For the past year, I have been following The Minimalists and have embraced living with less to experience more. I still have a long way to go, but I think I have made a good amount of progress. The first step I took was to get rid of things, remove clutter and really only start buying things that were necessary. I sold some of these things online, donated them or, unfortunately threw them out. I found an old iPhone and an old iPod that were still in working condition (not sure why I needed new ones.) I sold those on eBay. I found name brand clothes and bags with tags still on them, I sold those as well. I had books that I never read or books that I probably would never read again. I donated most to my library, sold some online and gave some to people who would actually use them. We had an extra couch whose sole purpose was as a dumping ground for clothes. Sold that as well on Craigslist. In the end, most of that money was put in our travel fund. And I did all of this even before reading about Bea Johnson and Zero Waste or about Marie Kondo's tidying method.
I read Marie Kondo's book the "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" earlier in the year and immediately put it into action. I removed probably around 70% of the items we had in the kitchen and in the bathroom. What was I doing with a blender that had a broken pitcher, why did I need 4 boxes of Band-Aids (mind you, it's only my husband and me and we don't get into that much trouble), what am I going to do with all of these shot glasses that I haven't used and will probably never use. It's amazing how much stuff one acquires if we stop to think about it. Marie's makes a lot of good points about our stuff.
To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. And if you no longer need them, then that is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a cupboard or drawer that you have forgotten its existence? - Marie Kondo
Today marks the day that I have decided to sell my wedding dress. I saw it on top of the closet, in it's preservation box. It's not a fancy dress, but I have a slight attachment to it. How can I keep something that I thought I valued so much stuffed up in a corner collecting dust? I looked at it and it didn't give me as much joy anymore. What am I going to do with this dress, am I going to wear it again in the future? Am I hoping I have a daughter and she wears it? Will the memories from my wedding day disappear if I let it go? Of course not. In fact, it wasn't the dress itself that brought me joy, it was the pictures that showed my husband and I dancing the night away. It was us looking at our (digital) pictures and telling stories about that night. I asked my husband if it would be OK to sell it, partly for permission, partly to also let him know that selling it doesn't diminish what we have, our love for each other and our commitment towards one another. So today, I say "Thank you to this dress that fit so perfectly and allowed me to experience my wedding in the most awesome way possible."
It's amazing how much value we attach to objects when they don't share the same feelings towards us. How much effort we generate into the world for things? I hope someone else finds value in this dress and gets to experience the same joy I had.