It’s the day after thanksgiving here in the states. A lot of people call today “black friday”. I know other countries have similar days where stores open super early and have big blow out sales.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts you may have already assumed that I don’t shop on black friday- and I don’t. This doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t or that I am judging people that do. It simply means that, personally, I don’t want to participate.
I worked in retail from the age of 17-21 and I worked black friday each of those years. My shift would be 12 hours long and I would work the cash register or do my best to control the hoards of people in the store. Now, I can only speak from my personal experience (and what I’ve heard from friends and major news outlets) but shoppers on black friday are mean. I once watched a mom rip the last medium size sweater from a young shoppers hands while yelling, “I SAW THAT FIRST!”
That makes me so sad. Black friday in general makes me really sad. We don’t need more stuff.
Imagine if all of us got together and took the money that we were going to spend on black friday and gave it to our favorite cause. Imagine hoards of people rushing to help others rather than rushing to buy another TV at an 80% “discount”. (Discount is in quotes because most of the deals you find on black friday will still be available until christmas day).
Simplifying my life and decluttering my stuff was not easy. I did not do all of it in one day. It has taken me months to get to the place I really want to be- and I’m still giving things away! Through the process, however, I had an immediate mindset shift. After reading Marie Kondo’s book and More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger, my happiness no longer comes from stuff.
We have so much. We have an extreme amount of excess. What I have has become enough for me. The difference between more “stuff” and the items that currently surround me (that have made it through numerous rounds of purging and donations) is that the items I own now spark joy in my heart.
It is such a beautiful and thrilling experience to walk into a house each day where I am surrounded only by the things that truly spark joy. Being surrounded by hundreds of books may spark joy for one person, having tons of makeup and a nail polish collection may bring happiness to someone else. It’s not the type of stuff or the exact amount that matters. What matters is picking up each item you own and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
I won’t go into too much more detail about the decluttering process because I could never explain it as well as The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you don’t want to purchase the book there are tons of articles and YouTube videos explaining the process!
I am not suggesting that everyone has to stop buying things and become a minimalist right now! I am suggesting that we all take a look at the stuff we have around us and say, “Enough.”
Apart from my mindset shift and feeling lighter, I have experienced some other amazing benefits from deluttering and saying “no” to more stuff.
I have so much more time. I used to spend so much time taking care of my stuff. Organizing it, washing it, cleaning it, storing it. I have so much more free time now (that’s how I had time to start this blog)! I have more money. As a graduate student I didn’t have a ton to begin with, but now I have more! I have more to do the things that are really important to me. I have enough to donate monthly to the Humane Society, Farm Sanctuary, and WMRA(NPR).
I hope this is helpful. I hope that I’m not alone in feeling bogged down by stuff.
I thought it might be nice to show you all what my bedroom looks like with less stuff. I wish I had before and after pictures! If any of you decide to declutter PLEASE take before and after pictures! You can share them here in the comments, or just keep them to see the transformation. Either way, my only regret is not taking before pictures.
Without further adieu, my room. (Scroll over pictures for item details)
Bonnie Rae xx