14 In Lifestyle

Curate Your Life: Letting Go

In a previous post I showed you a cleaned out desk drawer, but I decided to go back and let go of the hole punch and the mini stapler. I tried to remember when the last time I used the hole punch was, but I couldn’t remember. So I decided to let it go. Then I thought about the last time I reached for the mini stapler, but I couldn’t remember. When I’m at school I use the stapler in the copy center, so I don’t have any need for a mini stapler to carry with me.

Since these were both in good condition, I decided to put them in a bag to take to the donation center.

These days I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of stress from work and school, so I’ve been craving a cleaner space. I’ve been listening to podcasts and youtube videos related to minimalism, because although I don’t consider myself a minimalist I do want to reduce the amount of stuff I have. The reason I still don’t want to become a minimalist is that there seems to be a good number of people out there who insist upon judging your credentials as a minimalist based on the number of possessions you have.

Also, I do enjoy collecting things as I’m exploring and experiencing the world, and I also enjoy different arts and crafts. It’s hard to just have one colored pencil; mine is a set of different colors. It’s hard to just have one color of paint as they come in so many different colors. I don’t want to deprive myself of any of these experiences, but I do want to take some of the minimalist ideas as I lead a more curated life. It would be nice if there was a word for being a curator-ist, but it just doesn’t have a nice ring to it like minimalist has.

I decided that I want to keep these figures that I got in Amsterdam, but I didn’t really want them on display anymore as I wanted to clear my space a bit more. Because I don’t have a suitable box at the moment to serve as a “maybe box” I put them in a brown paper bag that I had on hand.

I left the milk maid because Vermeer’s Milkmaid painting is one of my favorites and I was thrilled to see it when I was in Amsterdam. The small wooden scoop is not part of the play-mobile set, but since I don’t have my own kitchen at the moment I’m saving it as a display. I got this wooden scoop from Borough Market in London and one day I will use it in my kitchen. I might let go of that ink though, because although the bottle is very pretty you can see that it’s collecting dust and I rarely find myself reaching for it. I think the best thing I could do is start using it up and practicing calligraphy more often, but I know that I won’t be purchasing it again once I get rid of it.

The three hardest things that keep me from letting things go are:

#1. I spent quite a bit of money on it. Naturally it’s easier to let go of things when they don’t cost much, but with bigger purchases I can’t shake the feeling that I would like to get my money’s worth out of it before I let it go. One option would be to try to sell it, but that is also a pain because I need to negotiate the cost and then go out of my way to the post office to send it. For example, there is a leather jacket I am certain I want to let go, but even though I got it from Zara it was still quite a bit of money. It’s also something that would be a real pain to ship somewhere….

#2. Will I need it again? If you read my previous post you’ll know that I debated on whether or not to keep the hole punch, because it’s one of those things that are hard to borrow on short notice from a neighbor or friend. It’s easier to get rid of duplicates because you know you’ll have one even if you throw one out, but when it’s the only one you have? In the case of the hole punch I spent some time mulling over scenarios in which I would need a hole punch but I couldn’t think of a single one. I might have needed it if I had a ring-binder but I don’t particularly like ring-binders and avoid them whenever I can. They’re uncomfortable to write in, they always snag my fingers, and the pages are forever tearing out. So I came to the conclusion that I’m probably never going to get a ring-binder, and since I’ve had that hole punch for years without ever using it, I decided to put it in the donation bin.

#3. How will it impact the environment. Can it be recycled? Can someone else use it? Sometimes it’s not and it weighs on my conscious. Even if it can be recycled I feel bad for contributing to so much waste.

Just an hour ago, I spent more than half an hour trying empty out the manicure paint from more than a dozen manicure bottles and swore to myself that I would never let myself accumulate this much nail polish ever again. While I loved changing my nail polish every week back in my mid-20s, I find that I rarely use nail polish these days as I like the natural look of my nails and fingers. I kept a handful of colors that I still enjoy, and let the rest go. Although I’m glad that Korea has a pretty good recycling system, I still felt awful for having produced so much waste. I’ve really been inspired by Blue’s vlogs on living a zero-waste lifestyle. I first heard about zero-waste on a Korean blog called The Insignificant Minimalist. I found her blog while looking for a non-plastic tumbler and have been slowly trying to reduce the amount of waste that I produce. So when I was throwing out my manicure collection, I couldn’t help but feel remorse over the amount of waste I was throwing out.

Your turn ♥ Have you ever heard of the zero-waste movement? Think about one thing you could purge from your life today!

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