Thanks to my Mom, I always considered myself a fairly minimal person – regularly donating things to Goodwill, purging what I haven’t used in awhile, and only buying something new if I got rid of something else first. As a subscriber to Real Simple magazine, I knew all the tips to making life simpler. Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, likes to keep everything on hand for a “what if” situation. When we first got married and were packing up his bachelor pad, I found a 1-inch piece of Velcro in a box.
“You can’t be serious,” I said, dangling the white strip in his face.
“You never know when you might need it,” he insisted. I rolled my eyes. Heaving a sigh, he tossed it in the garbage.
Next, I eyed a dusty box of mints. “We’ve been dating for over two years and I’ve never seen you eat these.”
So you can imagine how much junk has accumulated after eight years of living together in the same place.
With our recent decision to move from the suburb to the city of San Francisco (where the average rent is now more expensive than New York City!), we also faced a loss of over 400sq ft worth of space. Having lived out of a suitcase for seven months, we figured it would be easy to throw out a bunch of things. And whatever didn’t fit into our new apartment, we would stuff into an external storage unit at $90/month. It seemed like a small price to pay to hold onto our childhood memories and sporting goods. Two carloads to Goodwill later, we congratulated ourselves.
Then Mr. Wonderful read this blog. Somehow he became convinced that we could actually get rid of almost everything in our storage unit, too.
I laughed. “What, you’re going to get rid of your golf clubs?”
I stopped laughing. My pack rat husband was serious. The table was turned, and I tried to convince him that getting rid of 20 boxes was not going to be easy. But then this question haunted us – was anything in our storage unit really worth $1000+ a year to keep? What was the point of having 50 DVDs if all we ever watch is Netflix? What was the point of keeping an art easel if I haven’t painted in over 5 years? What was the point of keeping greetings cards from people whom I haven’t talked to in nearly two decades?
None. I wouldn’t bother saving any of it if our storage unit caught on fire. In fact, I would probably feel somewhat relieved.
So…we did it. I still can’t believe it, actually. We did manage to fit a few more boxes at our new place, and I didn’t quite throw out all my greeting cards (things that make you smile are still worth keeping) but Mr. Wonderful did indeed get rid of his golf clubs. I’m so proud of him. I’m so proud of us.
“Hey, I haven’t had these in awhile,” Mr. Wonderful said, pulling out the same tin of mints I almost threw out a decade ago. He popped one in his mouth.
What are you holding onto that you should probably donate or throw away?