Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Purging Some Clothing I Don't Use Anymore

Recently I've been feeling somewhat burdened with stuff that I don't use anymore... clothes, shoes, old gear, and other such things.  I've been itching to lighten the load a bit, but haven't found/made the time.  Last night, I finally committed, and packed up a bunch of clothes and some shoes to take to a donation center.

Some articles of clothing required a bit of thought before I tossed them in the donation box, but generally it felt good to drop stuff in there.  A lot of the clothes were things that are too big for me now that I've lost weight since going Paleo.  Dropping those items in the box felt like saying goodbye to the Kyle who needed to wear clothes that big for good.  I don't really care to spend my time or money shopping for clothes, so it gave me a small incentive to never let myself go that badly again.  Some of the other clothes are things that for one reason or another I hung onto, so I just got rid of them if I didn't see myself wearing them in the next 6 months.

I'm going to continue to purge other stuff in the coming days.  Perhaps even in the coming weeks.  It feels good to let go of things that others might find good use for that will otherwise be sitting on my shelf gathering dust.  I feel like it makes my life more nimble, and I also feel like I might be helping someone out who might need what I have more than I do.

The spark that lit this fire to finally donate/purge was the influx of items that came to me for Christmas.  I received a lot of really awesome gifts, but I had a little trouble finding places for everything without displacing something else.  I think after this purge, I might try to institute a personal policy that if something comes in, something else must go out.  Perhaps 2 things must go out.  For example, recently I've been thinking I'd like a messenger bag that fits my needs more readily than the big school backpack I have leftover from college.  But before I purchase the messenger bag, I think I'm going to try to sell my old backpack on craigslist or to a co-worker.  By the time I'm able to sell the backpack, I'll know for sure if I really want the messenger bag, or if it was just a consumerist impulse.  And if I really do still want the messenger bag after taking the time to sell my backpack, it'll make sure I don't start to collect stuff just to have it.  I'm excited to try this out and see if it results in leaning out my possessions to only things I use on a regular basis.

What do you do to keep your burden light?  I think that getting by with less can help you feel more free than if you have a bunch of stuff you never use.  When you have a bunch of unused stuff, you end up needing a bigger place just to store it (or a storage locker, which is a concept so ridiculously consumerist that I don't want to go into it in this post... but maybe someday).  But I wonder, why store it when you don't even use it?  Storage costs money one way or another, so it's almost like a continuous tax on something you've already payed for.  If you don't use it, why even have it? Do you agree, or am I just crazy?  Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts in the comments if you do, and thanks for reading!

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