For the longest time, I held on to things because I acquired them. I am a different person now. I don’t look at things the same way. I don’t need to own them to be happy. And while I am happy with myself, folks around me are not. I hear so many protests when I give anything away or refuse gifts. From friends, family and blog readers. I learnt that clutter is a very subjective term. To my friends, my apartment needs no detox. According to my father, we live a simple and good life. Somehow, when I talk about downsizing, I seem to trigger some sort of guilt or anger. And I hear the following protests :
*The living room from the TV show Friends. It was a big influence on me during my teenage years. Made me crave for an apartment in the city that is “well lived in”. Now that I look at it, its so cluttered. Clutter is a subjective word.
1. You are doing this to achieve empty white space as shown on Pinterest.
I do not want to live in an empty black, gray and white space. I do like a lived-in homes with lots of footprints. I don’t care for a Pinterest ready home. My mother is a Marie Kondo in disguise and I grew up in a home with the Kinfolk aesthetic. I don’t want the same for myself. I like my messy home.
2. It’s only for the rich folk with disposable income.
It does make it easier to donate things if you have a stable income. I have been following the plight of the Syrian refugees abroad and their thoughts on parting with their stuff. Its heart breaking. I acknowledge that. But beyond a certain point, hoarding tendencies have nothing to do with wealth. I lived on a student stipend for the last few years. I would put myself in the category that cannot dispose things mindlessly. To each, his own. Please dont generalize.
3. Its for the world travellers. Or nature lovers. Or tiny home dwellers.
There are too many stories of folks who sold everything, quit their jobs and travel the world. Some of us LOVE our jobs and the civilization as it stands today. I have no intentions of running away from my current life.
4.It’s all or nothing.
“I can never let go of my books. So I won’t get started” – dumb argument. We can take baby steps. If we want to simplify our lives, we need to lessen our attachment to things.
5. You have no value for money or things
Things have value only when they serve a purpose. Unused items are of no value whatsoever. After my years of letting go things, I can see better now. I take care of what I have. I buy less and better. I have new filters in my head.
I have met so many wonderful people who live a simple humble life in the last year that I am convinced that there are no wrong reasons to simplify your life. And it’s wrong to focus it all on – what to give away. It’s about what remains. And reevaluating needs. The first year of this effort was all about stuff that I shouldn’t have or don’t need. Now, it’s more about the quality of life I want to for myself. I understand that I can be a creative or a consumer. I understand the environmental impact of my actions. My ambitions shifted from wanting the latest gadget, the fanciest car, the biggest home in the suburb … to other priorities.