When I reminisce about visiting my grandmother’s house, certain images vividly come to mind. We would always split one piece of Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum. I would scrounge for candy in her avocado green candy dish. And I would wonder how I could use her Aqua Net super hold hairspray without gluing my hair in place for a week. I also remember how different her Remington Super 600 Dryer/Hairstyler looked compared to my mini portable hairdryer.
Photo Credit: Upcyclehero
That harvest gold 70’s style hairdryer still worked in the early 2000’s and I image it would work today if we still had it. Why? Because this almost 50-year-old hair dryer is currently listed for sale on eBay and Etsy. Consumer goods were made to last back in the day!
Time and time again, newer and updated versions of, well…pretty much anything, seem to last a fraction of the time as those consumer goods made prior to my lifetime. I’ve personally gone through no less than seven hairdryers in the last two and a half decades while my grandmother used her one and only Remington. My clothes iron has been replaced at least four times in the last decade. My husband and I are on our third lawn mower. The examples are endless and they confirm my suspicion that consumer goods aren’t made to last as long as they were in previous generations.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because every item you bring into your home has a lifecycle. Every item that enters your home must eventually leave.
Sometimes the lifecycle is obvious. Like when your 4-month old hair dryer breaks for no apparent reason. Grrrr…
Other times you just want to update furniture because that 1970’s avocado green and harvest gold (or the trends and colors from last year) don’t fit your decor anymore.
When the newest gadget comes out, it’s easy to convince yourself that the older version is completely outdated!
It’s time for clothes to be removed from your closet when you outgrow them…or when you lose weight and never want to go back to that size. Faded, ripped, or out of style clothes need to go too.
The thing is, most people rarely adhere to the life cycle.
Yes, we are quite aware when items break. We notice when items go out of style. We might even replace those broken or unstylish possessions.
But what happens the old, broken, outdated, or updated?
At times, those items are unintentionally shoved farther back in the cabinet or closet. But sometimes they are intentionally boxed up, put in the storage closet, or sequestered to the garage because (wait for it…) we “might need it one day.”
We keep stuff indefinitely because it could come in handy one day.
Some things could be repurposed. Or they could be used for a costume party. Perhaps they could come back in style. Or they could be worth something one day. I mean, if that harvest gold Remington Super 600 Dryer/Hairstyler can be sold 50 years later on eBay, then maybe it’s worth storing in the original box for a few decades.
All of those reasons could actually come true. Yes, they could. But it’s not probable. Even on the slight chance that a few items could have been worth keeping, storing all those extra items cost you much more than in the long run.
It’s costly to keep things you don’t need.
And that cost is greater than you think.
What is the cost of storage?
When your current home is full, you might be tempted to buy a bigger (more expensive!) home. Transporting all that stuff you don’t use adds to moving costs as well.
Perhaps you would rather just rent a storage unit instead of upgrading homes. That certainly increases your monthly expenses.
Even if you’re able to keep everything in your own home, those possessions are still “renting” space that could be used to keep your regularly used possessions visible and organized.
What is the cost of disorganization?
When was the last time you just knew you had that thingymabob somewhere? You put it in a place that you wouldn’t forget. But when you needed it, you did forget. You misplaced it and had to buy a replacement. Then, of course, you found the old one a few days later.
Owning less makes it easier to find what you need when you need it.
Plus, when you have less to organize, it’s easier to keep organized. In fact, it’s pretty effortless. There’s no need for costly storage containers. Or fancy closet organizers. You can place one item on a shelf and put another item next to it. No more squishing, pushing, or containerizing to store it all.
What is the cost of lost time?
The average person spends 30+ minutes a day looking for misplaced items. A few minutes here, a few seconds there, that time adds up quickly.
Finding what you need is quick and easy when your possessions are organized.
How to start simplifying.
If you’re tired of being disorganized and are ready to let some of your clutter go, start simplifying. I know it’s easier said than done…at first anyway.
You can begin by getting rid of these 100 things (you’ll never miss them!).
Letting go of the easy stuff will get you started. It will get you used to throwing stuff in the trash. It will get you used to being generous by giving it to someone else.
You might find you like a simpler life and keep going. Before you know it, you’ll be getting rid of that harvest gold Remington Super 600 Dryer/Hairstyler you’ve been storing for 20 years!