Due to COVID 19, people in Japan are forced to stay home. This phenomenon influenced our life-style and economy. We have a lot of time at home which forced us to focus more on our personal lives. Some of them started decluttering. The Zen-Buddhist concept of detaching oneself from possessions is called Dan-Sha-Ri.
The three kanji in this compound mean “refuse–throw away–separate.” I will explain to you how I apply Dan-Sha-Ri in my life.
1) Refuse to bring unnecessary new possessions into your life;
I called up several mail-order companies to stop sending me their catalogues. Also, I decided to go shopping three days a week, instead of every day.
2) Throw away existing clutter in your living space:
I cleaned up my closet of linen, such as bed covers or sheet, and made three bags of trash. I am trying to dispose of more than five bags of trash per week.
3) Separate from a desire for material possessions:
I decided to sell my Kimono. In the future, when I have to wear Kimono, I will just rent one. So I called up BUYSELL, a company which deals with buying and selling valuable items. A few days ago, a BUYSELL staff visited my house and appraised the value of my items —Kimono, gold accessories, and old postal stamps which can be exchanged for cash.
About three decades ago, my mother bought an all-silk yellow-green Kimono with butterfly design for me which cost more than 400,000 yen. Since then, I had worn it on several occasions. The last time I wore it was five years ago when I attended an international conference. After that, I dry-cleaned and vacuum-packed it which cost 8,000 yen. So I was really surprised when BUYSELL valued my Kimono at only 1,000 yen. This amount was only a fraction of the cost of dry-cleaning. He explained that prices of second-hand kimonos went down drastically. These Kimonos go to Kimono rental shops. Due to COVID-19, the Kimono rental business is experiencing a sales slump because their main customers are foreign travelers. So I decided not to sell it to them. Instead, I sold it for 3,000 yen through an online marketplace.
On the other hand, the price of gold went up because the stock market has been bullish. Stock investors, who are making a lot of profit, find purchasing gold ingots a profitable investment because their value doesn't fluctuate so much. Therefore, I was able to sell my gold accessories at a much higher price.
Moreover, I have been collecting many postal stamps since I was a child. At that time, they were traded at much higher valuation than their original price. For example, For example, I purchased a stamp for 10 yen and years later, I was able to sell it for 30 yen. So it became my hobby and I looked forward to standing in line in front of the post office. After three decades, the value of postal stamps depreciated because people don't write letters anymore, since most of us now use mobile phones and the internet to communicate. I've accumulated 8 albums of stamps over the years, and even though they now cost only one-third of their face value, I sold them. If I held on to them, I cannot use thousands of stamps in the future and they will just take up space and gather dust in the corner of my house.
Because of Dan-sha-ri, my lifestyle changed. For example, I gave up Kimonos, fur coats and antique furniture. Letting go of them felt liberating and my desire to accumulate possessions was replaced by a feeling of freedom.
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