Friday, September 13, 2013

The Cleanse

Over the summer I realized how cluttered my room was. I'm graduating from high school this year and then I'm going off to college. This has forced me to think a lot about the things I use and don't use (I can't take it all with me, a dorm is only so big). This led to me finally going through my closet and anything that I hadn't worn in the last 3 years I gave to Good Will. I was surprised how challenging this was, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don't really think of myself as a materialistic person, but I have an attachment to my stuff that, I'll admit, is selfish. That's MINE. Mine mine mine. Don't touch it, don't look at it, don't think about it, because it's MINE. I would be on the verge of putting it in the giveaway pile, and then...

No, I can't possibly get rid of this, I wore it that time, with that person, on that day, that was such a great day. 

Or...

But what if I'm at a place, and then I run into a friend who has another friend who has a cousin who's a DJ who knows a guy who's having a throwback disco themed party next weekend and I don't have my multicolored sequined halter top!? What then??

OR the ever popular and oh so effective...

I paid $70 for these jeans I can't just give them away! These were expensive!

Because I'll really be getting my moneys worth by letting them sit in my closet for another 3 years...
Of everything I told myself, the most powerful one was remembering how much I paid for it. It's all about the benjamins. 

But now, when I look back at the amount of money I spent on clothes I not only didn't need, but didn't wear, I feel like an idiot. My older sister works in the fashion industry and she's really opened up my eyes. 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting swindled. The clothes from these high end stores cost like $3 to make in some Cambodian sweatshop, and then are sold for $75. We, the consumers, purchase it, blissfully unaware that we just got played. It's mind boggling, it truly is. Look up the companies you are buying from and see #1: how the people who are making the clothes are treated (multi-billion dollar companies who pay their employees 5 cents a day, on a good day!), #2: how much what they're making actually costs so you can see how much you're getting ripped off, and #3: if the clothes are made in an ecofriendly fashion because a healthy earth, is a happy earth. 

I like shopping as much as the next girl but this kind of ruined it for me.

I feel like I've been lied to or something. 

It was amidst all of this that something occurred to me. How truly blessed was I that I was able to buy any of this nonsense in the first place, and then have so many other clothes that I could not only not wear them, but forget I even owned most of them? 

It really put things in perspective.
Why wouldn't I want to spread this good energy around to other people, to share my good fortune and be a blessing to someone else? 

I then proceeded to really comb through my closet and find things I didn't wear. I ended up filling two huge black trash bags with clothes, took it to Good Will, and felt great.

Three months later I can honestly report that the earth kept rotating, the sun didn't fall out of the sky, and I survived The Great Closet Cleanse of 2013. I neither miss nor remember anything I gave away, and my closet feels in no way shape or form lacking. I still have way more clothes than I need, more than enough to wear to school and all the other places I go, and I guarantee sometime in the near future I will go shopping because as a citizen of these United States, it's my civic duty to help our economy in any way I can (or so I tell myself).

Since I was in the cleaning mood, I decided to apply the same thinking to other things I had an extreme excess of. However, that was quite overwhelming so I procrastinated the task until right this moment.

Back in the day (Freshman year to be exact), I used to be really into technology. I wanted all the new devices, all the new gadgets, everything. Well, fast forward three years and now I have a bunch of out of date technology, since these days three years might as well be three hundred in the tech world, just sitting around. I don't even use most of it and I genuinely feel bad. Who am I to have all this stuff and just dismiss it at as clutter when there are people who would actually use it and cherish it? 

As a culture, we love our toys and I, sadly, am not immune. It's hard to part ways, yet it's a necessary evil. You see...

I have two staples as far as technology goes, my iphone and my MacBook. Two things I use everyday. BUT, I think I'm finally going to delve into the world of tablets. My mom and my sister both have ipads and they love them, but I don't think the ipad is for me. Frankly, it's too big, and it costs too much. I know they have the ipad mini but that seems too much like an ipod touch on steroids and I already have an iphone so I just couldn't justify it to myself. And I know it's called the ipad "mini" but the price is not so mini, $330 is ridiculous. What's the point when you can get a regular sized one for $70 more?

I'm sorry to do this to you Apple, I've been a faithful customer, but I think I'm going for the 7 inch Samsung tablet. It's smaller, it basically does all the same stuff, and (the real reason) it's $199. 

The whole reason I was even getting a new device to begin with was because I have a lot of music. I have thousands of songs, and a bunch of shows and movies in my itunes, and there's so much other stuff on my iphone that it can only fit 5 songs at a time. My way of countering this was getting the ipod classic, one big monster machine that would hold all the music, movies, shows, everything. Little did I know, the ipod classic is $240.My thought process was; gee, for that much money I might as well get a tablet, then I can just do everything on it. And so here I am.

Why do I need any of it, you may ask? 

I am on my school's winter track team, I actually do cross country and spring track as well, but anyway, in the winter for meets we travel 2-3 hours by school bus. Now this isn't every once in a blue moon, it's several times a week. We leave school early to go to the meets, and return usually around 11pm (the latest I've gotten home is 1am). Here's a little experiment, for the next 2 hours play the same 5 songs on repeat. 

Yeah.

I tried the Pandora thing but I have a limited data plan and I can't be using it up like that, so I came up with the ipod idea which then evolved into the tablet idea. The tablet will be pretty awesome because it holds everything, and it has a bigger screen, yet it's not totally obnoxious. Since I'm either on the bus or at my track meet for long periods of time, somewhere in there my homework has to get done. I have written 3 page long critical analysis essays on my iphone on more than one occasion. Afterward I vowed to myself; never again. 

So this year, I will be using my tablet, and, since I plan on continuing my track career into college, for the next 4 years after this as well. I don't even care that in 5 years they'll probably have some super sleek super thin new thing and mine will be old and out of date, as long it still works, I will be mighty fine. 

But back to what I was saying, the old stuff I have is just sitting here. Tomorrow, I am going to suck it up and go to Gamestop and trade it all in for the $2 it's probably worth, and I will be well on my way to a clutter free, more effective life.

Go be productive!
-xoxo 

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