Saturday, December 27, 2008

One of the most useful monthly goals I had in 2008 was getting rid of one thing every day for one month. It wasn't just the act of purging, it was the process of truly looking at my stuff, deciding what was important for me, and consciously deciding what I needed and what I didn't. Far from feeling like I lost 30 things, I instead felt like I gained space, clarity, and control in my apartment, my mind, and my life.
In 2009, I decided to take it one step further. I am striving to get rid of one thing every day for a year. It seems daunting, but I think once I get started, it'll be fairly easy. (Or, I hope)
It just seems like we all have so much STUFF. Even someone like myself, who regularly purges and tries to live simply, accummulates way more that he/she needs.
This is especially evident around the holidays. My sister in law started a tradition where her kids fill a box with toys they have outgrown or just don't play with anymore. They leave it out on Christmas Eve for Santa to pick up and redistribute the toys to other kids who will enjoy them more. It's a start. Then, there's J, who on December 26 was going through the plethora of matchbox cars that her 2 year old son had received as gifts from various people. She was removing all the cars made in China, since he tends to put the cars in his mouth and she's fearful of lead paint. SHe had seperated the cars into piles and was looking on the internet to determine their safety: "are toys from Malaysia safe? How about Japan?" She looked up at me and said: "You know, it would be so much easier if he got a lot fewer, higher quality cars. I feel bad taking them away, but really, he doesn't need all this."
That's the other side of the coin. In 2008, I had also said I was going to buy myself things that I just never buy for myself. I was successful a few months (high quality sheets, a nice bike) but then I just stopped. It just didn't seem like I should be buying things to treat myself when I was already drowning in stuff. Buying and purging could go hand and hand, though. Get rid of the stuff I don't need, and replace with one or two high quality items that I will really use and enjoy.
So on a weekly basis, in blogfest 2009, I will be documenting my progress in the journey to simplify my life. Wish me luch


Diane said...

You know how I love this idea. I'd considered trying to do 1 thing every day for a year as well (great minds and all ;). I've done a purge, which is all ready to go to charity, so I can start the new year fresh... but I think I'm going to try to keep it up. I look forward to reading about your progress!

the gazelle said...

that is such a fantastic idea. I've never been much of a hoarder (or even a keeper), but I do have a lot of old magazines and clothes & high school mementos.

I do love the idea of only buying high quality stuff that you will truly appreciate instead of just stuff - that's where I can run into problems.

Best of luck!