Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Journey to Minimalism: Trading Up

Clearing out a big old house full of 6 people's items is a pretty daunting task, and I'd started to come to grips with the fact that I could not get it all done in a day, weekend, or possibly a year.  While I know that every little thing I do towards clearing our house is getting me closer to the end goal of minimalism, it is a challenge to stay focused and encouraged.

One of the main goals of minimalism is to cull your items to just the things you need, use, and love.  I am going to include a level of like in there, since you aren't supposed to love your possessions ;).  

But, as I was cleaning my house one day I thought-man I do not like this vacuum cleaner!!  It does not work very well and is falling apart.  I'd like to have a new one!!

Now, I'm sure you are wondering why a blog post about getting rid of things is also about buying new things.   But, guess what?  Minimalists do buy new things.  Yep, I said it.  They do!  

My next thought was, I don't want another cheapy vacuum, I want a NICE one.  Not, specifically, an expensive one.  Just a nice one.  I began to research what I wanted and came up with my choice.  Turns out, it was also an expensive one.  

How was I going to pay for the expensive one?  All the other stuff I didn't want!  

As I went through my house the question was-do I want this item or the vacuum??  Wow was that motivating!!  In just about a month's time (and thanks to a big Black Friday sale and my husband's anniversary gift) I was able to raise the funds for my new vacuum.  

While I was going through my stuff I began to realize that many times we find ourselves buying cheap little things because we can 'afford' them.  But soon, we are surrounded by a BUNCH of cheap little things when what we really want is the bigger item.  If I had just saved my money I could have purchased the vacuum years ago, instead of having to go to the effort of finding and selling all my other junk.

Sometimes minimalism is about letting things go, and sometimes it's about making wise purchases.  Either way, it means being intentional about the things you own.  Are there things you should trade up?  Consider using them as motivation to clear out the things you no longer want.

God Bless,


Erynn said...

My husband went to Guyana 1.5 years ago. He said the minister there, did not have a lot, but what he did have was quality items. It was encouraging to him to see a country without wealth such as USA but with good, quality items, not full of junk.

Alina said...

Trading up is absolutely a part of our journey to minimalism too. Just curious, which vacuum did you buy? I need a new one too :) My research points to a Dyson but they are so expensive! I hope you found a cheaper one that is still top of the line :)

Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Alina-I did buy a Dyson. I purchased the DC40. I was pleased to find it at 25% off during the Black Friday weekend. I purchased it on Amazon which also saved me tax, shipping, gas money and time :). It has been worth saving for.