Purge is Not a Dirty Word – Living with Less on Purpose
08/17/2010, 10:49 AM
Filed under: Random

As you guys may recall from my pasts posts, I am a girl that believes in clearing the old or impractical to make room for new things.  (See After My Shoe Purge and My Latest Closet Purge in April.)  Jory told me about this article, “But Will It Make You Happy” on, and I was curious about the premise.  In these rough economic times, we’ve all probably trimmed back a little.  Jamison and I eat out less; I shop less; we traveled less.

Jennifer Black, president of the retailing research company Jennifer Black & Associates and a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors in Oregon stated “I think people are realizing they don’t need what they had. They’re more interested in creating memories.”  I think it’s a great point for all of us.  I, too, am convincing myself to believe this new version of the financial world.  I’ve paid off $8K of a $10K debt this year and I’ve decided that next year I am paying off $10K in additional debt.  I am truly trying to adjust to the “new normal.”

I started asking myself, “How much crap do I actually need?” a long time ago.  To be honest, there is not much I actually need anymore from a personal goods (shoes, clothing, accessories, makeup and other toiletries) perspective.  Case in point:  I actually need to replace my Benefit Brow Zings because it’s nearly gone.  In the past, I’d go to the Mac store and get some new lip gloss, blush, etc. just because I wanted.  See my new normal?

The world that we live in today in America is really all about things.  Jamison makes me laugh when he talks about how hip hop is actually all about “how your life sucks and my life rocks.”  It’s really not funny though…  Hip hop stars are talking about popping bottles of rose champagne, and your average American is having a staycation because they can’t afford to fill the car with gas and stay at the Hampton Inn for the weekend at grandma’s house.  Can we say disconnect?

As I’ve walked in my closet each day, I pick a new item or items that I realize I don’t wear.  I took 5 garbage bags of clothes and shoes to the Salvation Army on Saturday.  It felt so good.  I actually feel free with less stuff.  Now does that mean I will ever become the kind of girl with one pair each black and brown pumps and one black and brown suit and a few shirts?  Doubt it. 

But it does mean that I think long and hard about every thing I purchase.  And it means that I am choosing to invest to myself:  paying down debt, traveling on vacations with my husband and friends, going to museums, etc.  And I am STILL longing for a Marc Jacobs collection bag.  And when I get it, I’ll be ALL about it.  Because for me, things aren’t really the thing that matters most.  Each object I own stores a memory.  I have a story of every single thing I own:  who I bought it with, where I found it, how long I hunted for it,etc. 

So for you it may just be a silver sequin frame handbag, but for me it’s a flashback of a great treasure I didn’t even know I needed while shopping with a friend after enjoying a leisurely lunch and glass of wine.  I get why people are veering toward minimalism but I’ll never make it there.  And I don’t want to.  But I do love having more room in my closet, more space in my kitchen drawers and more money to spend on drinks with friends – on their back patio, eating homemade venison burgers, playing with the dogs.


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Domino cosigns this blog entry especially the last sentance.

Comment by Amy


Comment by Amy

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