I've been trying to minimize the 'stuff' I own, while at the same time trying to define my sense of style and find something that works for me.
I look around my apartment and it screams "student!" and I haven't been a student for 3 years, and I had quite a few years where I wasn't a student at all. I'm 27 and want to love the place I'm in, and right now I don't.
Recently I joined a group on Facebook called "Recycling Kindness". This group is for Hamilton residents and is a place for you to give your stuff away - for free. There are a few ground rules - kindness defines actions, so don't stand up the people who are waiting for you, follow through on your commitments, be kind and you are never to ask for money for anything you give. It's similar to the website Freecycle, a website I couldn't utilize because I didn't have a Yahoo! account, and I didn't feel like setting up yet another email account, just to give stuff away. So I've been storing stuff away, or passing it on as I saw a need. Then, my friend Bre added me to this group and at first I thought "ugh, not another invitation!", but after checking it out, I was hooked.
So far I've been able to give away movies, cds, jewellery - and just today (which prompted this post) - my couch and armchair.
I'm not posting to get credit, I'm just so excited to be able to share with others.
This is how it happened...
Sanctuary girls and I went out for breakfast and on the way home we stopped at GBF, a thrift shop in Grimsby. I had been saying to Laurie that I wanted to see if I could find a couch slip cover, because I really didn't like the look of my couch (and arm chair) and really wanted to make my apartment look a little more like mine, and a little less of a yard sale collection site (it's not that bad, I hope). I didn't find a slip cover, but I did find the cutest new dish set for $5 (everything in my house, except my coffee table which Charles had flown here from BC, has been donated by some very generous friends - including dishes).
I want to pause here to say I'm VERY grateful for my friends generosity, but there comes a time when you want to stop relying on others generosity (and hand-me-downs), and start to grow up.
When I came home, I logged on to Facebook and a woman had just posted that her mother was looking for a matching couch and loveseat - I asked if a matching couch and armchair would do and promptly sent over photos. Within the hour, her husband and brother-in-law were taking away my couch, armchair and a couple DVDs I had promised her sister. Awesome.
Now I look at my (still nowhere near empty) living room and am beginning to see it as more of a clean slate. I'm excited!
I still don't know what my style is...I'm working on that. I think I like dark browns and a slightly modern, but still livable, look.
I have no need to rush out and by furniture - although I may invest in some comfy pillows for lounging on.
In the meantime, I have an oversized mirror (that used to sit atop a dresser), an extra dining table set (that *may* be spoken for...pending), dishes, linens and clothes. If you're in need, please let me know - I can probably hook you up with some stuff. Although, I do understand if you'd rather not just have another person's hand-me-downs.
But never be too proud to accept others generosity.
Some people are too concerned about others perceptions. If you're in your 20's, it's OKAY to not have everything your parents have - they're 20-30 years older than you and have worked for it. One of my biggest frustrations is with people that expect everything, for nothing. Life isn't perfect and anything worth having, is worth the work to get it. I don't expect to have a beautifully furnished apartment, not at 27, but I can work towards it. If the way I get there is by clipping coupons, shopping at thrift stores and joining groups like Recycling Kindness and having clothing swaps with my friends - all the better.