I started over the summer, when I went through a box of childhood belongings. It was rough, and as I’m still learning, a life without clutter is not as simple as throwing away old scraps of paper or rubber bands. A lot of times, my process of de-cluttering amounts to me staring at a pile of stuff I’m convinced I will need later. Other times I find myself staring at things that have sentimental value, like movie ticket stubs or other things similar that were cool to keep back in middle school.
Deciding what to keep and what to toss (or sell, FreeCycle, or donate) is tricky. I come from a family of Just-In-Casers: why sell or trash something when I may need it one day? For the past year I have kept a broken typewriter in my closet, because somehow I have convinced myself that one of these days I’m going to get it fixed. I have a working printer underneath my bed that I never use because I hate paying for ink and print at work for free. I have a slew of old concert tickets, birthday cards, and shoes that I’m convinced I’ll wear once I find that perfect dress. And of course, there’s more. There’s always more.
Obviously, the things I listed above are useless. I will never fix my typewriter, nor will I ever wear those shoes. I can remember my family members by more than just a birthday card, and I will never use my printer. I do not need my high school Spanish notes, that random issue of the Daily Campus, or most of my DVD pile. With all of that in mind, today I decided to take the big step: I’m listing my things on FreeCycle this weekend.
Readers, I invite you to take inventory of your things. What do you own that you don’t need or want? When you find something with sentimental value, really examine why you’re keeping it. Are you really that attached to it after all?
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping something because you like it: I would hope you like most of, if not all, of the things you own. But it’s important to recognize the difference between truly liking something, and hanging on to it because you don’t know what else to do.
Even though I’m not far along in my process, I encourage you to try it. Go home and get rid of one thing you’ve been holding onto for far too long. It’s liberating, I can guarantee it.
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