Friday we cleaned out closets and took an SUV full of black plastic bags loaded with clothes, treasures we thought we couldn’t possibly live without and other assorted things we didn’t even remember we owned to the Goodwill. How the hell did we acquire all this stuff? A lot of it was old clothes that were taking up valuable real estate in the closet. Hubby seems to have a strong attachment to his old clothes…he still talking about the outfit with the matching white belt and white shoes and I can tell he’s picturing himself as Mr. Cool Dude, too. Needless to say, I pick out his clothes for any kind of trip or social outing that I’m involved in. If he goes out alone…he’s on his own.
So, off we went to the Goodwill drop off station in Lake O. Here’s an interesting observation – including us, the cars that were dropping stuff off included two Mercedes, a Volvo, two BMW’s and a Lexus. People with a wee bit too much money perhaps, who bought a bunch of stuff they really, truly didn’t need and now are off-loading it to make room for more stuff they probably don’t need. Not, us – we’re REDUCING the inventory.
To bring this adventure full circle, my son and his lovely girlfriend do most of their shopping at the Goodwill. They live fully the values of reduce, reuse and recycle. Wouldn’t it be truly perfect if the new bedspread or lamp they scored at the Goodwill came from our guest room! Circle of stuff instead of the circle of Life! I love it.
With all of the downsizing going on at our house, I’ve been following a very interesting blog by a guy named Dave Bruno called the 100 thing challenge. A few years back he took on the challenge of reducing his personal “stuff” to 100 items. I’m not sure I’m ready for that but it is a very interesting idea. He talks about his own efforts to reduce our American style consumerism and promotes the concept of reduce, refuse, rejigger. Re-jigger, what a great word. This is what our grandparents did. When something broke, they actually fixed it instead of throwing it in the trash because it was cheaper to buy a new one. It feels like maybe we’re coming full circle here. I find more and more that I don’t need stuff “just because”. Oh, I like it. I still love to check it all out in the shops, but to tell you the truth, I have less and less desire to buy it and that feels good. Really good.
Right now a couple of dear friends are going through variations on this theme. One friend is downsizing to a ten foot trailer so she can travel the US for her 60th year. Go girl! Another is helping her aging parents move to assisted living and clearing out 60+ years of accumulated treasure. At least if we keep hauling our stuff off to the Goodwill or selling on Ebay, our kids won’t have to deal with it. They can thank me now or they can thank me later.
Disclaimer – That is NOT our house! The photo came from Max Patton’s Tips for Decluttering on A&E.