I love books. I’ve been a bit of a bookworm for most of my life and I’ve amassed quite a collection of books. For the most part though I would read the book once, or sometimes not at all, and then it would sit on the bookshelf collecting dust. There was 2 large bookshelves full of books, I estimated over 300 books in all. Now they’re all gone, all apart from a few travel guide books and a series of 7 books that I started reading in my early teens and still read to this day. The bookshelves are gone as well.
It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I felt it was necessary. They weren’t in the way and I didn’t think of them as clutter, but they were always there, a reminder of the books I needed to get to, or the books I hadn’t yet read. More importantly though, I began to realise that just because I no longer enjoyed those books, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. There might be someone out there who would really appreciate and enjoy those books.
A while ago I was cleaning out the clothes in my wardrobe. Getting rid of any item of clothing that I no longer wear for whatever reason. Some of them didn’t fit quite right, or I didn’t like the colour, or some of them I just didn’t wear anymore. I was putting my Wallabies Rugby jersey into a bag to donate and my wife was shocked at what I was doing. “You’re giving your Wallabies jersey away!?”. I thought about this for a moment, but the decision to donate the jersey came down to this. I no longer need or appreciate this jersey, but somebody else out there might really love this.
The process of getting rid of these things has also re-framed the way I think about buying new things. “Do I actually need this thing? Will it add value to my life?” Almost all of the time, the answer to these questions is a big “no”. I feel it’s also important to not blame yourself for buying those things in the first place. When you purchased that thing, you probably thought you really needed that book on barbecuing meat or that Spice Girls CD would bring you joy, (it was my wife’s, not mine I promise), and that’s ok.
Getting rid of the unnecessary things in my life has made a surprisingly eye opening and positive impact. It’s not an easy or quick process, but it is life changing.