Derek Tillotson

The Thing About Things

Last summer, I went on a decluttering spree. It was on a whim, but I gathered up a bunch of things that I didn't use or didn't want. Then tossed them, donated them, or gave them away. What I've learned since then is that taking those steps toward minimalism--as well as maintaining that trend--takes practice.

Even when you come to understand that "things" doesn't equate to "happiness," it is very easy to fall into the trap of gathering more and more. But the thing about things is: The more things you have in your life, the more things you'll be able to worry about.

I felt zero remorse after getting rid of a bunch of stuff. Clothes I hadn't worn in years, video games I hadn't playedi in years, and books I was never actually going to read. None of those things mattered to me and even though I had to push myself to get rid of a few things, I've never once thought it was the wrong choice.

Still, when you're not actively trying to have fewer things, it's easy to build back up. I'm sure smarter people could go into some deeper discussion about consumerism. What I know is that I am at my most peaceful is when I can sit at home and the only things around me are the things I genuinely care about.

Written February 20, 2020

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