Eliminating unnecessary things

Jan 14 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about eliminating unnecessary things.

This comes partly because it’s about time for me to Freecycle a few things (Freecycle being a local group of folks that email the group when they have something to give away). And I’ve been wondering, how much do I really need?

Now, that itself is a leading question. Life is not merely a succession of fulfilling basic needs. Technically, I don’t need many of the conveniences in my life, but they free me to concentrate on other things. It’s not necessarily wise to throw those out.

(Do I need a microwave? No, I could feed myself without it. But I’m not getting rid of it.)

However, I have stuff that exists to fill out a bookshelf. My stuffed animals, for example: I have half a dozen of them, and they crowd into a bookshelf. I like them. They look cute. But I don’t get any joy from looking at them, and they have almost no sentimental value. They look okay, but is that all I’m willing to settle for in my environment?

Moreover, I’m sure each one could be loved and cherished by some 8-year-old. Why not give them that experience? Why not do something else with that space?

And, of course, the same thing applies all throughout my environment. And my work — what am I spending time on now? How does this build me up, or build up those around me?

So I look at things to eliminate, and things to shore up. I’ll probably give away several of those stuffed animals, and some musical paraphernalia I never use, and a few shirts and slacks I don’t wear anymore.

I’d rather make a bold statement and live with it, than clutter up my life with stuff that, frankly, isn’t up to snuff.

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