What Happens When You Outgrow Your Stuff
A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I had gone through my apartment and filled four bags with things I no longer wanted. Decor items, DVDs, and even books that I never looked at, watched, or cared to read again were picked up and placed into the plastic. But I didn’t sell or donate anything. Instead, I simply put the bags in a closet and shut the door.
Last night, I found myself looking around for even more items to get rid of. Probably the most surprising object in question is my book collection. You know… the one I said I could never live without? Well, apparently I can now. I took about half of them off my shelves a few weeks ago and, instead of missing them, have found myself looking at the leftovers and making mental notes about which ones I could still get rid of.
I could never part with what I consider to be the classics: East of Eden, The Alchemist, The Giver, The Good Earth, etc. And there at least 10 I haven’t read and still want to. But there are also shelves full of books I hold an indescribable attachment to. Why? Because I spent money on them? I’m never going to read them again and am almost embarrassed to own a few of them. So why do I continue to house them on my shelves and pack/unpack them through various moves?
Looking around my apartment right now, I can see that some of what I own is from my I’m-done-high-school-and-I’m-moving-out-with-my-boyfriend life (which, p.s., was a great lesson but one I would never repeat). The rest is from a time you all know as well as I do: the-breakup-doctor-told-me-to-live-alone-and-buy-whatever-I-want life. While I still like most of what I bought during that time period, I don’t feel the attachment to it that I once did.
There are pictures in frames but I don’t like the picture or the frame. There are candles I will never burn. Lotions I will never use. Full, decorative baskets that I can’t remember ever looking into. At one time, my own money (or credit card) was used to pay for it all. And now I don’t want any of it. I don’t know if I’ve outgrown it or if I’m finally realizing that I don’t need any of it to be happy. The only thing I do know is that seeing empty shelves doesn’t make me want to shop/fill them anymore.
Over the next week or two, I think I’m going to fill a few more plastic bags and put them in the closet with the others. If I don’t look for, or miss, anything from those bags in the next month or so, I think it’ll be time to say goodbye and move on.
Have you ever outgrown an item in your home?