I still have too much stuff…how is that possible?

Last year I read a book called ‘”The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul“. It was a rather poorly written book and could have been condensed to half the pages, yet I still felt inspired to get rid of loads of my things.

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Instead of going down to 100 ‘personal‘ items, I got rid of half of my personal items. Then came the rub – I made a rule that I followed nearly 100% for over 365 days.

Don’t buy anything personal items unless you need it, not want it.

Need: (knee-duh) The state of being completely without and unable to function properly in society if you lack this item or if it needs replacing.

Examples of needed items include:

  • Shorts that fit over your arse and don’t cut your circulation off at the waist in order to survive the 110 degree weather in California
  • Winter socks that keep your toes from freezing off in the subarctic
  • Mittens after you leave your’s at the local Starbucks and the person who found them kept them instead of turning them in
  • Contigo water bottle after your’s breaks in your purse and creates a paper machete-esque fiasco all over your wallet and iPhone
  • New to me car after the smashed up Aerio died an epic death on the Yellowhead

It turns out I still have more than enough stuff.

I live in what I estimate to be 67.63% of my house and use about 42.93% of the things I own. There are kitchen cupboards which I don’t open, closets that remain closed, boxes covered in over a year of dust, clothes which are not worn, and stuff I keep because I should.

Stuff just fills up my life. I have to clean, store, organize, dig through, categorize, manage and keep track of so much I don’t even care about.

I am never going to be Martha Stewart, so why am I storing Martha-esque stuff?!

My inability to be a fabulous Martha Stewart was confirmed when I was a teenager and was put in charge of sewing my own costume for the Easter play at church. I merely folded an old sheet in half, laid down on it with my neck at the top of the fold, traced my body, cut along the wobbly sharpie line and used that iron on sewing glue stuff to. Once I added a belt of rope from the garage, Mary’s outfit was complete.

Although Mary couldn’t raise her arms or sit down while wearing super awesome, vintage Donloree Designer Wear, but who cares…right?

I agree with Leonardo, but somehow I don't think my "Mary Costume" is what he's referring to....

I agree with Leonardo, but somehow I don’t think my “Mary Costume” is what he’s referring to….

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Happiness never comes from dusting things you never use or having a bunch of things  you don’t need, rather it comes from being you and having just enough to keep you doing what you love.

Now to muse on what my ‘Great Purge 2014′ rules will be…

Anyone else in spring cleaning mode? How do you keep the clutter from killing you?

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Comments

  1. Oh, how I need to learn to be minimalist! :) I, no, scratch that, WE (my whole family) have WAY too much stuff! My girls have so many toys you can hardly see their floor sometimes! I read a blog about minimalist living and gift lists for kids – focussing on experiences rather than things. Examples of gifts were season pass to the zoo, children’s museum membership, etc. I LOVE these ideas! Now it will just be a matter of getting extended family on board to give gifts like these! :)

    And it’s not just my girls stuff, my closet is overflowing with stuff too! Lots of this is due to the fact we don’t currently have a functioning basement (middle of renos) so stuff that belongs there that I will actually use once i have the space again, is currently being stored in closets. But I’m sure I could still get rid of half that stuff and still have plenty to use when I have my craft room, for instance! :) This week I will have to start my own great purge of 2014.

    • Ooh! Excited to hear more about the Jennifer purge of 2014. Experience is always better than stuff – I love that idea. In fact, I love that idea for gifts for me. :) I can’t believe all the stuff I just have, but never use. As if I am going to read that book ANOTHER time, need the weird kitchen gadget or require all those shoes and clothes…
      Crafts – now that is something I really pared down last year and I STILL have more to do. Can you believe it?!

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