Need to want less

My shipment has arrived and come tomorrow morning, there will be 4 boxes of stuff on my doorstep, each weighing 30kg. The horror! Never have I been so fearful of my own possessions. I look around my room tucked in this humble city apartment and I’m washed over by a sense of consternation. Where on earth am I going to store 120KG of stuff in this space constrained room? How did I manage to spend so much on a bunch of stuff I don’t need? Do I really need another wooden jewellery box on my already clustered shelf? And what the hell am I going to do with a porcelain deer head?!

After years of shifting between apartments and traveling between cities, I finally realize how much junk I’ve managed to accumulate. Being sentimental doesn’t help with reasoning between needs and wants. I’m inching on the edge of being tagged as a serial hoarder. The first time I moved to Melbourne was at 13, when my prized belongings consisted of a No Doubt poster, CD player and a pair of black leather pants. Life was somewhat simpler then. Cut to me 10 years later and Ive managed to drown myself in my own possessions.

It’s high time I learn to stop allowing my possessions to possess me by moving away from materialism and start living in a more minimalistic space. How quickly we buy and replace stuff simply because we deem them outdated (this holds especially true with technology based gadgets). We’re reluctant to part with our replaced goods because they’re still in good condition, and so it goes, this cycle of accumulation – piling on without letting go and before you know it, there’s 3 hard drives, a cupboard full of unused heels and 4 cameras sitting on a dusty shelf.

It’s going to be interesting when the boxes arrive and I’m forced to weigh up what I need against what I have. This checklist by Karim Osman will come in handy when I separate them into two piles – “Check” and “Chuck”

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself while cleaning up your belongings:

  1. Do you deserve a place in my home?
  2. Will you make my life easier?
  3. Do I have a place to put you?
  4. Will I want to keep you forever (or at least a very long time)?

If the answer is NO or you doubt, it means you need to get rid of that particular item. If the answer is YES, then make sure you use the ‘one in, one out’ rule. When a new item comes in, an old one goes out. This way you keep your home clutter free. Ones you’ve cleaned up your stuff, give it away to someone who really needs it or bring it to a charity organization.

We live in a beautiful but materialistic world. Don’t overdo yourself and keep this in mind:

I live lightly and gracefully, with only the objects I find functional or beautiful.

In light of this topic, I’ve included a series of want vs need posters. A rather humorous take by Recovering Lazyholic!

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