I have four guidelines when it comes to stuff – physical and digital:
- Don’t buy something unless I need it
- Use something as long as possible before replacing it
- Maintain what I own
- Get rid of things I don’t need
Let’s take a look at each one.
Don’t buy something unless I need it
I do pretty well when it comes to physical items, from larger purchases like cars and technology to smaller ones like clothes. I don’t do as well when it comes to digital items like ebooks and video games.
Use something as long as possible before replacing it
Once again, in the physical realm I do pretty well. I’ve lived in the same house for 13 years and don’t need to replace it; if anything, I’m ready to downsize. My car is almost 11 years old. My laptop is over 6 years old. My phone’s a couple of years old and should be good for another at least another year. Same with most of my other possessions.
Maintain what I own
Here’s where I need to get better. Due to financial constraints I haven’t maintained my home as well as I should have. Nothing’s in bad shape – yet – but the roof needs replacing, the deck needs some work, carpeting needs to be replaced and the yard? Well, let’s not talk about the yard. Lots of opportunities in 2019.
Get rid of things I don’t need
Another opportunity for improvement. I try to declutter throughout the year, but this year it didn’t happen. Looking back, I think it was because my younger daughter moved in with me at the end of 2017. She brought a lot with her, and it filled up most of our basement storage space. The thought of attacking that amount of stuff got to be overwhelming, especially with the other commitments I had. But it’s time to get to it.
A few words about digital stuff
I’m not as disciplined as I should be when it comes to digital possessions. I especially get attracted to new apps and video games, and often stop using them after a brief period of time. I also have a lot of digital clutter that I need to organize. It’s not as “in your face” as the physical clutter I have to look at every time I go to the basement, but it’s still there.
Overall grade: C