I have been financially fortunate over the past 17 years. I have really not wanted for much from as early as my late teens. Clothing, fast cars and brands have come & gone with my disposable income, but throughout this period of my life, I have maintained one rule:
With every piece of clothing I buy, I must give one away. I call this the “ONE IN, ONE OUT” rule.
This rule has always kept my sneaker & t-shirt fetish in check. The rule has now started rolling over into every aspect of my life when it comes to my worldly possessions. Its nice to know that someone else, who really needs a pair of shoes, will appreciate them more than the bottom of my cupboard will. Its a simple structure that also makes me question myself when buying an item, as I need to know that I’m ready to part with an older item, before I can commit to the new purchase.
BUT something has started to happen. It relates back to this blog post which I wrote a while back. I have started giving TWO items away with every new one I purchase. I know that its not a sustainable system as eventually I will be left with nothing, but as a long term “un-cluttering mechanism” it works very well.
I will slowly eradicate the things I don’t use or need and slow down my incessant need to but new unneeded things. It also leads to me the discussion that I have briefly had with my mother, who lives alone. I joke that when she passes away, I don’t want to spend weeks sifting through the hundreds of random items and old clothes and deal with getting rid of all the junk she is unwillingly collecting. With my ONE IN, TWO OUT method, my life will be cleaner, greener and far less entangled and I love that. I figure everyone should go through cycles in their lives of over-consumption, excessive shopping followed by a slow down and eventual thinning out of goods.
Its possibly an age thing, or a wage thing, but none the less I’m at the point in my life where simpler is better and less is very, very, much more.