My relationship with STUFF has changed a lot in the past few years. My mom even referred to me as “kind of a minimalist” the other day – something I never thought would ever come out of her mouth but in reflecting, I have to agree. I wanted to do a post highlighting the “then and now” of my relationship with stuff – shoes, clothes, jewelry, home decor, furniture, hand me downs, and all that.
I don’t like stuff.
THEN: I used to be a borderline hoarder. I would go to auctions and buy and buy. I had so much STUFF. I had so many pieces of furniture that I might maybe someday sell or paint or fix up. We had two garages FULL of just STUFF and things. It gives me anxiety now just thinking of our garages and basement bursting at the seams with STUFF and JUNK. The clutter was so suffocating.
NOW: I am not afraid to get rid of anything. If it doesn’t have a place to go in our home, it’s gone. I don’t shop at thrift stores unless I’m looking for something specific because I’ve noticed I usually don’t use it/wear it and end up donating it back. I’m aware of everything that’s in our home, there’s no closets full of mysterious junk that needs sorting, there’s not a tote full of clothes I might wear again someday, everything we own has a purpose and a place.
I don’t buy stuff.
THEN: I used to be able to walk around Target and fill up a cart of stuff in an hour and call it “me time.” I would stroll the dollar aisle, find yet another planner/journal I wouldn’t write in, I would get a new piece of clothing for everyone, I’d pick out a perfume, I honestly just bought so much stuff for no good reason other than to buy something.
NOW: That’s no longer appealing to me. Honestly, I don’t even shop like that anymore. I only do pick up orders at the “big box” stores like Target and Walmart so I’m really intentional about what I buy and I can see my entire cart before I make the purchase. I can’t remember the last time I just went to Target to kill time.
When I buy stuff, I buy nice stuff.
THEN: I would buy anything for cheap! I’d go to thrift stores and not even try clothes on because “hey, it’s only $2.00, who cares if it doesn’t fit when I get home?” I would be content with buying a cheap shirt that I knew wouldn’t last through the washing machine because hey! it’s cheap! I was for sure a quantity over quality girl.
NOW: I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a brand snob. At the beginning of the school year, I bought Carver a pair of Wal-Mart tennis shoes. In weeks, they were falling apart. Every once and awhile I’ll try to buy a lower quality item for a bargain and I’ve usually ended up regretting it or it doesn’t last. I am officially a quality over quantity. It’s served me well thus far, especially when I’m buying name brand like Carhartt, Nike, Sorel, Columbia, etc. You can find my FAVORITE Columbia Omni Heat Vest here. I wear the XL for reference – I like it a little loose.
When I buy stuff, I wait for it.
THEN: Impulsive was my middle name. Auctions were the WORST for me. The sense of urgency and scarcity is bad for me. I’d spend way too much money just to make sure I could get it and buy it.
NOW: Long gone are the days of impulse purchases. I recently bought a North Face jacket – I’ve researched and decided on the style, I’ve saved the money, I’ve watched for deals, and by the time I make the purchase, I’m confident in my decision and have no problem handing over the extra money.
When I buy stuff, I’m intentional.
THEN: I remember I would find a shirt I liked at the store and I’d have this need to buy three of the same shirt in a different color. There was a scarcity mindset of “this is the only shirt that will ever look good on me I need them all!”
NOW: I no longer operate on a scarcity mindset. There’s always going to be something for me to wear. Instead of buying 3 dresses to possibly wear someday, I find so much more joy in going and shopping for a dress for a specific occasion. That’s fun for me. Stopping and shopping “just because” isn’t appealing for me. I enter the store with a goal in mind (like buying a dress for so and so’s wedding or going shopping for a long cozy cardigan or a pair of shorts). The exception is one of my favorite gift stores in Decorah – Rendered Unique – I totally only go there to just browse without any intention.
When I buy stuff, I take care of it.
THEN: My carpet used to be made up of layers upon layers of clothes. It was embarrassing. I had the messiest room all through growing up and into my early years of adult hood. I’d throw clothes on the floor and then walk all over them without any thought.
NOW: I was wearing an outfit the other day and every single piece I had on, bra and underwear and shoes included, I’ve had for over two years. I take good care of my things. My room is tidy. My boys’ room is tidy. Each piece of clothing has a place. If it doesn’t fit, it’s time to get rid of some clothes. Containers are made to CONTAIN items. If it doesn’t fit in the CONTAINER it’s gotta go – like our dresser is a container and our closet is a container. I sleep so much better when my room is clean.
Tune into PART 2 tomorrow – I’ll tell you how I changed my relationship with STUFF and THINGS over time.
Check out my latest posts:
- PART TWO: STUFF and THINGS
- Part One: STUFF and THINGS
- Wacky Wednesday
- “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
- A Wild Weekend and a Manic Monday