I am sitting here waiting for the laundry to get done and going through all the stuff I managed to either recycle in a friendly way or give away. I think for me there are two central concepts to the process of lessening my footprint.
Minimizing. Lessening the total footprint of stuff you have, want, need. But for me its bound up with being happy with what is left and not feeling the need to go rush out and buy a thing I felt compelled to donate or give away. I like certain things and I like them in my life. Perhaps a few are luxury items and many are things which I appreciate it. I would not part with them voluntarily in order to have a more sparse lifestyle or to meet some anticipated future goal. I did go through clothing awhile ago and basically donated most of the wardrobe of crapola that I had built up. Gone were the collared shirts, the ties, the business coat, the white shirt, jackets I will never wear. I was left with a closet mostly empty and a feeling of empowerment because I knew then I would never go looking for another job or needing those particular items ever again. So minimizing here made a positive difference in the Mike life force.
De-Duplicating. My guilt spot. I somehow have gathered duplicate items such as luggage and some android phones and two cameras. These are all smaller duplicate items but they are still in the room. I also had two fans, two TVs, and a few other things. There are some things you have to have duplicates of though. Things like socks and underwear. I don’t know of a way to de-dupe those things. Then there is the electronic footprint and making every attempt to getting things on paper to Google Drive in electronic format so its easier to find later. Most of it can be PDFs but I love the photographs I’ve taken and luckily they all get sucked into the big Google Photos album out there.
Perhaps a final thing is the paper we seem to be over burdened with these days. Records and receipts and old checks and cards and envelopes and stuff. This is all crap folks. We don’t need it but we keep it. An envelope has no attraction nor do you need it. Old checks for a bank account or an address long gone can be shredded. Move it all to electronic means I say and use up Gmail for the stuff or save it off to Google Drive. Buying more storage is not an issue. Finding the stuff and making decisions about going or staying is.
Almost Final Point…
Now I am at a point where the things for the most part have been de-duped and minimizing things is a work for me. I don’t want to get rid of things wholesale but some of the things felt good to be rid of like multiple USB chargers, etc. i also got rid of cables and plugs and connectors and all that stuff. I had three laptops! Two of them left and one remained.
I now have two cameras and three or four phones. Two phones will go away and one is not worth anything at all so I will probably trash it. The second camera I am hoping my daughter decides to take. I think she would love the photography thing too and its a nice Fuji X30.
If you are going down this path because you are at decision points in your life or you know you hoard (hint: we all hoard) try separating the duplicate things in your life out from the minimizing things. Also don’t just give away things you love to have because you feel some calling to have more with less. There are things like travel souvenirs of times spent in India and Japan which are just doodads but they hold special places. There is a small gold stuffed animal on my desk which has traveled all over with me. Its been in Chennai India, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore. My daughter gave it to me years ago. Its value cannot be understated. It holds me to places and times in my past. Keep those things that matter so much. You will lose more than the thing itself.