Easter is round the corner, and if you have young children in your family, it is time for a present. Most children receive not only chocolate at Easter but also a little toy, preferably a tonne of toys as everyone is eager to please the young generations.
Thankfully, children have a quality that we rapidly lose with age: They are very good at decluttering. Most toys and other gifts that children receive will have a life expectancy of a few weeks to months before it goes inevitably in the bin or if forever lost under the sofa.
We, adults, are a little less good at getting rid of things that we don’t need anymore. Or even things that you have never needed in our entire life. Or things that we don’t like. Or things that don’t like us. Anyway, if you are one of those people who struggle with the meaning of decluttering, here are some important truths to consider.
We love things too much
People have a tendency to like new things. The word for it, as you surely know, is materialistic, and in a way, most human beings are materialistic. It doesn’t have to be cars. But everyone has pairs of shoes that they don’t use – a recent survey found that families had in average 39 pairs, do you really need that many? –, books that they don’t read, toys that nobody plays with, etc. In short, people keep too much stuff. This is the reason why your wardrobe and your kitchen cupboards always appear to be full. Yet, if you are honest with yourself, how much of it do you really use? Food waste is a direct consequence of buying things that you don’t need. Money waste is the obvious result that everybody tries to ignore.
One quality item vs. pile of garbage
It’s important to snap out of this over-buying phenomenon to stop wasting money and space in your household. The easiest way to get an honest overview of the situation is to make a list of everything that you have. Then add to the list everything that doesn’t work, or that you don’t use. Think of kitchen knives, for example. On average, a household has 7 to 10 kitchen knives – besides normal eating cutlery – but less than 1 good knife. If this is your case, you would be better off buying quality tools from a professional website such as www.chefworks.com, and getting rid of everything that isn’t fit for purpose. The same logic applies to your clothes, fitness equipment, DIY tools, etc. One good item is better than ten bad.
Put the self-esteem crap in the bin
At the core of the problem is the fact that most people tend to buy stuff to feel more secure. www.becomingminimalist.com has reviewed the main psychological reasons for compulsive purchases of things that you don’t need. There is an underlying hope that the new things will make you feel happier in your skin and your life. In truth, it’s likely that a new pair of shoes will not generate more happiness in your life, nor will it impress your social circle. The lesson, in the end, is to stop defining yourself through the things you buy. You can’t buy self-esteem from the shops.