This idea about simplifying my life and really paying attention to how I spend my time and money came about a few months back. I recently sold my house (which was a very tedious process – though I am sure in the future will not be so awful once the economy recovers) and, as part of preparing the house and having watched countless hours of HGTV, I knew that in order to make my house more appealing I needed to de-clutter and depersonalize the space. So I did. I packed away as much extra stuff that I didn’t use daily or at least weekly.
As I began packing, I realized how much stuff I have accumulated over the past 10 years. It just seemed ridiculous. So, I had the bright idea to have a garage sale. I learned I am not a garage sale kinda girl. So I took everything the next day and donated it. I figured someone could use all this stuff. Most of which had hardly been used. I got rid of pots and pans, dishes, glasses, clothes, shoes, book cases, a TV and DVD player. The list goes on and on. Months went by and the house was in escrow (till the buyer couldn’t get funded for the loan) and I needed to pack more and rid myself of more stuff. Needless to say I donated and gave away more stuff.
I then had to begin my search for a place to live. Let me tell you, it was quite difficult. I had a list of what I wanted and what I needed. What was important and what I could live without. I allowed for the possibility of having to get a storage unit and/or sending stuff down to Vegas to store at my mom and dad’s house.
The list: Dog’s allowed. That was number one. After all, Scrappy is like and apendage – he goes where I go.
I needed a place for my desk and computer, living room, bedroom, decent sized closet, parking and at least a 3 piece bath (shower, toilet, sink).
I wanted: to be close to UNR so I could walk or ride a bike to school when I go back. Also, close to work so that I could come home at lunch to let Scrappy out. A bathtub. I really wanted a bath tub. and preferably utilities included all for a low cost.
When I began searching near UNR everything I looked at was either too expensive or so small that I would have to put 75% of my stuff in storage – which would have been fine except the cost of the apartment and the storage unit was too much.
I eneded up at a regular apartment and was able to fit and store all my stuff. And it was more than sufficient.
Simplifiying my life came out of necessity to do so. But the more I think about how and what I spend my money on the less stuff I buy…or want to buy.
What do I need? Food, clothing and shelter. The first is the only one that is readily perishable and requires a constant flow of money. The rest is slightly more permanent.
I hope that I am able to become a more conscious consumer both with cost, environmental impact and squashing the desire to have new, now, and popular. I don’t need another pair of shoes, or jeans or accessory because it looks pretty. I don’t need more decorations for my already too cluttered apartment. I don’t need a new phone, or new car or even another curling iron. I want. And I am learning to distinguish the difference between I want and I need. It becomes dangerous thought and action when I equate the two.