I love actsofsharing.com, where you can share all your stuff with your friends. I’ve been using this quite a bit and I think it’s great for many reasons, one of them being the organization of sharing. How many times have you gone to lend a book or a movie to a friend, only to realize that you lent it out a while back, but you can’t remember who you lent it to? I do that all the time. My neighbor asked for her movie back about a week ago. I had it, for about a year, and I had no recollection of borrowing it.
I decided if this sharing thing is going to be part of our lives, we need to have an organized system of borrowing and lending. I decided to set up a bin for all of the small things like books and movies. This way, I can keep up with the borrowed stuff and I have a place to make a pile of my “stuff to lend”. This way I won’t lose anything by keeping it all in one place.
We have an Ikea plastic bin in the living room to keep everything in. So far the system is working well. More intentional sharing means saving money, owning less stuff and building more community. Gotta love it.
I spent a few hours yesterday in my garage, again. I’m making progress and getting rid of a lot of stuff I don’t need, or even want for that matter. So this begs the bigger question. Where in the world did all of this stuff come from and why do I have so much?
Space. Maybe it’s because I downsized from 3,300 to 1,780 square feet, but that was 4 years ago. I took everything from my old house because I could, everything but the furniture. It wasn’t my style, so I gladly left it. The photo is of my ‘formal’ living room in the old house. A useless room that was used once a year at Christmas time. I loved the red walls, but I couldn’t take those. I hated the coffee table so much, I listed it in the divorce decree as the ‘ugly coffee table’ that he could keep.
I’m realizing the I don’t need this much stuff to live or to be happy. I don’t need to keep a lot, I don’t need to buy a lot and I don’t need to pack every inch of my house with stuff. My neighbor saw my master bedroom closet and said it’s the smallest she’s ever seen. It’s small, but it’s only about 1/3 filled, and that’s with the shelf I took out. Empty space is good. I want more of it.
Personal attachment. I don’t have many of these items. Some would say it’s because my heart is 2 sizes too small. It could be. I do keep a few things. My kids each have one plastic tote in the attic. I place items in there that are meaningful to them like their favorite outgrown toys or art projects. I kept one thing from my grandma, her turquoise blue double boiler pan. Useful, and it reminds me of her cooking french toast for me when I visited. It’s about the memories with a person, not the stuff. Continue reading