The question we all struggle with from time to time is how to decide if something is worth keeping.
Do we look at setting rules for ourselves and specific numbers of things we should keep?
For instance: only 20 pairs of shoes or less?
Or do we decide based on the quality of the item and its usefulness?
For instance: I go hiking, running, scuba diving, swimming, biking, and mountain climbing*. Therefore, I need gear and equipment for each activity.
So I may have more than 20 pairs of shoes in the end, including shoes for work and my personal life, but they all serve a purpose.
*All a myth. I only hike or bike. I don’t do any of the others, and I would only have special hiking boots. That’s it.
Personally, I’m in the second camp. I decide based on the quality of the item and its usefulness.
Once it doesn’t become useful any longer, I don’t bother with it. I donate it, give it away, or sell it.
I also base my purchases on buying quality over quantity. Time and time again, BF (and I) have been burned buying slightly cheaper quality, only to end up buying the better stuff later.
I hate wasting money like that, so it makes me a really careful person when I buy anything.
If I have a purpose for it, I keep it.
Even if others think I’m crazy.
CASE STUDY: Do I need 4 computers?
Yes. I could get by with just one. Hell, NONE if I’m being truthful, although that’d be kind of hard as a blogger.
But I really do have a purpose for each that I* deem useful.
- Macbook — To test on another OS other than Windows, especially with blog themes and layouts
- Sony Vaio i7 — My main laptop I work on and work with
- Dell Inspiron — I use this to never touch the internet and to keep my ledgers and confidential info**
- Netbook — I use this when I travel. No one wants to lug a 3-4 pound monster around.
*I, me and myself. You might think: Damn this girl is crazy! But it’s what I’m willing to lug around, use and keep.
**Call me paranoid or stupid, but the internet browsers you use, take snapshots of your settings. And who the hell knows what Microsoft puts on your computer (or any other OS for that matter) that sends special updates or scans of what you have to their own databases?
CASE STUDY: Do I need 20 pairs of shoes?
No. I don’t.
Check out my 21 pairs of shoes.
I could get rid of about 2-3 pairs right now, perhaps even get down to 15 pairs.
But this is where the struggle comes in because I’m battling with my own personal desires to have a pair of flowered sandals for specific occasions, and a pair of more neutral “practical” all-purpose sandals.
The real crux of this whole discussion is simply that I see a purpose in each. I don’t have multiple pairs of similar coloured shoes or styles (at least not in my mind, but BF would say otherwise I think), and I wear each pair more than once! This isn’t just a buy and forget about them situation, it’s a haven’t bought shoes in a year or two and I think I have enough now, situation.
CASE STUDY: Sentimental quilted blanket from my grandmother. Do I keep it?
Sentimental items are tricky.
I know they aren’t the people I love, but every time I use that quilt, I think of her and I miss her.
Do I need it? No. I have other quilts, and I only bring this one out on especially cold days.
Do I keep it? Yes.
This particular quilt was hand-stitched and is extremely heavy. She had no idea what “down” was, so she padded it with layers and layers of cotton so it would keep me warm at night. It weighs at least 30 pounds.
MY CONCLUSION: IT’S A CASE-BY-CASE FOR ME
Just recently, I got rid of 22 items of clothing.
I went through my closet and did a quick purge and I filled half a garbage bag:
I’m planning on doing a longer more thoughtful one, having snapped photographs of every piece of clothing I own.
How I got rid of items:
- They didn’t fit
- They looked old and worn out
- They were ripped or torn
- I’m not likely to want to even wear them again
I have a habit of keeping clothing just in case. I keep spare pants and shirts, just in case someone needs a t-shirt for whatever reason, and I can let it go and never worry about it coming back.
How do you handle your decisions on what is worth keeping or not?
Do you keep a set number of allowed items?