In a lifestyle that shows you the way to enlightenment via choosing experiences of things, believe it or not, I have stuff remorse.
When I listen to the mins (The Minimalists) go on about how they left the corporate world (I did the same) and sold all of their things (so did I) I am left with a question… did I do too much?
They downgraded from what seems like lavish lifestyles. Mine was generous to me, but not over the top. An industrial loft full of IKEA furniture and art I was into at the time. But man, I figured the way to true enlightenment was getting rid of ALL of it. And now I am sucking wind looking at the shell of a camper wondering how to keep my few things from rolling around, along with thinking how nice it would be not to have to buy a fork.
I knew I’d have to settle down eventually, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be for years. I had the inkling of possible #vanlife in my future, so I managed to save a few things that would be useful in that regard. However, now I am wistful I didn’t leave MORE in there. Seems crazy, right? We are all trying to downsize our stuff levels. I think in retrospect I assumed I had way too much stuff, when really, I didn’t. Now, here I am a few years later as I meander around an empty house. I had all the necessary things that I loved that would fill this house (productively, of course, ie, soap dispenser, picture frame…) but I thought that kind of stuff was adding to my ‘weight’ so to speak.
Now I find myself caught up in the intense world of consuming once again. I have been diligent in my methods, going first to people for things they want to get rid of, secondly to thrift stores, and if the item still can’t be found, I relinquish my quest to the almighty online retailers. I don’t have the budget to get well-sourced possessions, and I hate that I am contributing to the problem of crap into this world by purchasing it, especially when I had everything I needed previously.
What I’ve learned from this is the importance of not being brash when cutting out items from your life. Storage units have a bad rep with the assumption of a person not having the ability to control the number of things in their life. But I see it as an investment for your future. I can attest to the statement of ‘you never know.’ Instead of going thru and selling, donating, throwing away items you have, I think it’s best to invest in storage (even better if you have family or friends with extra closet space!) and reuse the items when you are ready. You can always sell, donate, etc. later.
This is all within reason, of course. I feel like a lot of people are on this same journey. The journey of taking a sabbatical from working life and diving into an exploration of what’s out there. That type of lifestyle is most enjoyable without the burden of things, but it’s not forever lifestyle either (for me anyway).
And I’ll tell you; it sure is favorable not to need to rebuy kitchen items for what feels like the 100th time. All in all, it’s a peculiar sensation to miss things, and annoying to think to myself, ‘why did I get rid of that!?’ But I am grateful I didn’t get rid of ALL of it. Moving forward, I find value in taking a long drawn out time to determine the possible need of things. No rushing needed, even if it was pretty satisfying.