‘It’s important to own your things, and not to let your things own you’

~ Stephen Humphreys (aka Hub)

It’s week three of my January minimalism challenge, finding stuff to get rid of on the basis of one thing for day one, two things for day two etc.

In my last post, I highlighted the ways in which I had reached the 15 day milestone.

This week, for days 16-22, the challenge was to find 133 things to trash, donate or sell.

This proved to be both easy and hard.

I decided to get to work on my jewellery box.  I have accumulated a vast collection of lovely jewellery over the years.  Here’s my tray of earrings for example, all carefully sorted into colours, earring types etc.

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The trouble with this?  I could not see the proverbial wood for the trees.  Even though I have had all this choice, I have increasingly tended to wear just one pair of simple silver earrings in recent years.

So this tray was an ideal candidate for the minimalism treatment.

The Minimalists say that “minimalism is not about deprivation: it’s about finding more value in the stuff you own”.  When I started sorting through all these earrings, I found many beautiful things that had got buried and forgotten.

After some careful sifting, the result was this:

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I now have a small number of earrings that I really want to keep and, yes, will actually be able to wear.

I also have 145 items that I do not need or want.

Happily, I discovered that The Alzheimer’s Society has a jewellery recycling scheme.  I have already sent off for my envelopes for posting everything to them.

Deciding what I wanted to keep was simple.  But the overall process was by no means easy.  I had to deal with overwhelming guilt and shame.  I was disgusted with myself for wasting money on all these pointless things.  I felt devastated that I had that small but lovely collection of earrings, many of which Hub had given me, that I had completely forgotten about and had not worn for years.  It seemed so ungrateful, so profligate.

But dwelling in the past over things one has or had not done is pointless.  I have worked on forgiving myself and moving on.  Focusing on the here and now, I can be pleased that I have, albeit belatedly, realised the importance of owning only those things which bring genuine pleasure and/or are of useful value.

I’d like to give a big thank you to my wonderful husband for all his understanding, support and love, all of which are unconditional and not tempered by my (former) spending and hoarding habits.

I am incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful marriage.  Love is, of course, the only thing that matters in the end.

 

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