I spent a lot of time in the past month being distant from both this blog and my niche site, as I needed time to reflect and to decide on my direction for the upcoming year (2021). While I still haven’t exactly figured this out, I put some of the extra time on my hands into something productive – decluttering.
While my decluttering process is far from over (as I used to spend a lot of money on random stupid things), I estimate that I’ve already thrown away over $10,000 worth of stuff.
More than $10,000 Down the Drain
So, what did I toss? My biggest culprits are the following:
- Lots of books and DVDs;
- TONNES of movie and anime memorabilia; and
- Many clothing items, such as shirts, jeans, dresses, shoes, bags and more.
A stack of jeans that I donated just last week. There’s more where this came from.
My Insane Spending Habits
When I was in my teenage years, I used to shop for clothes a lot. I would spend $200 each time I went out shopping, and that could be multiple times a month. I also regularly frequented movie and anime shops, and would buy up a storm during each school holiday (in March, June, September, December). I could have spent easily $300 each time.
A small part of my anime collection. Keyword: Small.
In my early 20s, I started collecting books, and then DVDs. Thankfully, I discovered Carousell (a platform in Singapore for buying and selling preowned items) around this time, and limited my collection to pre-owned books and DVDs. While the financial damage wasn’t as bad, my collecting habits still weren’t exactly cheap.
A small part of my DVD collection. My entire collection consists of 300-400 titles.
A small part of my book collection. Why do I have multiple copies of the Game of Thrones series? (Face palm)
What was I thinking? I don’t know either. Nevertheless, here are 3 lessons that I learnt.
1. Little things add up.
While I never found myself being attracted to big ticket items (such as expensive watches, bags, or even cars), I’ve always had a compulsive urge to collect things.
The things I collected were never too expensive. But they added up over the years.
A dress might only set me back $50 today, but an entire wardrobe over the years would cost me thousands.
An anime figurine might only cost me $30 today, but an entire collection might amount to $1,000.
A single DVD might only be $5 today, but an entire collection might be $2,000. (Oh, I have about 400 DVDs titles right now).
2. It’s so much harder to sell than to buy.
I’m not sure whether anyone else in Singapore has had a similar experience, but it’s impossible to sell things on Carousell for a good price; people are always constantly haggling. I previously posted a brand new $500 Coach bag online for just $120, and I still had people trying to negotiate it down to $100 or less.
In addition, a lot of time is needed to post the items online, take pictures, write a description, liaise with the buyer, and then meet up with the buyer.
As such, apart from more expensive items that can sell for $50 or more, I rather donate or throw away than to sell on Carousell.
It took me just 10 minutes to see and buy a $500 bag in the past, but hours to sell it for just $100 afterwards.
3. I never even took the time to appreciate most of what I bought.
I used to (and sometimes I still do) buy stuff thinking that I would eventually get around to using it, but I never did. I’ve had so many clothing items going unused, books never being read, DVDs that I never watched (I mean who watches DVDs anymore, right?). I didn’t even display the anime and movie merchandise that I bought.
I never realised it before, but I was just after the dopamine hit that’s associated with buying something new, not because I actually needed any of the stuff that I bought.
As of now, I no longer buy any books, DVDs, clothes, or even my beloved anime/movie merchandise. It makes me feel wasteful to have so many things that I don’t need.
However, I have been picking up A LOT of outdoor gear to review for my niche site and my YouTube channel (if I ever get around to filming). But it’s not being wasteful if I’m actually using it to start a small online business, right? *Trying to convince myself I’m not still being a compulsive hoarder*
Right. We’ll see where this goes.
Have you been decluttering recently? Is there anything else that you’ve learnt?
As always, thank you for reading and supporting this blog.