In my last post, I talked about why I strive to live a minimalist lifestyle.
The trouble is, I have a hard time putting it into practice. (Shocking, right?)
I’m not much of a shopper or anything (I’m too cheap); my struggle is with letting things go. Once I’ve got something, I want to hang onto it for the rest of my life, in case I ever need anything like that.
(“What if someday I NEED a glass bottle that shape? What if someday I NEED an ill-fitting navy t-shirt?!”)
For that reason, if you were to walk into my house, I’m sure you wouldn’t remark, “Ahh . . . a minimalist lives here.” I have way more stuff than necessary, despite my habit of waxing eloquent about how more stuff is a burden.
Here are just a few of my points of hypocrisy.
- Our house has tons of storage space with closets on every level and a basement storage room lined with shelves. All of them are always full.
- I claim to be a barefooter, yet I own multiple pairs of shoes. OK, lots of shoes. Mostly sneakers. I own three pairs of Chuck Taylors alone! Who needs that many Chucks? (Incidentally, I own exactly one pair of heels which were worn once for about fifteen minutes).
- It’s true that I’ve hardly purchased a single baby item, but I did take every free item I could get my hands on, even if I already owned similar items. I still have most of them in my basement, even though I know I’ll likely never use them. I even bought a second used crib, even though we weren’t using the first one!! What kind of problem do I have?
- For baby carriers, I acquired no less than two pouch slings, one ring sling, one Moby Wrap, one Snugli carrier and one Ergo carrier. And I still kinda wish I had a mei tai.
- I’ve been putting all of Lydia’s outgrown clothes in a box and keeping them, even though I don’t know (a) if we’ll ever have another baby (though I hope so!); (b) if we do, whether we’ll have another girl; and (c) if we do, whether the clothes will be in the right season. All those variables together add up to a really poor case for hanging on to outgrown baby clothes.
- BOOKS. I own shelves and shelves of them. It’s an absolute waste of valuable space in our home. I’ve kept essentially all of my books from university though I probably won’t ever look at 90% of them again in my life. I hang onto them with the foolish terror that I might need to reference one of them again someday. And of course I keep buying new books.
- I also have a weak spot for kitchen utensils and appliances. I want to own one of everything. Just this year I added a Kitchenaid mixer, a pasta maker, and an ice cream maker to my repertoire. I still want a grain mill and stoneware. And I have piles and piles of Tupperware containers.
So there’s just a short list of some of the things I hoard, even though in theory I try to practice minimalism.
How about you? What kinds of things do you buy, collect or keep that you know you could do without? Why do you think you do it?
(Whenever I can, I try to explore my own failings and hypocrisy in relation to the things I talk about here.)