Recently I have come across a group that advocate living minimally, and this really appealed to me. Since the passing of my Mum my attitude to material possessions has significantly changed.
I used to be one of these people to buy all sorts of things on a weekly basis, mostly things I didn’t need. From make-up to shoes, clothes, jewellery, art supplies; I would buy all sorts of unnecessary things purely for the joy in buying them. I would use them for the time being and then go want to buy some thing new again, it really was addictive, this pursuit of newness, the pursuit of shopping for satisfaction.
When my Mum died, she died quick and did not have a chance to sort through her possessions. I was the one left with the daunting task of sorting through her cherished things. I realised at this point in time that we are surrounded by too much stuff in our lives, and even though some of it can bring us joy, if we are using it, the remaining amount of things are superfluous and tend to junk up our lives. And our stuff can hold us back. I don’t want to be held back from anything in life, let alone my couch, or ornaments or excess amount of kitchen paraphernalia.
“Material possessions are only valued by the person who values it.” Me, just now.
On my recent trip to Adelaide, I stayed with my Step Mum. Now she is not your usual Granny, she is kind of like a teenager in her organisational style. A cluttered, jam packed, cram that shit in a draw kind of teenager. It was hilarious and frustrating all at the same time. I need to add here that she is also very neat on the surface. All I could feel was clutter and an over abundance of stuff, 80% not being put to use. But everyone chooses how they want to live, and I respect that. But I guess for me I feel inspired to live in a more minimal, streamline, purely functional way.
For awhile now I have been ‘in cull mode’. All I want to do is throw more stuff out. I just want to get rid of it all! Sell! Give away! Chuck! It is quite a liberating feeling really. And I have become more and more ruthless in my ability and pursuit to live more and live less encumbered by material possessions.
I realise there have been stages of this desire to ‘minimalise’ my life. When I moved house, that was a wonderful way and time to shed a huge amount of excess in my life. Most of the stuff was my Mums and some of the stuff was mine. But these are things I no longer have a connection with, items, or objects which simply do not sing to me anymore. I gave bags and bags away to charity, and sold only a few items very cheaply in order to get rid of them faster. They had served their purpose, their time had been gladly spent in the surrounds of our loving home. But it was time to say goodbye to them. Wish them well, and thank them for their help in making our lives better.
Reading “The Magical power of tidying up”also helped me gain a new perspective on stuff and clutter and organisation. Through this book I discovered the importance of shifting and moving and clearing my things to create new energy and free up space for new things/people/energy. This is what I crave, this newness of energy and freedom, and less complication from all the emotional ties and constraints of stuff, old and new and in between.
Around Christmas time I felt like a bit of a grinch because I didn’t want to buy into the bullshit of present giving. Sure it is nice to receive and give a gift, but I believe you can do this at any point in time, not just for the sake of it when a weird placky (plastic in Aussie lingo) tree goes up in the corner and we line the streets with lights. God what a grinch right!? So negative!! My point is, gifts are great, but they don’t just need to come at Christmas. And sometimes gifts are just so unnecessary.
We all have too much stuff, we all do not need for anything really. Not in a material possession kind of way. The things we crave are more experience or feeling type things. Like good health, a great holiday, a hot date, a hot body, we are all different in this way and of course want for different experiences. Some of my friends who are Mums, may just want for some peace and quiet. But as for the stuff around us, it is just stuff!!
I can’t wait to get stuck into my cupboards and shelves and wardrobes and desks, and keep shedding, keep discarding, keep chucking out, keep culling. I want to create new space, new energy and a fresh perspective for the new year to come. Make bags of stuff I don’t want and give that stuff away! Send it on its merry way and wish it well, wish it good tidings, that’s my post Christmas wish, get rid of all that superfluous stuff!!
How do you feel about the stuff in your house? Do you love your stuff? When was the last time you went through your things and had a good throw out?
Stuff is just stuff for the sake of being stuff. Stuff that!
Stuff, ain’t it rough, living it tough, being stuff.
Stuffed under a bed, in a draw, on the floor, what bore.
I am going to pack you up, wrap you up, stack you up.
I am going to give you away, bid you good day, and thank you for being in my life no more.
Stuff, get rid of it!
The end. Lol. I am poet and I didn’t even know it.