As of this week our house is on the market; so far we have had three showings. This all came about much more quickly than we expected, so to get our place in shape, we rented a storage unit and have been filling it with all our non-essentials.
Keeping the house market ready is forcing me to change my perspective about stuff. Everything that does not have a specific use is out. When I think about buying something, I consider how many times I want to drag it around in the coming months. Will it make housekeeping easier or harder?
As a result, I suddenly have all kinds of resistance to yard sales and thrift stores. Why waste time looking at things that would only make life more difficult?
For example, we are only using one bottle for Liberty. Yes, we have to wash it oftener, but having only one bottle makes the kitchen so much neater than a counter full of paraphenelia. Yesterday Derrick suggested we see how far we can go without a sippy cup since Liberty has already latched on to regular drinking glasses. I’m game!
Little decisions, for sure. But decisions that prove less can be more.
It feels great to pass SALE signs knowing that we have everything we need. It’s a revolutionary concept in a consumer-driven society. As if we don’t already have far more than most people in this world.
At the end of Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping, Judith Levine reflects that in spite of her moments of desire, she ultimately experienced a sense of freedom. She was no longer dependent on the accumulation of things for her happiness and satisfaction.
Breaking free from the mass marketing machine that is as American as baseball and apple pie is an independence worth celebrating. If we don’t consciously decide how to spend our money, companies are using billions of dollars to plan our spending for us.