One of Madonna’s numerous hits in the 1980s was a little ditty titled Material Girl. In it, Madonna talked about all the guys she dated in the past and how the presents they gave her mattered more than the relationships she had with them. In the end, she declared that she was as material girl. Three decades later, not much has changed.
Anyone who looks around these days realizes we live in a material world with more stuff available than ever before, be it electronics, home furnishings, or other doodads that make our eyes sparkle when we see them. Easily obtainable credit is also more available, allowing people to purchase said doodads as well as the other whatchamacallits that they couldn’t afford with cash. The result of this is many more people have incurred serious credit card debt over the last few years.
You probably have some perfect examples of this materialism around your home. Take a look in each room. Do you have items that just sit there, used only once or twice? Products you bought on a whim because you had the available credit? Toys purchased for your children that are no longer used because either your child got bored or they outgrew it? Do all of these items make you rub your forehead in frustration when you realize you spent a good deal of money on them that you didn’t have in the first place and can’t pay off now?
You need to de-clutter your life, just like many other folks out there who are looking for a simpler life. Here are a few things you can do to make your house a more open place to live as well as get closer to your family and save some money.
1. Real or virtual garage sale. Look around your residence. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of stuff to put up for sale. Start with a good ol’ fashioned garage sale for the more common items you want to get rid of. For some of the more unique offerings, try eBay or Craigslist to sell them. Anything that’s left over and in good condition should be donated so it doesn’t use up space in your garage or basement.
2. Switch hobbies. Or at least find a less expensive way to do them. Say you like sailing. Don’t bother buying a boat and paying for storage and berthing at the marina for the summer. Look into an annual membership in a sailing club that offers use of their own boats. Interested in skiing? Check thrift stores for used skis and spend a little cash to smooth them down and re-wax them until they look like new.
3. Use the library. Yes, the bookstore is a temptation for anyone that likes to read, but is it necessary to buy the latest novel from your favorite author and store it on your bookshelf when you can easily rent it for a few weeks from the library? The good thing is many libraries these days offer digital copies of these books for people who own Kindles and Nooks, thus saving your shelf space for other items.