If you ever feel like you don’t own enough I recommend a very simple exercise that I recently did myself. Pack all that you own into boxes (by yourself, getting others to help is cheating). Then load everything that you own (including your furniture) in to a van. Drive it somewhere else (preferably a couple hours away so that you have time to think about what is in you van). Then unpack the whole lot. Sounds like fun huh?
Ok, yes, most of the planet will refer to this as moving. Personally I call it appreciating all the stuff I own. I am very thankful of my good fortune; on a planet where people still go without basic necessities I have all of those bases covered. This process also brought to light all that I had and didn’t need. Seriously, my last two boxes I didn’t unpack for over a month. What was in them? Nick-knacks.
You read that right I have enough knick-knacks to fill two whole boxes, most of them were figurines that I had collected as a kid. It took me so long to unpack them because I didn’t need any of them. There were a few of the knick-knack that had special meaning, and some I made myself in the woodshop at school; but the vast majority were just things I’d accumulated.
To be entirely honest, though they were on display during my university years I never actually looked at them. The only time I really saw these things is when I went to dust, and having so much clutter makes dusting and lengthy and painful process.
On one hand I wish that I didn’t have all of this stuff sitting around. On the other hand most of my knick-knacks were gifts and I feel strange tossing them or giving them away. So what to do about this whole situation?
First I got rid of the ones that are worthless to me personally. They were, for the most part, donated. Second, I displayed what was left around my house so that they would, hopefully, be seen. Finally I have placed a ban on knick-knacks. No more are allowed to come into my house. Lets face it, they’re mostly a waste of money. You buy it, treasure it for a bit, and then it gets forgotten on a shelf somewhere until it breaks and gets thrown away. If I want a souvenir from a place that I’ve visited it has to be something that will be used (which doesn’t mean it can’t be decorative). For example I bought a beautiful table cloth in Germany a couple of summers ago and I get to sit and enjoy it with every meal. Have you got stuff that is a waste of space and money?