My wife and I are relocating and planning to drive across provinces to a new city taking only things we can fit in our van. In order to do this we’ve had to purge quite a bit of material (even though we both identify as minimalists to begin with ). On more than one occasion during this purge I felt that tang of regret thinking one of the following
- But I might need this in the future!!
- But I spent $300 on that!
- But there are so many memories!
- Why don’t I hang onto it until I find the perfect person to give it to?
One of the things I always try to stress to people during our minimalist meetings is that they need to focus on their goal, is it to recoup costs or is it to get rid of stuff so they can refocus their life? I understand totally the desire to make sure the perfect person gets your old used cross country ski’s…or that you just last year dropped $500 on something. In my case we are moving into a 300sq feet home so we have a really good motivation to remove as many things as possible.
I also somewhat believe in karma…I have given away quite a bit of stuff over the last week, many things I hand built or spent some good money on…but I also got gifted a pretty wicked bicycle that definitely makes up for everything gifted away. Sometimes giving things away pays back way more than the $40 you could have gotten from a stranger on kijiji.
My mother in law drove in today to pick up a piece of furniture that she wanted to “keep in the family”, a 1940’s dresser that her parents had owned and had always been in their household. This dresser has been bouncing around the family for decades and spent the last several years living here. I hope this isn’t that the following comment doesn’t come across as rude but I feel I should also point out that this dresser is UGLY.
Once my mum-in law came out and saw the dresser she became really truthful with herself and realized that this large ugly dresser was really just an embodiment of misplaced sentiment. She wasn’t going to use this dresser…it was going to sit in a corner of her basement and collect dust and then, in all likelihood, be tossed out by one of her kids when she eventually moved on to the next great adventure.
Remember…it’s not things that hold memories…at best they are just triggers to those memories…so…in closing…if anyone wants an ugly 1940’s dresser drop me a note…free…to a good home or I will drop it off at Earth General’s Free Store sometime this week.
*ps: it looks better in the picture…