This post is not about the “actual cost of things” it’s about the “mental cost of things”. I’m a fairly organized person, but I’m also a person who doesn’t like things to go to waste. Over the years I’ve accumulated items that others gave to me even if I didn’t LOVE them in hopes that one day they would be useful. Instead of being useful most of them just took up space and were a constant thorn in my side. When I look at these things, I feel “ugh…I should do this or that with the thing”. It gives me an overwhelming feeling that my To Do list will never end.
Over several months I started setting those things aside in the garage so that when our next neighborhood garage sale occurred I’d be ready. It didn’t really help because I still had to look at them daily as I hopped in my car to go to work.
Fast forward to a recent visit from my parents. For years I have wanted to divide my three car garage into a one car garage/work area/dog play are and a two car garage for my car. To do this, it was time to make a serious decision regarding my “garage sale pile”.
Reality finally hit me right in the face. This stuff has been “costing me mentally” for years. Now that it was in the garage, it was taking up space and still costing me. I’d still have to price all of it, take a day off work (because our neighborhood garage sales are on Friday and Saturday), and then sit all day and have people offer me a pitiful amount of money for my things. The math just didn’t work out.
What to do?
I decided to donate all of it. I wouldn’t get anything from it except the tax deduction, but I figured the time and mental anguish savings was worth it. It was a relief to take two full SUV loads to Goodwill. But, it wasn’t without some angst. I photographed most of it so I could have proof of the donation for my taxes. As I did this, I was so annoyed with myself and found it hard to get rid of some of it. There were items that were practically brand new. One item in particular had never really been used, but I bought it and realized it wouldn’t work for my intended purpose (and I was lazy and never returned it). The good news is that I donated it any way.
I’m using this harsh reality as a learning experience. Before I purchase new items I make sure I ABSOLUTELY NEED them. If I purchase something and it doesn’t meet my needs, I RETURN IT IMMEDIATELY, and when someone says “hey I’m going to get rid of this, do you want it” I evaluate whether or not I’ll ACTUALLY USE IT SOON.
No more things just because I don’t want it to go to waste. The “cost” is just too high.
Note: I have a ton more purging to do, so Goodwill will be getting some more amazing, practically unused items in the near future. The goal…EMPTY SPACES.
What About You?
Do you tend to gather items so they don’t go to waste and then find yourself not using them?