Every improvement has a price: Holding on to stuff

So this is Halloween night, the Saturday night before Halloween, and if you can see this costume, I have a hat, an old-time hat, actually my grandfather’s hat, and my grandfather’s tie, and I’m holding a little magnifying glass, which together will tell you that I am a detective.
So this is my go-to Halloween costume.
It’s pretty basic stuff.
And I also, in looking through at the last minute to find my trenchcoat, which would have completed the look, I realized that I must have thrown it out during my summertime zeal for minimalism, when I went through the sort, and I must have thought, oh, here’s something that I am going to use once a year.
Why don’t I just get a better one next year? Well, but here it is, and at the time when it would have been useful, I don’t have it.
So there’s always going to be something.
When you do a decluttering, when you pursue minimalism, there’s always going to be a regret.
There’s going to be something there, because we cannot make perfect decisions.
And in order to get the overall benefit of the clearance, we have to be willing to throw away things that are in the maybe column.
Because when you do this kind of decluttering kind of a sort, you have the things that you know for sure you’re going to keep, and you have the things that, yeah, you’re quite comfortable with throwing away, but then there’s so many so many items that get stuck in this middle pile.
And if you kept all of them, then you might barely make a dent.
So this is part of the price that I’m paying.
And I imagine if I really wanted to avoid decluttering, and I really really wanted to hold on to my stuff, I could use this as a warning that, oh, look what happens when you don’t keep everything that you might possibly need at some point in the future.
You may run into a time when you are missing that thing that you would like to use.
And so that’s true.
So this is a counterexample.
But I show it because it’s the first time that I really regret having thrown something away during the summertime tour of all my accumulations that saw me removing about 1/3 to 1/2 of all my stuff.
This is the first time that I really felt, well, you know, I really could have been happy to have kept it.
And, you know, we can be influenced by the size of containers.
At the time, I had a bin that was used for old clothing, and various things I rarely wear, and old sheets and towels and things like that.
And at the time, it was stuffed full.
So then it was an easier decision to, well, say, okay, this trenchcoat that has no use except in this once-a-year costume, okay, this can go.
But now, that bin is no longer full, because a whole set of sheets had been passed on.
So, now it seems like, oh, that would have been completely fine to have kept that item.
So- but that’s the decision we make.
And when you’re going through a sort, it is just so many decisions going rapid-fire, and you just can’t make perfect decisions when it comes to this stuff, and it’s okay to err a bit on the side of throwing away too much, because almost nothing is missed.
And then I compare this to in the months since the summer when I did this – it was really in June and July and, it’s now October – all the benefits I’ve had from the greater cleared space and the cleared mental space.
I’ve benefited from getting closer to simplicity, removing distractions that take me further away from a good life, by just sort of wrapping me up in unnecessary filler.
But for everything that we do, we always have to pay the price, some kind of price.
So for tonight, I will be a detective without a trenchcoat.
Postscript: back from the Halloween party, and, yeah, I really didn’t miss that trenchcoat.
I would have taken it off anyway to just dancing in this shirt, so I really didn’t need that trenchcoat, and it’s okay that it was donated on to someone else to be of use.
So it’s all okay.

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