Free Stuff

Have you ever wondered how much extra we pay for free stuff?  A free trunk organizer if I renew my membership.  A free spray bottle of cleaner and a cloth with my new glasses.  A free toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss when I visit the dentist. A free canvas bag when I attend a conference.  A free bag of goodies when I sign up to walk at a charity event.  A free token of appreciation when I donate to a non-profit.

Some of these items are useful, but others are just so much clutter.  There’s always the nagging question in my mind – would the product or service I’m buying cost less if I didn’t get a freebie?  Would the non-profit need to raise as much money if the company providing the free stuff just gave them money instead of trinkets?

For most of my life, I was the first one in line to get anything for free.  It was just so exciting to get something that I didn’t have to pay for!  It didn’t matter whether it was something I wanted or needed, it was free! 

During one of my recent purging sessions, I found a bunch of freebies in various closets and cupboards.  Some of them have been there in excess of three years and have never been used.  Now they’re sitting in a bag waiting to go to a local thrift store. 

Freebie Clutter

It’s possible that I could sell some of these things to make a little extra cash, but I’m not sure that it would offset the time, energy, and space those things have taken up over the years.  It doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but I paid people to move some of this stuff the last time I relocated! Embracing a minimalist lifestyle has helped me fight the urge to snatch up freebies, at least when it comes to everything except books. 

Words can’t even express how much I love books.  There’s always a stack somewhere in my house and I’m often reading two or three at the same time, some physical, some digital.  Reading is one of my all time favorite things to do.  Recently I heard about Book Bub so I went to their website and gave them my email address and now they send me an email every day telling me all about different ebooks and some of them are available for FREE!

It takes all of my self control not to download as many as possible.  What is stopping me?  Realistically, I simply don’t have time to read that many books.  As I’ve mentioned previously, my cyber clutter is just as unwieldy as my physical clutter, perhaps even more so because it stays hidden from my site until I realize that I have used up every bit of space on my phone, computer, and tablet!

The next time someone offers me a freebie, I’m going to say no thank you and give it back.  It’s doubtful that my refusal is going to change anything, but at least I won’t have another useless item in my closet.

What free stuff is cluttering up your life?