Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Clutter vs. Waste

There are two things that I hate. And hating these two things feels like a contradiction. Just as the title reads they are clutter and waste. As I try my hardest to move toward a more minimalist lifestyle, that involves getting rid of some clutter. But another important thing in my life is to reduce the amount of waste I produce, whether it be food, disposable items, clothes, etc. 

How am I supposed to get rid of clutter without sending more and more trash out into the world? 

To be honest I'm not quite sure. 

I know what you are thinking. Donate your unwanted things to Goodwill or other thrift shops. Sell them online. Have a garage sale. While I do feel those are more productive ways to release unwanted things from your life, I still feel guilty for adding to the mountains of used stuff that thrift store employees have to go through. Guilty that I assume someone might want my rejected stuff. While I do support buying used whenever possible I do think that we have a huge problem with material possessions.  Not only do we spend a lifetime accumulating meaningless possession after possession, we like to go to garage sales and thrift stores to paw through piles of other peoples' meaningless possessions. When will it ever be enough? It won't.

If you feel as mentally bogged down by clutter as I do,  then releasing certain things from you're life will allow you to breathe easier and easier. It can also affect your shopping habits like it has mine. When you are thinking about buying something, you will think more about this item eventually turning into clutter and having to get rid of it. The circle goes round and round. 

At  this point I realize I haven't given any tips, but just ranted about these two sides of me that can't get along. I realize I have to compromise with myself. I have to let go a little bit in one way to get relief in another. To tell the truth it's more important to me to live life more clutter free. And unfortunately I have to turn a blind eye to the whole waste thing. But I feel the more clutter free I become the less I will waste, because every item I own is necessary and useful. 

We all know how hard it is to let go of possessions. Even me, someone I consider to place little value in possessions, has a hard time letting go of things. And the most interesting thing is I don't know why. As I am writing this I am feeling a huge surge of power to purge. If I had more time right now I might go crazy on some drawers. But if you look in your drawers and think that it is tough to get rid of a few pairs of earrings I hear you. What if I want to wear them again? Will I miss them? Will I regret getting rid of them? I think the fear of these things is greater than the feeling that actually happens. You need to decide for yourself how many things it takes to really make you happy. The answer is likely much lower than you currently own.