Let me tell you a little story about junk and good stuff. We have some nice stuff and we also have some junk. You would think that in the case where we have duplicate items, one being nice and one being junk, that we would use the nice stuff. That’s what you would think. This isn’t always the case though. Often times in our lives we want to keep the good stuff nice, so we never use it. We end up using the junk instead while the nice stuff is hoarded away.
I have two examples in my own life where this happened.
Example 1: Glassware
First is with our glassware. We had a set of glasses and a matching set of tumblers. It was average glassware, purchased from some megastore. After many trips through the dishwasher, they were starting to get cloudy and weren’t what they used to be. Over time, some were dropped, and some cracked.
After a while, we needed to replace this set. So, we went out and bought another set of average glassware. Actually, this stuff was less than average. They were thin, fragile, and broke easily. We ended up using some of our old set and some of our new set.
Now we had a mismatched set of glassware; some really cheap ones easily breakable, and some old beat-up cloudy ones.
Here’s the kicker. We had a beautiful set of high quality glassware in unopened boxes stored neatly away on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet. This was our “good” set of glasses and tumblers. It had been up there so long that we completely forgot about it.
As we purged and decluttered our kitchen, we came across this set of glassware. We realized how absurd it was to keep a nice set locked away. It’s not like we’re hosting high falutin dinner parties. We’re just an average run-of-the-mill family of glassware users.
After realizing how absurd it was to keep our “good” glasses locked away, we moved all the old ones to our garage sale pile and started using the good ones.
Example 2: T-Shirts
My second example of using junk is with t-shirts. I had two classes of t-shirt. I had nice t-shirts that I would wear out. This was my good set. Any time we’d go anywhere outside the house, I’d grab a nice t-shirt and head out the door. I also had what I called “work shirts.” These were my around the house, working on the car, or doing yard work t-shirts.
I ended up wearing the old ratty t-shirts anytime I was at home. I figured I didn’t want to take a chance of dirtying up my good shirts. You never know what you might end up doing at home. I might decide to mow the grass. I might decide to tend to the pool. We might be having spaghetti for dinner. There is any number of things that I might do at home that could dirty or stain a shirt.
Once I am dressed, I rarely stop to consider which class of shirt I’m wearing before starting any activities. Because of this I always wore the old ratty shirts at home. I’ve ruined a shirt or two that were borderline nice because I up and decided to change the oil. All that considered, it seemed like a good idea to wear the old ragged t-shirts at home.
Here is the problem with that plan: I rarely stop to consider which class of shirt I’m wearing before starting any activites. That meant if we headed out to the park, to the grocery store, or anywhere else outside the home, I might end up wear a ragged holey shirt.
During our purge and declutter I took a minute to consider all my nice shirts that were rarely used, and all the yucky shirts that I wore all the time. It suddenly hit me like a freight train, “What the heck am I doing?” I grabbed all but one of my old shirts and tossed them in the trash. I kept one for things that truly called for an old shirt and the rest of the time I’m wearing nice t-shirts.
Now I look better and feel better by wearing my nice clothing all the time.
Do you have some good stuff locked away? Are you using any junk while something nicer hides away? I’d love to hear your stories.