I am beginning to understand that 75% or more of the things I own hold no value to me.
Candles, jewellery, clothes, shoes, bags and miscellaneous products.
I own an absurd amount of the above.
I could clothe an entire all-girls school with my wardrobe at home. Not to mention all my stuff scattered throughout the globe. All the things I left in Boulder, CO and Raleigh, NC. The two suitcases and three duffle bags I have waiting for me in Switzerland.
No matter where I am, I always end up with more things than I know what to do with. That realization sparked some serious reflection.
Why are things called valuables and what does that mean to me?
By definition: a thing that is of great worth, especially a small item of personal property.
How many valuables do I actually own?
I am surrounded by things that hold no value to me. Stuff that is just there. Cluttering my life and getting in the way. The month of January hit me with three important moments:
1. My best friend was jetting off to Florida and Mexico for two weeks. She packed her belongings in a backpack. A small, personal, carry-on backpack. In all my travels whether short, long, near or far, I have never, EVER, traveled with one suitcase. Let alone a carry-on backpack.
Huge moment of admiration for that girl.
2. I watched the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. Whoa. Watch it as soon as you can. If you are anything like me, it could prompt a clean sweep of your life. These two dudes, among many others, are on a mission to live a more meaningful life through the art of letting go.
What would life be like with less stuff and more meaning?
3. I misplaced things over the break. Nothing new. I tend to lose things. Everything from five different lip balms to the one house key I was responsible for. I usually chalk it up to my personality and feel doomed in that sense.
But, maybe I have too much stuff that means nothing to me. Keeping tabs on 100 different hair ties or four pairs of mitts is hard. I also know that if I lose one lip balm, another one is hiding somewhere.
What if I only owned one? Maybe it would hold more meaning to me.
I started with my shower. Weird place to start, I know. I woke up with this revelation and went in the shower to find four different kinds of shampoo, two conditioners, body wash and scrub, soap, a loofa and a cloth. I knew something was wrong. I looked around and thought:
I need one shampoo and conditioner. In fact, I could become more of a minimalist and purchase a two-in-one shampoo. After throwing away all the unnecessary products, my shower looks bare and it is refreshing.
I am in the process of my room and it is overwhelming. Getting rid of stuff is not hard. It is draining and exhausting to see just how much stuff I have to give away.
Naturally, thoughts creep into my mind...
"Maybe I will need this super tacky jewellery and outfit for Halloween or a costume party."
"I think these headbands and three-pronged curling iron might come back in style one day and I want to be prepared!"
"I hope I find the missing partner to these 26 single socks."
No, Megan. Just no.
After one month into the new year, I feel like I finally set my first lifestyle change. I am going to stop holding onto things that hold no value to me. This includes everything from a cheesy coffee mug to relationships.
I am going to stop assigning meaning to certain valuables unless they intrinsically hold it. My alarm clock and toothbrush will always hold value. But again, I do not need four different toothbrushes in rotation.
One will suffice. Things are just things.
I whole-heartedly believe that not only will my life become less cluttered and my brain a little less scattered, but maybe I will begin to let go of things much bigger than my personal valuables.
I vow to stop holding on.
God, that feels good.
** The photos at the top are of my meaningless things. I will be donating it all to those in need.