Hoarding, Scarcity Thinking and Greed

We are not hoarders.

And, yet…

Preparing for the adventure ahead has been nothing if not an exercise in reducing our material possessions. When it’s all done, we will have reduced by about half — clothes, furniture, and miscellany.

At first it was easy. We shredded mountains of old documents, disposed of collections of magazines and cleared out what was obviously useless to us. At last count, we have made about 20 trips to various non-profits (Salvation Army, SCRAP SF,  Goodwill Boutique, Hodgepodge, Friends of the Public Library) and the dump for toxics, paints and the digital graveyard for e-waste.

Decisions become more difficult as we part with things that have some sentimental or emotional attachment.

It has also been a time to consider my own tendency toward “scarcity thinking” vs “abundance thinking.” The three most dangerous words in the process of decluttering and minimizing are “just in case…” You hold on to things just in case you may need them later. But of all the things you remove, very few are needed later. If you truly need something…you can always get it again. The annoyance of the few times you need to re-buy something (this has already happened to us) does not outweigh the overall benefit of having less stuff.

Will we ever achieve this level of minimalism? Unlikely.

But the net benefit of reflecting on my relationship with things has been a worthwhile endeavor.



2 thoughts on “Hoarding, Scarcity Thinking and Greed”

  1. So true-we have gone through this exercise time and again (and will do so again as we are moving to another home in Moraga this summer!) With practice it does seem to get easier and the incredible weight lifted is addicting. Good luck!

  2. It does seem that stagnation (physical, emotional, etc.) is a breeding ground for the accumulation. By moving you are forced to reckon with that which burdens you.

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