much but growing up he made sure he worked hard so I never did without. If I wanted something (within reason) and I was good, you could guarantee on my birthday or Christmas or even a random day, I got that thing I wanted. He took great care of me and taught me the value of hard work. He's my hero. He's also a pretty easy going guy and isn't crazy about technology. He still uses a flip phone and only has an iPad because I forced it upon him one year for Christmas. He hates clutter and he hates the idea of being able to be contacted anytime anywhere. I love that about him.
My grandparents (my dad's parents) have lived in the same house that hasn't changed my whole life. Their motto is if it isn't broke, don't fix it and if something is broken there is a way to fix it with what you've got. They only buy or invest in things when they without a doubt cannot avoid it. I believe that this is definitely a result of the generation they're from. But I adore their uncomplicated way of life.
Minimalism and simplifying now is something that seems so novel but for my grandparents and my father there was no question that when you bought something there was a purpose for it and that purpose was that you actually needed it.
I have clothes that still have tags on them, magazines I haven't read, shoes I haven't worn for a year but remain under my bed. Handbags! I only have a handful of handbags but it's still a ridiculous amount because I can only use them one at a time. I look at all of the things I spent money on that still have tags or are barely used and I think, "Good lord! Look at all the money I could still have in my bank account!"
I've decided that I'm comfortable getting rid of the excess. I am now determined start thinking more practically and clearly when I shop. I have already nipped the magazine thing in the bud. I subscribed to my favorite publication. Not only did that get me a discounted per issue price, but it will also now be delivered straight to my door so I don't have to go to the newsstand and be tempted to buy anything else. I have been reading a lot about creating a capsule wardrobe (check out Caroline's blog Un-Fancy) and I'm really excited to start chucking things out. Everything I no longer have use for will be donated, sold, or thrown out if I cannot repurpose it.
For the first time I'm more excited to get rid of things rather than acquire new. This new outlook will require a lot of initial planning but nothing will be overlooked. I will be cutting back on everything...except books. I am a firm believer that a good book collection is something one does need to keep!
Are there any good blogs you've read with decluttering/simplifying tips? Do you have any tips yourself? I would love to hear about them!