Experiences > things
For as long as I can remember I've loved to declutter my stuff. That feeling of suddenly feeling lighter and more organised is addicting to me. I can still remember in my childhood bedroom gathering toys to sell at the local boot fair and my Mum would rapidly unpack them because 'that will be valuable one day' or 'I can't possibly get rid of this, I used to love it!'.
My lovely mum, in my opinion, was a bit of a hoarder. I imagine a lot of people her age probably are. They grew up in a time when discarding their hard earned possessions would be unforgivably wasteful. Now though things are cheap and disposable. Everything is available to us should we have enough desire for it. That's the problem.
Every Sunday my Mum and I would visit the local boot fair where she'd buy vases, spare sets of crockery, electricals, all sorts for next-to-nothing (she was a truly incredible negotiator!) but when she passed away in 2011, those things remain and my Dad has been at war with the clutter ever since. He's slowly starting to win, but it's been a stressful fight.
I think that is why I've always been very careful about what I let into my home, but more so recently. I read Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' last Summer which I followed up with a number of 'minimalist' type blogs and decluttering videos on Youtube.
The single golden rule I learned was to only buy or hold on to something if;
1. You have a genuine use for it
2. It brings you joy
The more I evaluated and simplified the things I owned, the more I came to realise that 'things' really aren't important to me at all. When I'm at the end of my life (as morbid as that thought may be..), I won't give a second thought to the items I finally crossed off my wish list, and I'm sure my Mum never thought once about her boot sale bargains. What will have made my life feel full is the people I spent it with and the memories that we made together.
That's why for me, experiences will always be more meaningful than things - traveling and spending time with the people I love and documenting the memories we make together, or working on a passion project - those are the things I'll look back on with joy.
I'd love it if you could leave me a little comment letting me know how you evaluate and prioritise what's most meaningful to you, x
(Photo taken in Venice)