Growing up, my mother coveted two specific types of ‘things’. Makeup and purses. As a child growing up, I was a mix of a tomboy and a girly girl. I liked to rough house with the boys and play video games but I also enjoyed dressing up in princess clothes. On a side note, I also liked to pretend that I was followed by camera men on a daily basis as the new host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous… but that’s another story. 🙂
I swore for years that I would never get sucked into her two obsessions but eventually hormones kicked me in the ass and soon I was like my mom and cooing over cute handbags and pretty lipsticks. Unfortunately for me, I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to my interests or hobbies. I’m not the type of person that’s content to know just a little bit about my hobbies, I go hardcore! Like jeopardy, is that your final answer on the background knowledge of my hobbies. When I became interested in makeup and handbags I had to know and HAVE the newest collections, know which products worked and which didn’t, who had what sales and when, etc; etc;.
I was relatively frugal when it came to my hobbies. At the time I wasn’t really thinking about saving for the future since I was still pretty young and I was also one of those people who shopped to relieve stress. Which let me tell you, is a bad bad habit. Ever read Confessions of a Shopaholic? Being somewhat frugal I tried to shop sales and tried to be crafty to acquire the things I wanted. If a store was discounting items or a product line was being discontinued, I would pick up items, which I would either sell, so that I could save up for what I really wanted or I would swap with other people for the items that I wanted. If the items were limited edition though, watch out! There was no time for coupon codes.. I was that crazy girl waiting until 3AM to be the first to punch in my credit card numbers before it all sold out in an hour.
In about 2-3 years, I amassed a pretty large collection of makeup items and purses. Regarding makeup, my stash was bigger than my mom’s stash and big enough to rival some of the stashes of the early youtube gurus. I enjoyed looking at my collection but over time, instead of making me happy, it actually started giving me anxiety. I just had too much stuff!!
You can only obtain so many things before it starts to become overwhelming. I felt guilty. Especially since I barely ever wore makeup. Yes, you heard that right, I had a ton of makeup and I barely ever wore ANY makeup EVER. And yet, I had enough makeup to paint 3 faces a day, every day for about 3 lifetimes. And purses. Ugh. I was the type of person that would just use the same purse day in and day out until I wore it out. Changing the contents of a purse daily was just too much trouble for me.
Once I hit the holy crap, my stash is too big stage, I sat myself down and decided to temper things a bit. It was hard though. I didn’t buy things constantly but for me it was a stress reliever. Reading blogs was also another of my favorite past times but the blogs that I read were extreme enablers. I didn’t want to feel like I was missing out but I needed to find another way to relieve stress. The light bulb didn’t go off in my head right away but over time I decided that since my stash was giving me anxiety, probably the best thing I could do was to reduce it and use some of the money to pay back the money that I had spent on it. Yes, common sense prevails!
The first thing I did was I stopped reading and participating in the blogs and forums that I had frequented several times daily. I figured that if I didn’t see it or know about it, then I wouldn’t want it. I started to read the news instead and that first step of avoidance really helped me. The makeup and purse stash stopped growing. That was a good thing. I didn’t have anymore room for it anyway. I actually also had more time to do other things. Another good thing!
The next thing that I did was I convinced myself to not purchase anything until I used up what I had. A few bloggers in the past had done this and it was nicknamed, the ‘Empties Challenge.’ I didn’t set a specific number for myself but I convinced myself that since I was being so frugal and good about using up my things that when I was finally done, that I would treat myself to something really high end when I finished the last item up. That system worked really well for me until I discovered my next fleeting hobby, extreme couponing. However, like before, that’s a topic for another blog post. 😉 So at this point, not only had my makeup stash stopped growing, it was actually getting smaller. Woo hoo!
The last step that I am currently taking to tackling my stashes is simply to sell off, trade off or give away what I can. I went through my stash and gifted things to friends and family which made them happy and also made me feel great. It felt great that my things would be used and cherished by people rather than just sitting unhappily in a drawer or closet. (Yes, I think unused makeup and other things have feelings. lol. If something was produced, it was meant to be used. That is its purpose and the reason it was made. But I digress)
Anything that was totally unused and still had tags on it was targeted for my sale pile. I decided that anything that I would make from my sales, I would apply to debt or bills. I’m still at that step. However, where I thought I would dread selling off my things, I’m actually enjoying it. Every time something sells, it’s a little more room in my closet and a little less money that I owe someone. It’s going to take some time but I’m really hoping to expedite it with the help of my blog posts and maybe soon, youtube videos that I plan to make.
So if you’re reading my blog post and you’re struggling with a collection or a hobby that’s grown too big and you have some bills to pay. Try doing what I’m doing. You may be surprised at how much better you feel. Even if you don’t have a job right now, like me, you CAN reduce your debt or make some money just by selling what you have. Kill two birds with one stone and don’t let your love of things consume you like it did me. 🙂 Just let it go!
Please follow, like and share. I’d greatly appreciate it and will reciprocate! Thank you!