• Gisèle Schembri

Minimalism And The Swap Shops

Some years ago I became a Minimalist. In fact in my older blogs I spoke very often of decluttering and even experiments such as Project 333. Furthermore, I wrote at least three articles on my column when I worked for eve.com.mt which explored Ten Reasons To Choose A Minimalist Life, 10 Non-Material Christmas Gift Ideas and even a article about a hypothetical global move towards a Minimalist World, which I titled Minimalism and The Economy.

But after all is said and done, despite the allure and perks of turning Minimalist, very few people actually declutter their life so totally and this is in part or sometimes mostly due to those pesky thoughts that make one feel guilty or worried about parting with stuff.

Common issues that people face when decluttering are the thought of how much money was ‘wasted’ on buying the item and the small chance that they might need it again someday in the future. The rational logical answers are simply that you cannot get your money back by keeping the unused item and that sometimes your space might be worth more than the cost of maybe, just maybe, ever needing to buy the item again. Still, these two questions are the most fool-proof tricks that the mind plays on the person embarking on a journey in reducing physical clutter.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that what I would call ‘Swap Shops’ are helping people declutter like never before. There is no longer the need to feel guilty about getting rid of an expensive item if they feel that firstly, they are getting something they need and would actually pay for, in return and secondly, that the item will be serving a use to someone else. These key bonuses of swapping also adequately answer the question of ‘What if I ever need to rebuy?’ for in swapping, they are using the item as a means of ‘paying’ for something they need right now, so that it won’t feel any longer like they are paying twice for said item should they ever need to get another one like it (though let’s face it, what percentage of the items that you have let go of did you ever actually need again?)

I live on what many would consider to be a ‘tiny island’ and yet there is nothing tiny about the Facebook Swap Shop group Swap women's everything👜💄🍅🥕 Malta, which has become as addictive to women as browsing and online shopping used to be. True to its title, the group boasts anything from books and DVDs to perfumes and designer bags, small pieces of furniture to family board games, fresh lemons from the women’s gardens to items you didn’t know exist!!

So if you are on the island and are interested, press that ‘Join’ button and become a part of the local no-spend group.

Image by M. H. from Pixabay


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