All this talk about decluttering. Everywhere people are clearing out their stuff, emptying their closets, their kitchen cabinets and storage.
There are TV shows where people can get help from a professional doing this. Participants stand on the sidewalk next to 150 garbage bags of stuff that they no longer need. Proud smiles on their faces.
Then what? What happens with all the things? Just because you’ve cleared out your stuff doesn’t mean that it magically disappears. It just adds to the already gigantic pile of garbage that we in the Western world are going to have to deal with sooner or later.
Then what? Is that new lifestyle sustainable? Or is clearing out the clutter just an excuse to buy new things?
Decluttering is the new diet. And as with all diets, you may lose those pounds before summer season starts, but when autumn comes you gain them again along with a few extra.
A new lifestyle can only become sustainable if you’re fully committed. You need to decide how to handle Black Friday and other sales and commercials that will be coming your way. You need to think about what to do when that urge to buy a new pair of trousers arises. You need to stop and think and not just act on impulse. You need to have a plan.
The question that no one is asking in the midst of all this decluttering, is why do we have so much stuff, to begin with? Why do we have this urge to constantly buy things? We redecorate our homes. We buy new clothes even though the old ones are not yet worn out. We buy the latest tech gadget.
Why do we buy all these things? Because we can. And even if we can’t, we just add to our credit card debt.
We’ve created this new hobby, shopping. We go shopping even though we don’t really need anything. Mothers take their daughter’s shopping as a way to socialize. Online we can buy things whenever we feel like it. After a glass of wine on Friday evening, we tend to buy even more not really needed items.
Will it ever be enough? It’s up to you to make that decision. No one else can make it for you. But maybe next time you’re standing in the store, that new sweater in hand, maybe you could stop for a while and consider if you really need it or if it’s just something that you want.