Gaining More by Owning Less

Spread the Sustainable Gospel!

Garage Sale – Minimalism | Recently, I’ve had less of a desire to accumulate and own, so much stuff. I notice my unnecessary amounts in every room, especially the kitchen. I have two rolling pins, three salad spinners, and two whole cabinets filled so full of plastic containers and lids that it nearly crushes me every time I open them. It also seems that I have a kitchen gadget for nearly every task you could possibly accomplish . Ask me how many times I’ve used that egg slicer, or that hotdog cooker (Yes, apparently it requires 5 pounds worth of metal and plastic to cook a tube of mystery material). I’ve let single task kitchen gadgets infiltrate my life the same way as I’ve let single use disposables. “Death to the unitaskers”, I say! I still have boxes of stuff from high school (nearly 10 years ago) that I haven’t even opened since the day they were filled. I also have enough bed sheets to fully dress 10 beds. Unless I plan on escaping prison by tying them end-to-end, I don’t really think I need that many. When and why did I get all of these things? I’ve fallen for clever marketing, I guess. I’ve allowed myself to believe that I need all of these latest and greatest items, when in fact, I don’t.

I wonder how much of my time is wasted dealing with stuff. I pick up the stuff, I clean the stuff, I rearrange the stuff, I stress about the stuff, I go to the store and bring home more stuff. Life is so incredibly short and I’m spending a good portion of it being a slave to all of these items that have filled and cluttered my life.We all want more time to do things for ourselves and loved ones, so why complicate life with so much stuff?

Since Garage Sales are a huge deal in the Midwest, I joined forces with a friend to host one of our own. Garage Sales are a lot of work! I’ve dedicated 3-4 hours a day for the past week to collect the stuff that I no longer need, price it, and haul it to my friend’s house where the sale will be taking place. Precious time dedicated to dealing with stuff.

 We opened for business bright and early on a Friday morning hoping to draw in some early birds. At this point, we didn’t care about how much money we could potentially make, we were more concerned about getting rid of everything. Even if that meant giving it away. Luckily, we didn’t have to give too much away considering our belongings were literally flying off of the shelves. Boy, were we relieved!

We opened again on Saturday for round 2. By the end of the day, we were both exhausted and several hundred dollars richer. Having the extra cash is nice, but I would have much rather had all of that time back than collecting my unnecessary junk and sitting in 90+ degree weather for 2 whole days trying to sell it.

I do feel like a great amount of weight has been lifted after I reduced my belongings, even by that small amount. It truly makes me feel lighter and happier. I think when you hold on to so many things, you almost hide behind a deeper need for something that isn’t tangible. With less, you have more time and money to invest in memories that are priceless. I always think about what I’ll be remembering in my golden years. Will it be all of those things I had in my house or will it be all of the cherished memories that I collected instead?

This is only the beginning of my journey to a minimalist lifestyle.  You are probably wondering what this has to do with zero waste living. I believe that, for myself, without a minimalistic view, zero waste will become harder to achieve. Not only will it prevent frivolous shopping and vast amounts of waste entering my house, it will freshen my mind and free up valuable time and resources that I can invest somewhere else.

7 thoughts on “Gaining More by Owning Less

  1. At least you had good company! I can only imagine it would have been worse doing it alone. I get that way. I have the intentions of selling, but I'd rather just donate it to get it gone. I can't wait until the house is super minimalist… roommates will most likely have to go… the dream will be realized someday.

  2. Yes, I always try to trick a friend into hosting sales with me. haha! I just can't work up enough motivation to do one myself. Most of the time I'm like you, I'd just rather donate it and wash my hands of it. However, since I was downsizing so much, I was curious if I could make some money to use on an upcoming vacation. 🙂

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