17 February 2009

A Goodwill Blitz

My original New Thing was a visit to the main branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, located downtown at One Margaret Mitchell Square. I went, I browsed, I checked out a book, but other than that, there’s not much to say. It’s a massive, five-story building loaded with information, including a World Language Collection on the fourth floor and a Rare Book Room on the fifth floor.

I did, however, experience an unexpected New Thing last week: my Goodwill Blitz. Not buying stuff, but giving away stuff—two carloads of it. I am moving to another state in April, and let me tell you, I loathe the moving process. Loathe it. Did I say I loathe it? I generally love change, but not when it involves my stuff and my sanctuary.

Anyway, in order to move as cheaply and easily as possible, and also to fit into a much smaller space, I decided to get rid of anything I don’t need or love. It started with a few things here and there, like a humidifier I never use, a VCR from the olden days (five years ago), a motorcycle jacket I haven’t worn since the ‘90s... but as I was going through closets, cabinets, drawers, and containers, I started realizing just how little stuff I actually use, and need, and love, and how refreshing it is to get rid of things that are just taking up space and energy.

You should see my closets now! In fact, here’s one of them: my linen/sweater/shoe closet. (Don’t be alarmed at the austerity, as some items are in use or in the laundry.) For my clothes closet blitz, I set aside several hours to try on every single garment, so I could see how it fit and how it looked. If it didn’t fit, or if I didn’t look and feel good in it, straight to the Goodwill pile it went. There were things in there I hadn’t worn in years. How strange it seems, now, to have kept them for so long.

Aside of the immediate effect of better feng shui in my apartment, my Goodwill Blitz has resulted in other good things:

  • Lots of great stuff for Goodwill shoppers (I take exquisite care of everything I own, especially if it’s sitting somewhere unused)
  • A more minimalist approach toward possessions and purchases (sorry, free market, but I am tired of buying stuff I don’t need, with money I don’t have, to impress people I don’t like)
  • A more quality-oriented approach to what I do buy (I’ll gladly pay more for quality—one great suit is better than five not-so-great suits)
  • A cheaper, easier interstate move (I’m using U-Haul instead of paying over $1K for full service)

The only drawback is that, now that my apartment is more airy, I love it even more and don’t want to leave, but I have to leave because the rent is ridiculously high. Wait, I do want to leave. Because the rent is ridiculously high. Oh the times, they are a changin’.


Inki said...

I love this quote: "I am tired of buying stuff I don't need with money I don't have, to impress people I don't like"! That's my new mantra :-)

Vanessa said...

Thanks Inki. :) I wish I knew who originally came up with that brilliant line. I first heard it from Dave Ramsey, but I've since heard it from so many people, I'm not sure where it originated.