How to Decide Which Things to Leave Behind

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

I’m in the midst of my second cross-country move in less than a year. As a result, I’ve had to, once again, decide which items to leave behind. This process was made a little easier due to the fact that we didn’t buy much while we were living in Pennsylvania, and we had discarded close to 75% of our belongings when moving from Utah.

However, the reality of the situation once again has me considering what to keep and what to leave behind. In our consumer culture, it’s easy to think that we need to keep a lot of what we have — and it’s also easy to keep adding to our belongings. Two moves have taught me that maybe I don’t need as much stuff as I thought. In fact, as I get ready to set up house once again, I’ll be pausing to reflect before replacing some of what I left behind.

Is It Necessary?

One of the first things to ask yourself before keeping something is whether or not it is necessary. I left behind sets of pans because I know that one set of pans is sufficient for what my son and I do in the kitchen. There’s no reason to have duplicates of our well-made pans and other dishes. The same can be said of many of the things that we keep in the house, from bedding to old, unused electronic gadgets.

I also like to consider whether or not something is useful. While some things that I keep are beautiful and perhaps not useful, most of what I like to keep has some purpose. If it’s not something I’m going to use, and if it isn’t part of my emergency supply, I’m more willing to leave it behind. I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to furniture these days, preferring only to keep what I know I’ll use. This has the added advantage of opening my living space and allowing it to feel less cluttered overall.

What About Sentimental Value?

While there are certainly items that might have some sentimental value, the reality is that I don’t actually need to keep these items, and some of them are connected to the same events. If there is something I really enjoy looking at, or that is associated with a treasured memory of a lost loved one, I’m happy to keep it. However, I only need one item to represent many of these memories or people. I can leave the rest behind as I move forward.

Simple Collections

Finally, I like to focus on simple, inexpensive collections that don’t take up space. My son and I began collecting refrigerator magnets because they are inexpensive, easy to transport and can be a fun way to remember a trip without getting crazy. I started getting rid of collections that just took up space and were expensive. Now the things I collect are easy to manage and don’t cost very much, and have been getting rid of everything else.

It can be difficult to decide what to get rid of. However, when you are forced to make choices, you have the chance to reduce your own consumerism and save more money in the future.

Bonus Tip:

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