09 November 2010

The Responsibility of Stuff

I have been inspired lately by several blogs dedicated to simplicity and minimalism. A few blogs that are my favorites are Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist, and Minimalist Moms. Of course, there are many other blogs in similar vein, but these stand out to me as the most meaningful for my personal situation, probably because each author strives for minimalism, while finding balance in their family life.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been wanting to clean out some clutter in my closet. Finally this week, I filled a few shopping bags of clothing that no longer fits. Minimalism is about finding purpose in the things you have, and getting rid of unnecessary things. I have a long way to go on this, but my wardrobe is a good place to start, because the closet is a small space. It’s amazing what you can find, though, stashed in cramped areas. I found some old maternity clothes in the back of the closet. Into the charity pile. I also found shirts with company emblems from up to four jobs ago. Into the charity pile. And as for the jeans that I had been saving for when I finally lost weight, they do fit me now, but I don’t really like them anymore, as, alas, styles change. Into the charity pile.

My 2 year old son actually helped me in this project. He cheered me on while I tried on some old clothes, and then put the ill-fitting clothes in the bags for me. I included him in this because I want him to start getting a sense of the responsibility that stuff requires, and that sometimes, other people may get better use out of something that I’m not using. And, after all, I can’t justify a toy purge until he sees me purging some of my own stuff.

I took my son with me to Goodwill to drop off the old clothing and shoes. On the way there and back, I reminded him that other people might want my old clothing more than I do. When we got home, on his own, he started to put a few toys in a box, for our next Goodwill drop off.

Lessons learned:

  1. Start with a small space, like a closet, or even a drawer. This makes the task doable and less overwhelming.
  2. If you have gained weight, don’t hang on to those clothes you might fit into one day. Even if you do lose the weight, fashions change and so may your mind.
  3. If you have kids, get them involved as much as possible and remind them why you are doing this.


Anonymous said...

Great post! It sounds like you are off to a good start (and I love that you're involving your son!). Good luck as you continue :)

Spica said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and reading.