Monday, June 1, 2009

Less Is More

There is something cathartic about getting rid of stuff. It's freeing. In fact, I actually get a bit jealous when I drive past a heap of trash piled at the end of someone's driveway, because potentially, that someone's basement or bedroom is less cluttered. And if she's like me (let's be honest, he doesn't care), so is her mind.

Recently, I've felt guilty (just a little) about my eagerness to purge. You know, I love singing Jack Johnson's "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" song, and I'll admit, throwing things away isn't exactly living up to my end of the reuse bargain. Somebody, somewhere wants my trash, bless her soul.

Feeling the need to bid farewell to Precious Moments and the chotchkies of my youth, we teamed up with our neighbors last weekend to have a giant garage sale.  I don't need 15 Yankee Candles (the infamous teacher gift) or 5 silicone spatulas. I'm not keeping them "just in case. . ." That's hogwash.

Over the years, I have developed a "Less is More" philosophy. I don't need things to live a full, rich life. I need a clean, open space for my thoughts of gratitude and abundance.

I felt liberated watching people genuinely happy to walk off with my trash. I'd much rather it sit on someone else's bookshelf than in a landfill. Here's the best part: Our very last customer was a woman who has an orphanage in Haiti. She filled her car with my remaining five boxes of stuff, for free of course. Honestly, I would have paid her to take my junk.

Before she left, the woman scribbled down her phone number.  So the next time I feel the need to grab a garbage bag and toss, I'm going to pick up the phone instead.  And bless her soul, she'll cart it all away.


Allison said...

Oh, did you get rid of all the Precious Moments? Cate collects them now! My mom started her collection when she was born. If you have any left, I know Cate would love to have one from her Godmother!

Glad it felt good to declutter. I try to do that at least once a year (maybe twice in the playroom)!

The Art of Family said...

I love this post as I can completely relate to the "less is more" mantra and need to have an open, free and clean space.

I find myself walking around with a basket each night and throwing things that are "misplaced" in it to clean up and then spending a ton of time looking for where it ended up.

Organizing seems futile with preschoolers in the house. Less cleaning = less things. So I'm still on this journey of accepting this.

What has helped me tremendously though - is asking myself if I can live with selling it for 25 cents in a garage sale in a few years... I almost always put it back on the shelf :)

Oz said...

I wish that woman lived in my neighborhood. I was just going through my closets, having that same guilty but refreshed feeling, and I could've shared some nice scented candles and other random stuff with her!