This month I’ve been on a decluttering mission. I am playing The Minimalist Game, attempting to rid my home of 564 items in a month. One unexpected outcome of this mission – gratitude for the sharing economy.
Thanks to the sharing economy
The sharing economy has come in for a bit of a backlash recently as community turns corporate, but I have a lot to thank it for this month.
Sorting through my home, I’ve experienced a range of feelings guilt, overwhelm, joy, excitement. Undertaking this exercise has prompted me to search for ways of living with less. It has made me realise how grateful I am for the various ways that I can use and enjoy stuff without having to own it.
Old school sharing economy
While books and toys are often particularly difficult areas for people to declutter, they were relatively easy for me. I didn’t really have much book and toy clutter thanks to the stalwarts of the sharing economy – the library.
I love libraries. I have at various times worked as a librarian. To me, the library provides a world of possibilities. Through the library I can access virtually any book that I desire at no cost. Sure, I sometimes have to wait and I sometimes have to read faster than I’d Iike – but I don’t have to own anything.
I am also very grateful for our local toy library. It ensures my son gets to play with an ever-changing rotation of high quality toys. And, when he’s bored with them, they don’t hang around our house getting in the way – they go right back where they came from for other kids to enjoy. The wee guy loves his fortnightly trips to the toy library to return his toys and bring home some new ones. If you have young kids, I really recommend checking out if there is one near you, even if you have too many toys already.
New school sharing economy
Technology can create clutter but it can also help you clear clutter. I no longer need to hang on to those CDs and DVDs – if I want to listen to it or watch it I can stream it.
New school sharing really came into its own when I wanted to get rid of stuff. I realised that a barrier to decluttering was the guilt I felt about waste and my desire to find things a good new home. Sharing information through social media gave me a quick and easy way to do this. Through local and special-interest Facebook groups, my stuff is out of my house and with people who want it.
Decluttering this month playing The Miniminalist Game has taken a weight off my mind and loads out of my house. Thank you, sharing economy – I appreciate how you enable me to live more with less.
Are you trying to live more with less? What things do you share rather than own?