A while back I published a post about dealing with unwanted stuff or, crap. A short while later a dedicated Not Buying Anything reader emailed us regarding her own struggles with stuff. I have received her permission to reprint her experience here.
I've read your post titled, "Crap" and comments at least 30 times in the past 5 days since you posted it. Your piercing words of truth resonate deeply with me.
My life and relationship with crap is changing radically as a result. The radical part is because it is being followed up with action... crap is leaving here on a large scale, more crap out than ever before.
Since reading your post I've sorted, boxed up, bagged up, and hauled out a whole lot of crap from my apartment. I've experienced everything you write about dealing with your crap on the large scale with which you've just dealt.
I've found it very difficult to drive up to a thrift store and leave my crap I had some of it boxed up to send to relatives because they said they want it. I've stopped calling and asking them because I hate how I feel sending my crap to add to their crap problem that they don't even know they have.
NO, I AM NOT going to try and sell my crap ...calling a thrift store that will come get it for free is the easiest and best way for me to handle larger pieces of crap OR I might post it on Free Cycle...but that sounds complicated...so maybe not.
'Damn if you do, damn if you don't is how it is with crap If you give it away (which is a lot harder work than we think even if we are just leaving it at thrift stores), then we are contributing to other peoples' crap problem. If we send it to the landfill, then we are contributing to that CRAP problem. I've had guilt about some of this.
I've read countless books and blogs on de-cluttering, organizing, right-sizing, minimalism, reducing, simplifying, small steps till its nauseating. Some books that I own only produced more crap on my shelves...and a reason to keep the damn shelves!
There seems to be a wild obsession to manage stuff. So many books and blogs to teach others how to manage crap in one way or another. Books on how to manage crap organize crap de-clutter crap decide about crap right-size crap minimalize crap reduce crap simplify crap store crap reuse crap repurpose crap what to do with your crap reduce the size of your crap so you can keep it in a smaller space. It makes me dizzy. It's an endless hamster wheel.
What the hell are we doing? I've just realized we've created a whole new industry to manage crap.
Are we compounding the crap problem by being obsessed with managing it?
Crap is a lucrative industry.
And if this isn't enough, I woke this morning with a sobering thought. I actually pay for insurance to replace my crap if it is lost in a fire, flood, tornado, disaster or if I am robbed. I have renters insurance! A.K.A contents insurance. My crap is insured!
I'm seeing this in a whole new light today! I got on the phone first thing and called my insurance agent to see how much my crap was insured for and how insurance companies calculate the value of my crap to determine my rate. Is it square footage of my apartment home? I was SHOCKED to hear I'm paying for insurance on THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF CRAP!
I'm tired of managing crap I'm tired of managing my emotions about my crap I'm tired of returning to my de-clutter project over and over again. I'm tired of small steps. Repeated purges. I'm tired of people giving me huge volumes of crap because they think I need it and they want me to deal with their crap by giving it to others. I'm just tired. Tired. Tired. Tired.
Small steps were good, a good place to start as I was learning what was happening. It is very useful to take small steps in many situations.
For me, the time has come when small steps are not enough. I'm sick and tired of endless purges that don't fully deal with the crap. I've drawn a line in the dirt. I've leaped over that line. I'm dealing with my crap on a large scale.
Ernie Larsen said "When your truth doesn't match your life, chaos exists." I'm beginning to feel harmony as I further de-crap my life.
I'm no longer calling it a de-cluttering project. I am now de-crapping my life, purging chaos. I'm not mad at myself so much. I am determined. I am determined to live as far away from chaos as I can. That means losing a lot of crap.
You and Linda have had something to do with this determination and the most important thing ACTION. I just felt I wanted to share some of my experience and how your blog and your own experience has helped me take action that I've not been fully able to take until now. Thank you.
Thank you, Terri, for making us laugh and nod knowingly at the same time. Like you we have come to enjoy the benefits of a major de-crapping. Hopefully your experience will encourage others to make the same leap into the liberation of simplicity.