Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cutting Down

One of the bloggers I enjoy reading, Riana, has been writing a series of interesting posts on simplifying her life and cutting down on her consumerism. She's calling it "A Slow Year".

I've been reading along and thinking how fabulous she is for doing what she can but that I wouldn't be able to do it myself. And then my parents called last night. They will be showing up tonight with my belongings that were left at their house in the years since I moved out. I own a three bedroom house and it's full. I have random pieces of furniture plopped in odd places waiting for the family room to be completed. The basement is so stuffed already that there is just a narrow path leading to the washer and dryer.

I've had enough. So I'm brainstorming on things I can do to cut down on my possessions.

First, I'm considering issuing a request to my family: no more nicknacks or claptrap. If it collects dust or takes up space I don't want it. If I can't eat it, wear it, or read (always an exception for books!) it, I don't want it. If I haven't specifically requested it, I don't want it.

Second, I need to tackle what I already have. Can I donate it? Throw it out? Return it to its rightful owner (namely mum or sis!)?

And third, organize what I keep. The piles of crap, they have to go.

I realize this sounds ambitious. I recognize it would mean actually putting forth some effort and pulling myself away from the Law & Order reruns I've already seen twice. But I can't live with boxes stacked in my living room. The time for action has arrived.


Jenny F. Scientist said...

I have to say, moving every year has worked wonders for my non-consumerist habits! It helps that my family and friends know not to give me anything big (scarves, money, food, books...)

Do you have a Freecycle group near you? Good for getting rid of unwanted things, even large. Salvation Army picks up furniture if it's in decent condition.

Good luck with the organization! I redid my sewing room a bit ago, and I have to say, shelving and storage boxes worked wonders.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Good luck with that.

My Friend Leaflady is moving, and by the way, in case I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm flying to California with her to help her move her cats. At the end of the month.

She's moving from a big big house to a trailer so she has to get rid of more that 3/4 of her stuff. She's been working on it for months and months.

She donates tons of stuff to the Salvation Army etc and also uses FREECYCLE. She won a shoe from The Prairie Home Companion Movie opening and she gave that away through Freecycle to someone who was very happy to have it--I was there when the new owner came for it.

Good luck.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

ISn't Riana the one who is getting rid of ONE THING A DAY? (Or am I thinking of someone else?)

You could do that, couldn't you? One or more things. It then end of a year, you'd have 365 or more fewer things.

a/k/a Nadine said...

She won just a single shoe? That's odd.

I've never looked into Freecycle. Something to think about.