Our culture of abundance and consumerism makes it possible (and "normal") to own more than one of the same object.
For many reasons, I want to be an advocate of owning only one of each thing.
In ascending order of size and/or value:
Own only one of each beauty/hygiene product. I'm like everybody else. I do find little jars of beautifully scented lotions, powders and other "beauty products" to have an uncanny appeal. Especially when said jar (or any other type of packaging - think individually wrapped soap bars) is pretty. Like everybody else, I also like a good bargain: whenever possible, I buy those items on sale. The consequence? Well, open your pharmacy cabinet or pull your shower curtain: you'll see. Most of us are "bathroom pack rats" in one way or another. How many bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel do you really need at one time? Do you sometimes have to throw sunscreen away because it's expired? Do you know how many tubs of lip balm/lipstick you own and where they are located? I don't know for you, but I'm tired of that kind of clutter. Right now I am gradually using up all those accumulated bottles, jars and tubs... and will not replace any product until it's drops from being all gone. Also: I will only replace the products that I really need. I will live my everyday life like I do when I travel: with only the products I use daily, and with only one of each.
Are you dealing with a similar "beauty product overload" situation?
Own only one couch, kitchen table, TV set and the like. This is mostly for family-bonding purposes. The more couches, tables and TVs you own, the less time you will end up spending with your family members.
Do you notice a correlation between the amount of time your family spends together and the number of those items you own? Is it any different when you go on vacation?
Are there any situations in which you could ditch the car and travel differently?
Own only one house. Meaning no cottage or summer home in the country side, and no pied-à-terre in a bigger city. To many, owning more than one property is not even an option, but to those who can (or think they can) afford it, please give it some thought. A second property means cleaning, maintenance, repairs. It doesn't matter that you are paying someone else (assuming you can afford that too) to do all the work. The responsibility is still on your shoulders. Plus, consider the alternative: the freedom of going to a different, new place with different, new sights, activities and people every time you travel. The wonders of discovery, the surprises, the excitement.
If you own a second property... do the advantages exceed the disadvantages? And are you getting outside of your comfort zone (as you should)?
Exceptions. Some things you might want (need?) to own two of (maybe):
- bathrooms: if you are a family of 4+ and especially if you have teenagers, 2 bathrooms will make your life more comfortable. It might not be a fundamental need, but it's nice.
- sunglasses: one sturdy, flexible, aerodynamic pair for sports, one trendy pair for dressier outfits
- watch: same as above
- purse: one for spring-summer, one for fall-winter
- bed sheets: same as above (if you live in a country that has very pronounced seasons - I like flannel in the cold months!)
- PJs: same as above
- towels: so that you can use one while the other one is being washed
- sets of workout clothes, favorite bras, bathing suits, etc.: same as above
- sets of dishes: same as above - for a family of 4, that would mean 8 of each item - I know I rarely use all 12 of my plates, forks and glasses at the same time!
Do you have any other examples I might have overlooked?
Please share any thoughts, no matter if you agree or disagree with the above!
WEEK 17 IN REVIEW
I was early for an appointment. Did not feel like waiting in the car. Walked into a store. Spotted a very nice pair of boots, price 25% off, my size. Tried them on. Liked them. Looked at my other pair of boots on the floor (the ones I had walked in with), not the same style but definitely the same kind: not too warm, laced, earth tones, ankle height, perfect for mild spring or fall days. Would the new boots serve a different purpose than the ones I already own? Absolutely not. Walked out in my old (but still perfectly fine) boots without buying a new pair.
My friend S, on the other hand, has been questioning her recent purchase of a short faux leather jacket. Her argument: she already owned a soft shell jacket that she used for similar temperatures (again, spring and fall). She therefore questions whether that purchase fits a minimalist lifestyle. However, she did not own a stylish jacket to wear when she dresses up. I think her new purchase was justified.
How do you determine whether an item qualifies as a need or as a duplicate of something you already own?
Donations (good riddance)
Small, gently used toys my kids are not using anymore are becoming the "prizes" I use when playing Bingo with my students. Up to now nobody has complained.
How are your children, parents or partner reacting to the idea of getting rid of things they don't use anymore?
Observations and cogitations
A reader commented that she hides things from her family, and that if no one has noticed or asked for those things in a month, it means they can be donated. If you are not ready to "play that game" with your loved ones, why don't you play it with yourself: hide things you don't really use in a box. Tape it shut. Don't list the contents anywhere. Wait a few months. Did not need anything that was in the box? Don't even remember what you put in it? Donate the box "as is".
Does that sound scary to you? If you decide to try it, tell us what happened!
What did you resist this week? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...
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