I bought Fumio Sasaki’s Goodbye Things (Penguin Books, translated by Eriko Sugita) two weekends ago on a whim in Foyles as they were offering BOGOHP (Buy One Get One Half Price) and I’ve been trying to clear out old possessions before we move into our new flat. We last moved 18 months ago and donated a lot of stuff to charity then, but I still seem to have so many things! I didn’t think I’d bought that much stuff, as we were saving to buy a flat, but apparently not.
On to the book; I’ll admit I did skip straight to chapter 3 for the ‘55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things’ section, but Fumio says it’s okay to read the chapters randomly and even suggests a quick look at chapter 3 will help someone looking to reduce possessions they already have, so I rolled with it. Having already managed to part with four bin bags of things to charity all on my own, since reading chapter 3 I have managed (in about 3 sessions of minimalising) to accumulate another 6 bags of things that I never used, no longer use or just plain don’t like but forced myself to use because I felt guilty not doing so.
It’s been quite liberating actually; freeing myself from the guilt of under-usage of unnecessary items, such as the ridiculous number of socks I had (48 pairs – I am a secret sock hoarder; I still have a drawer full in my old room at my parents’ house), particularly those with holes* that I was still wearing because they were my favourites. (I have repaired socks before, but if I’m honest with myself, this is probably a one-a-year event, if that.). And getting rid of the, frankly gross, expired beauty products such as face creams and sun-tan lotion, which is frankly dangerous – 2-year-old suntan cream is going to help no one, particularly not my pasty skin. It also helps that I’ve been trying to not buy any beauty products that aren’t cruelty-free and vegetarian, so being able to purge some of these old products has taken away that extra guilt.
So the next stage will be trying to keep my minimalism, which I’m hoping the following chapters and those I skipped will help me do. I’ll either update this post or write a new one once I get there.
*(I’d like to note that whilst usable clothes can be donated to charity shops, many of them can’t accept worn out clothes, but these can go to textiles banks to be re-used and recycled for other purposes.)