Decluttering

Out With the Old

One of the traits I share with the wealthy is the fact that I like to wear things completely out before I discard them. I see no point in buying new when what I already own continues to serve its purpose.

Occasionally I allow myself to go beyond standard thrift and wear things well beyond their usable lifespan. I become comfortable with an item since I’ve owned it for so long and find it hard to actually let go. I am really bad when it comes to shoes; once they are broken in they become like old friends as they come along on my travels.

Three of my very favorite shoes have been screaming for retirement now for several months. While still extremely comfortable, the soles were giving out. A pair of favorite flip-flops even lost their bottom layer, yet I continued wearing them around the house, refusing to surrender to the inevitable.

Both of my daughters had passed on a number of pairs that could have easily replaced them but I still held on, even while occasionally tripping on the flaps that used to be sealed to the bottoms.

It is time I stopped doing this. I might not have a lot of money but I do have self-respect. It makes no sense to wear rags when I have other shoes to meet my needs. When I made the decision late last night I scooped up the first of the three pairs and tossed them in the trash. I dug out the remaining two pairs for one last photo before discarding them this morning.

I feel a sense of sadness as I move on today. That’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a sense of loss but time moves forward and so do we. I will take comfort in the fact that I have nicer shoes to wear; shoes that are much more presentable than the ratty ones I discarded. I will also take comfort in the fact that I wore them completely out before I tossed them away. Bit by bit as time moves on I will slowly upgrade my wardrobe by attrition, saying farewell to the old me who wears rags as I dress a bit neater going forward.

Unlike in the past, I am not going to go crazy by tossing perfectly functional items as I follow some trend or whimsically decide I want to change my look. I will allow this progression to happen over time so the changes will be permanent while saving money as well.

Do you have anything around your home that has outlived its usefulness? Why not toss it out today and share your story in the comments below? That way we can celebrate together.

One Comment

  • Cam Coogan

    Oh, those favorite shoes! It is so hard to find a comfortable pair and twice as hard to get rid of a favorite pairs. Too bad we can’t all go barefoot. I have an increasing number of things that have outlived their usefulness. Not that they are wearing out but I just find myself not really using them anymore. Many of those are small kitchen appliances. As my household shrinks and I cook for a fewer number of people, I seldom use some things. But I hate to get rid of them because of the 2-3 times a year they may come and visit and I cook favorite meals!

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