The Excess Experiment: Possessions

TEE - Possessions.pngPossessions are sometimes the hardest things to get rid of. The capitalism and materialism we live in seeps into every aspect of our lives until we find ourselves drowning in suffocating excess. This week’s experiment involved choosing the extra in my life to get rid of. Sounds easy, right?





If I’m being honest here, this week was a bit of a flop. I was supposed to focus on getting rid of extra possessions (she did seven a day in the book, I decided on one a day), but the week is over and I am still in possession of all of my stuff. Every so often I wondered what I would get rid of, but it never happened. I do plan to choose seven extras in my life to get rid of or donate. Just not this past week …

I think the reason this week was a flop is that the past two weeks involved conscious thought process of “what foods fit the guidelines” and “what cute outfit can I make with limited clothing”, but this week only required one daily choice of excess. Since it got pushed to the back of my mind, it quickly gathered dust and became an extra thought in my brain that I paid no attention to. But writing this post has brought it back to the forefront, so here are my thoughts on this excess experiment!

What are some excess possessions in my life?

  • The seven plastic cups sitting in my bottom desk drawer
  • The pile of nice clothing that I never ever wear
  • The stack of books/textbooks I really need to donate/sell
  • The t-shirts. Oh my goodness, all those t-shirts
  • Decorations sitting in a box
  • “Important” papers I haven’t looked at in months
  • Old magazines/newspapers I won’t ever look at again

Looking at that list, there are seven(ish) categories. If I took one item from each of those categories, I’d be good for the week! But there’s another obstacle to me completing this excess experiment: time.

In my introductory post, I stated that “the thing with excess is that when we have more than enough, we have to devote time, energy, and brainpower figuring out what to do with all that excess”. That’s what happened this week. It’s so easy to build up excess, but it takes so much time, energy, and brainpower to get rid of it. I’ve let my excess build up so much that I don’t have the time to deal with it all. Well, I do have the time, but who wants to spend time getting rid of things “that I’ll eventually wear or I’ll eventually use”. If I give myself a dose of reality, I’d rather spend some time in order to be free than continue living weighed down with all my stuff.

In this chapter about possessions, I really enjoyed reading about all her examples of giving away excess. While some people see it as boasting, I found it more of an inspiration. When she talked about the responses of people receiving her extra stuff and how much it meant to them, it reminded me of seeing those happy faces in my own life. I remember the joy of giving and serving. I shouldn’t grump about spending extra time to get rid of my excess; instead, that small amount of time could change another’s life. (Okay, I’m not saying that cleaning out your closet will forever change someone’s life, but it’ll make a difference bigger than you probably realize).

So in conclusion, my To-Do list still includes “get rid of excess possessions”. I didn’t carve out time to deal with my build-up of excess, and as a result I’m still living with the weight of all my extra stuff on my shoulders. But there’s hope for the future! I now have a list of possible things to get rid of, and after being reminded of the joy in giving, I can’t wait to clear a couple of boxes out of my room!

Any plans to clear out those possessions gathering dust in your closet?



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