BECOMING AN UN-COLLECTOR by Brenda Argo
I never meant to be a collector, but like some insidious disease, it crept up on me. Â I over indulged in yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores. Â It all seemed so innocent at the time. Â I was always poor and I could buy something for practically nothing and fix it up. Â I loved antiques and it was all about the great find and the good buy. Â If it was furniture, I bought it really cheap, then scrubbed, cleaned, stained, and finished it, investing hours and hours of my life into it. (this made it harder to part with down the road because it had become a part of me!). I was always financially strapped it seemed, so at the time, this seemed like a good way to furnish my home early in life and marriage. Â The problem was, it never ended. Â I loved old glassware, old pottery, old platters, old furniture, old people. Â You name it——-if it was old, I loved it. Â I read somewhere that you should never buy 2 of anything because it starts a collection. Â And it really was true.
I collected for about 40 years! Â Oh, I had yard sales occasionally, and sent things to the thrift store along the way, but I kept all the “good stuff”
Until recently! Â Recently, I realized I was STUFFocating. Â I don’t know why it hit me so hard. Â My home was still fairly neat and orderly. Â I still used a great deal of my “stuff” and enjoyed it. Â But, I realized ever space was filled with furniture. Â Every drawer was filled with excess glassware or other stuff. Â I had SABLE!! Â (STUFF ACCUMULATED BEYONE LIFE EXPECTANCY!!!!!!). I instantly became an UN-COLLECTOR!! Â Now, UN-collector is not a real word, I’m sure, but it is what I have become. Â Cold Turkey! Â I can’t get rid of Stuff soon “ENUFF”. (I read somewhere that ENUFF= Eliminate the Needless, Useless, Foolish, Frivolous!)
Now, I’m de-collecting because I am an UN-collector. Â And the moral of this story is IT IS MUCH EASIER TO BRING IT IN THAN TO TAKE IT OUT!
There are only 4 ways to get rid of stuff:
You use it up
You throw it away
You donate it
You sell it
It is much easier and quicker to donate it all, but most of us have a little guilt over money spent, or because of the worth of an item, regardless of how little or much we spent. Â In that case, a sale is in order, which is a lot of work. Â I have had several large yard sales over the last few years and have donated several car loads of “the good stuff” to a friend’s charity. Â I still have a long way to go but I am working on every area of my home. Â And it IS work!!
The funny thing is, that half a century ago, my goal was to live a simple life. Â Somehow, it got so out of hand! Â I am writing this to encourage others, especially new readers, to never bring in the excess to begin with. Â If you already have clutter, start removing it in any manner you choose. Â Use is the only value a thing has. Â We can only treasure so many items at a given time.
Follow William Morris’ advice to have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. Â (and I would add, limit the latter.). Cleaning will become easier and we will finally attain the simple life most of us desire deep within. Â Time and space are the REAL treasures