Part 2 of the Decluttering Story.
Less stuff, more cash, more time… more satisfaction.
Definitely more boundaries.
I will be writing about boundaries…wow I am enjoying thinking about those and finding more all of the time. We have definitely put boundaries on our house, and on our possessions.
The relevance here is that by putting a boundary on our physical possessions, we have made room for creativity, for the things that are important to us, for our values. Now I sound like a minimalist, although I don’t look like one yet. 🙂
Once the mad frenzy of decluttering mainly to charity shops had slowed, we turned our minds to bigger things. Floor space. Wall space. Any space we could lay our hands on. Instead of continuing to lament the lack of storage, we have decided not to store. This decision has been hard. We are in this house for another 3 years, and after that will be moved to another house, somewhere in Australia, and it will Have. More. Rooms. But rather than think that we have to store things for 3 years, or keep tripping over them… we have now decided to audition everything into, or out of our lives. Now we are actually selling some of our storage. We have thrown away book cases, sold cupboards, a filing cabinet, and even toy storage.
Some of the things in this category have worth that we felt we couldn’t just give away’. Though giving something away to someone who needs it more than me, simply because they need it, has always been something I want to do.
So we are prepared to give things away but this time also knew we were going into different territory with some of these items. The best example of this is the Vintage Bass Amp. I know nothing about this stuff but my husband had one, and when we moved into this house it had only one place it could go. In the study on the third floor. It wasn’t going to be used in a gig any time soon. Pretty much this amp has turned into a millstone that we kind of drag along with us wherever we move to. It has moved house with us 4 times in the past 7 years. Finally we had The Conversation and my husband let me list it on Gumtree… particularly after I found out what they were being advertised for on Gumtree…
A useless piece of furniture became a fantastic find for the guy who bought it, and was actually going to use it, my husband said goodbye to his Navy Band days and we were able to buy a bunk bed in cash for the boys (after realising that a new bed would really help them with the storage and function of their room). We went from that early sale on to selling heaps of things. We have made $2,000 in about 7 weeks. Now we have a ‘Gumtree fund’ of cash that we can use to buy our kids swimming lessons… we have sold stuff we don’t need to buy skills for the kids that we DO need but can’t afford. We’ve actually chosen to sleep on the floor for a while because we did a room swap with the boys and found out that our bed was faulty, going to break sometime soon where it had been poorly made, and was suitable for the hard rubbish. I am not sure it makes us minimalist yet but it’s amusing to us anyway, that apparently some minimalists choose to sleep on the floor. 🙂
This rush on selling bigger things, being brave and getting rid of big wobbly book cases, saying goodbye to old instruments that have served us (and others) well… have given us so much more room. Even more. We have a study and music room where we were literally just storing everything previously. We have another room where the children can read books, practice instruments, and where my husband may even get to study during the next 3 years. Considering that is actually why we are here, suddenly our house looks like it is suiting our purpose and serving our goals.
And we are All. Way. Happier. The kids love decluttering, love selling stuff on Gumtree, we laugh at our pitiful attempts to hold garage sales… the last one was pretty good but it was nothing like this, and was way more work.
The key is not holding on to stuff. We have recently had as our goal: Owning less. Making room. So you price things differently because you want them gone. My bottom line is ‘this thing has to go’. If someone won’t pay the market value (who does, on Gumtree?) then I have to take what they are prepared to pay. These things still add up. $2K later, I finally get it.
The more money part? Not only did we make money for our fund, but we started spending less, and differently. This has made more difference to our finances than any other lifestyle choice we have made before. In December we had no money for food, or rent for January, or even Christmas presents. By the end of December we had money for presents, food in the cupboard, and rent set aside for more than January… without even touching the Gumtree fund. Some of this is fathomable, but mostly it is God’s Economy.