Just Put ‘Em Down

Have you ever tried to pare down all of your worldly possessions so that they’ll fit into a backpack and a suitcase? Yeah, me neither… that is, until recently.

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I’m lucky to be able to store a few things with friends and family. (Some furniture is simply too old and sentimental to part with! And think of all my diaries!) But all I plan to take with me for my near year-long journey? One backpack. And one suitcase.

I recently watched a documentary on minimalism, just to pump myself up for The Great Downsizing. I’ve been working towards a less materialistic life for years now, but actually getting rid of stuff is HARD. Especially for a sentimental and thrifty goon like me. Because yes, when you haven’t got much money, stuff is pretty darn precious.

But, there is a great freedom to be found in letting go, if you can manage it.

Do you struggle with giving stuff away and letting things go? Here are just a few questions that may help you in your own downsizing journey:

(I learned this years ago, but can’t remember where. Let me know if it looks familiar!)

  1. How long have you had the item? Unhelpful in isolation, but read on.
  2. When did you last use it? Not since the Reagan administration? You can toss it.
  3. Are you ever going to use it? Because theoretical usefulness isn’t really a thing.
  4. Does it need fixing or changing? Nobody believes you even own a glue gun.
  5. If you toss it, can you replace it? You can always procure another egg slicer!
  6. Do you need it for tax purposes? Then file it safely, like a responsible human.
  7. What’s the *worst* thing that could happen if you toss it? Apocalypse? No.

Maybe one of the hardest parts of letting go is being real about why you’re holding on to the stuff in the first place. And “How to be Honest with Yourself” is just a bit outside the scope of this blog post. But I have found these questions to be SO helpful, and I hope they may inspire you to do a bit of simplifying in your own life. Because it really does feel liberating.

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Besides the inherent benefits of downsizing, there are so many great things you can do with your stuff! (Does this call for another list? Why not.)

  1. Give to family & friends – you’ll be so popular, and think of the karma!
  2. Give to strangers – kick it to the curb, espesh on Curbside Giveaway Weekend.
  3. Donate to charity – those donation bins aren’t gonna fill themselves.
  4. [Try to] sell – might as well, if you’re short on money and long on time.

There are of course many sensate advantages to a simplified space, but dispersing my possessions has had a profound effect on my headspace too. There’s just more room in my life! I mean, I’ve not gone *full* minimalist… but five pairs of footwear ain’t bad.

What have you been hanging on to for way too long that you’d like to let go?

If it’s your stinky old shoes, believe me – you’re doing no one any favours by clinging to those rank puppies. Do the compassionate thing and just put ’em down.

-Janice

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2 thoughts on “Just Put ‘Em Down

  1. Such a helpful practice even if you aren’t stuffing your life into one backpack and one suitcase. Looking around my living room I am tempted to start pitching shit. But maybe I’ll wait for your visit and you can coach me through it 🙂

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