Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Better: Less Clutter

I've been decluttering my home lately. Most of the things we've gotten rid of we gave away so this definitely falls under the 'Better' umbrella and not 'Richer'.

Between a local used clothing store, Craigslist, Freecycle and an extra bag of garbage we've given away:

* Two broken Mac Plusses
* 20-25 German novels
* Pair of shoes that didn't fit
* A box of firestarters for camping
* Baby front carrier
* 6 or so large boxes which electronics (cameras, computers, etc.) had come in.
* A joystick I only used once
* Two extra diaper bags
* A pile of extra clothes that don't fit
* A book on tape
* Bag of extra baby clothes
* Extra microwave
* Extra toaster
* An extra wireless router, Ethernet cord, and other miscellaneous small electronics
* A tea kettle we've had sitting on our stove for four years (and used only ~6 times)
* An extra DVD/CD burner

That's a lot of extra junk sitting around. Some of it is hard to part with. I know that some day I'll wish I still had the wireless router. When we move we may wish we had the microwave. If our toaster burns out we'll wish we had our backup. My hope is that by giving these things away now, when we need them again someone else will be decluttering their life.

In the four years we have been married we've gone from pretty poor to depending on my parents for support to doing pretty well. During the rougher times we both developed a habit of accumulating things for free when we could (for example from Freecycle) so that we wouldn't have to buy them later. My collection of electronic parts has kept my computer running for far cheaper than buying new ones.

Because of that 'collect it when we can' mentality though we're both somewhat overly attached to our backups. Do I need three wireless routers? No, of course not. Do we need two extra diaper bags? The odds are slim we'll ever use them. We could have tried to sell everything, but we've been blessed with everything we need and more, now it's our turn to share and help others who need it. Also, if we'd waited maybe we would've grown attached again.

(Video: Quartet Reprise sings 'Because I have been given much' on Music and the Spoken Word)

No comments: