The problem with having a blog about decluttering is that people give me a hard time when I buy something.
Then I feel I need to justify the purchase to them and myself. I guess I’m not like most guys and I actually have always kind of liked to shop. It’s probably from growing up on a farm a hundred miles from the nearest shopping mall. Making a trip to Fargo to go shopping was a treat that usually happened only a few times over the summer.
Back then, I could spend hours walking around the mall and looking. Later in the day, we would go to my aunt and uncle’s house and have dinner which usually consisted of a large bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. How else do you feed a bunch of kids on a budget?
We had such a big family that sometimes there weren’t enough seats for everyone. I remember many trips just sitting on the floor in the back end of the Suburban or whatever we drove. On the way home from shopping I would be surrounded by the day’s purchases.
I still don’t mind shopping. I just don’t want to take my kids with.
Most of our shopping is done online now because it’s tough to find time to actually go to a store. Recently, I wanted to replace my stereo and DVD player. Of course my wife rolled her eyes until I pointed out that our stereo was about 15 years old and had no modern connections like HDMI or USB.
In the end, I bought a new stereo and Blu-ray player and was able to reduce the number of things I had connected since the Blu-ray can stream Netflix and Amazon. The old stuff will be sold or donated.
I guess you could call it the turtle technique to decluttering. Don’t buy extra and as you replace things be sure to get rid of the old. If you can reduce what you have, you’ll come out ahead. Slowly, as you send more things out the door than you bring in, you will see progress. I still think a large purge now and then is good.
Minimalism for me isn’t about living without things I love or never buying anything fun like a new stereo. With my new setup I can listen to a CD in the living room and stream Pandora out on the patio - and control it all with my phone. That makes me happy.
That and watching my teenage son try to figure out how to open and play a cassette.
My family uses Cozi for our calendar, shopping, and to-do lists. The best part is that it's free.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2020
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