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jca2's avatar

Are you currently trying to minimize your belongings?

Asked by jca2 (14978points) April 2nd, 2019

Due to the recent popularity of Marie Kondo’s books about tidying up, and just a general trend for minimizing belongings to lighten up our lives and lifestyles, getting rid of stuff and buying less stuff seems to be a common thing.

Have you gone though stuff to get rid of large portions to donate to charity or sell?

Have you done anything to minimize your belongings?

Are you trying to buy less?

or, conversely, are you enjoying shopping and collecting stuff?

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20 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I have been trying to minimize since before Marie Kondo was born. I have always been a bit of a pack-rat, so it’s really hard to get rid of something potentially useful. I used to cull by moving, but now I am mostly trying to not bring anything in.
Books are easy, I send them in boxes to friends who then read them and send them to other friends.

But damn, it is the fear of my life that someone will back a truck up to my house, break in, an unload the truck into my living room.
My dog doesn’t protect me from robbers, he protects me from reverse-burglars!

janbb's avatar

I think the Marie Kondo hype is ridiculous, one of those fads we are so prone to fall for. Any minimizing I try to do and I am trying has nothing to do with her but does have to do with the fact that I may move in future years and I want to cull my possessions as I can. I am definitely inclined to buy less tchotkes on trips and try to read most books from the library if possible. I do have trouble culling clothes and keepsakes but I make passes at them from time to time. I did clean out the garage recently and the attic a few times.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have done that my whole life. I currently have an Escalade full of furniture and crap to donate to the Habitat garage sale. And I have another load right behind i t.

zenvelo's avatar

I pared things last summer when I moved. Even though I only moved 50 feet, from apartment 1 to apartment 2, it would have been easier to move cross country.

I made a half dozen trips to St Vincent de Paul with old clothes; many trips to the library with old books for the book sale, and also hundreds of CDs.

And a lot of furniture left on the street for people to take away for free.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ That made me laugh! Don’t it always seem to go! Moving is a bitch, I don’t care what’s involved.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No. As it is everything that I personally own could fit into a couple of boxes and a couple of suitcases.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Every Spring I do a “do I need this?” and give what I haven’t used for two years away to a local thrift shop. Things I don’t need, but experiences I do.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know Marie Kondo, I will have to look her up, but yes I am in the midst of trying to get rid of some clothing that I will probably never wear again.

Last November we finally sold our business and trained the new owners, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to pack 90% of the paperwork into a box, and get rid of an entire table (2.5 by 5 ft) in my house that had catalogs on it, a printer, and stuff stored below the table too. I love looking at my empty space and blank wall.

I still have an entire bedroom full of boxes though. You might remember that I am in a much smaller house than my previous house, and we have not gotten rid of most of the extra stuff, assuming we will be in a bigger house again soon. I wouldn’t need to get rid of everything in there even to set up my current house well, maybe just 30–40% of what is in there would need to go. I probably should have done it. Or, sometimes I think I should have set up the room, and stored the extra bit in storage, so the house would feel uncluttered, welcoming, and comfortable.

I don’t buy a lot of stuff, I am not a shopper. I like a neat house, I don’t like a lot of nick knacks, I love to throw things out, but, I’m not naturally orderly. I hate filing and putting things away feels like homework to me, so I like having less stuff, so I don’t have to deal with the stuff. When I say I like throwing things out, I mean papers that I never needed anyway, like junk mail, and when I finally finish a cereal box, but I do get attached to many things, and I am not good at getting rid of those things. I’m sentimental about my dining room table, articles of clothing, jewelry, flatware, all sort of items that I think about getting rid of, but just can’t. Sometimes, it’s not just sentimental, but also a money consideration, thinking that if I ever need it again, I don’t want to have to buy it again.

I’m really glad I don’t feel compelled to shop and shop and shop.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t do it because it’s a fad. I do it because I hate clutter. Rick is just the opposite. He may hate clutter too, but he can’t resist buying new shit all the time.
We currently have 1 camper, 1 boat, 2 cars and 2 trucks that we’re trying to cram into our driveway somewhere around the 20 foot flat bed trailer that is gradually accumulating junk bound for the land fill. (99% of the junk on the trailer was put there by me cleaning up around the yard.)
The boat (and boat trailer) and one of the trucks were purchased this week.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: Marie Kondo is a lifestyle guru-type of current trend. She has best selling books, a Netflix show, website, and of course sells things and now has trainings to help others become organizers. She is from Japan and does not speak English so she works through a translator.

Her style of cleaning and organizing is you take each item, decide whether it “sparks joy” and then either thank it for its service and donate it (put it in a donate pile) or keep it.

If you look at Facebook, there are many groups for Marie Kondo. The nickname they have given her style of organizing is “Kon-Mari” which is a play on her name. People will say they’re “Kon-Mari-ing their items” or their doing Kon Mari this weekend.

On the FB groups, people talk about what has been successful for them in their various rooms, what items they’re keeping, what they’re throwing out, how they’re now organizing what they’re keeping, if they’re distressed at the thought of getting rid of something, and last but not least, they’re showing photos of what their houses used to look like and how they look now. The people in the groups talk about how their lives are so improved now that they are not burdened with all of the stuff they used to own.

I’m not doing Kon-Mari, but I am really trying to get rid of a lot of clothes. I have so much. I think I could get rid of 90% of my clothes and still have plenty, that’s how much I have. If I find something that is priced right, I might buy multiples. I am looking forward to having less stuff to organize and deal with.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 I’ll join one of the groups at least temporarily, I like to hear what other people had success with. I wonder if they have an organizing or Kondo club here where I live.

As far as clothes, I think I probably should get rid of 25–30%.

Jeruba's avatar

@canidmajor, can I send you some of my books in boxes?

Clothes are easy. I pack them nicely, clean and sorted, and rarely feel a pang to see them go. When I take them to a women’s shelter or give them to a friend who works with marginal clients, I feel fine about it. Some things are still new in the packages or with tags on. They are thrilled to get them.

It’s the books, the trinkets and mementoes, the reams of paper, and the good intentions that I find so damned hard to shed.

I do think about Swedish death cleaning and wish my mother had done that. So…shouldn’t I try?

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba A friend who was moving from a house did that. It took a long time but she was very happy to have done it.

(I’m kind of hoping I die without having to do it myself.)

canidmajor's avatar

@Jeruba, I’ve heard about your book collections…stuff of my nightmares! I’m trying to get them out! That’s one thing I like about my ereader. I can be profligate in my book spending and still not fill my house!

When I became estranged from my mother I realized that I no longer have to worry about her stuff, my sisters can do that. But I know that my daughter would rather I did a Swedish Death Clean before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yup, but not due to the person you said, WE got out of debt and plan to stay out of debt so we really think about what we buy and how much we need it and are going to use it.

Jeruba's avatar

@canidmajor, What? My book collections are famous? Nahh. There are well under three thousand, and I eliminate at least one or two every week. Sometimes I even remove one or two more than I acquire. (This wasn’t one of those weeks.) Would you like to come over and pick some out? Bring a backhoe and a wheelbarrow.

My father had ten thousand.

canidmajor's avatar

You can’t fool me, @Jeruba, I know how much “well under three thousand” is. I’m still struggling to pare down my “well under three thousand”. :-D

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba I think about the Swedish death cleaning also.

My dad buys and sells books on Amazon, he has about 5,000 books typically. He is MrBook on Amazon, that’s his handle.

He knows how to get rid of boxes of books if you want me to ask him for some tips for you. You might make some money. It doesn’t sound like you want to sell them online, I mean bring them somewhere or have someone come and haul them away for you. I don’t know if his tips will work for your location, he is imbedded in the industry where he lives.

I think you could do a garage book sale, and advertise it in the local paper, and lots of people will show up, including scouts. List it where libraries and churches list their book sales. I bet you get rid of half of them in one day. Organize them by category. Cookbooks, mysteries, historical fiction, etc.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Stuff flows through our household. Most of it is 2nd hand and when things are not useful, not needed or we find something better we either sell the items or give them to charity. A little clutter makes home pleasant especially if it is stuff we use, too much and I can’t stand it and we clean house of things that need to go.

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