I am soooo ready to downsize – to dispose of the bulk of my possessions. I’ve never felt this compelled to purge before and I’m excited to think what a change it could make in my life. My visit last summer to Puerto Viejo opened my eyes and left me embarrassed. Now when I read that 54% of the world’s population lives in poverty, I can begin to relate. In the Talamancan region of Puerto Viejo where we were, 80% of the families live on less than $2 a day!!
Now I certainly am not saying, I would want to live in poverty but, in all honesty, I must say that I grew to appreciate their simplicity of living. Their homes contain the necessities. When something of value broke, they repaired it. Here at home, I confess to not only disgarding broken items, I often will purchase a new item just because it’s a new style or color or … or whatever! How sad is that!
The real test is coming up — I’m preparing to sell my looms. One who doesn’t weave would wonder why I needed three looms anyway. No need to even go into that — the question is “can I do it?”
It’s such a slow process to go through ALL of your belongings, I think I really would prefer to scoop them up and pile them in a truck headed for Goodwill. Does anyone else get caught up in the mental game of “I haven’t used this in months…actually I don’t think I even knew I still had it, but I may need it someday?” I’m dealing with this by putting those particular items into a box or large bag labeled “maybe.” When the time comes to head into Goodwill, I’m usually so stoked to reduce the clutter that I find I can more easily part with my “maybe” items — but only if I don’t open the box/bag!
I remember once being at a large home school convention. The presenter of the class I was taking was also the owner of an educational store. It goes without saying that her presentation highlighted items from her own store. Several times she would remark, “I’m pretty sure we are almost sold out of this but there might be one or two left.” Well, you can be sure that when the class ended, the majority of the participants flocked to the vendor hall. I was one of the first to reach her booth and quickly and triumphantly scooped up the sought-after items. But then, just as quickly, I was struck with a realization that I had just been manipulated. I no longer wanted the items. In fact, after setting them down and leaving, I felt quite triumphant.
I feel the same sense of manipulation as I am trying to downsize. I feel like somehow the items own me rather than the other way around. I have found that if I approach downsizing in the same way as I did the sales technique that threatened to suck me in, I have no problem letting go. Even better, I get the same feeling of triumph.
So….I have two drawers full of kitchen gadgets. Many of which I don’t even know what they are or how they are used! Truthfully!! Do I really need a special gadget to peel garlic or zest a lemon? Will I get the same enjoyment from eating if I don’t have my special corn cob holders or grapefruit spoons? Will my life be different if I dispose of my pickle picker, bamboo toast tongs, or my spaghetti measurer? I think not, and I’m about ready to find out!
Heads up: You might like to check the Bellingham Goodwill store in a couple of weeks. Hear tell, they will soon be getting a new shipment of items guaranteed to entice the best of you.