Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 05 Nov 2007

In the process of unpacking I’m finding myself picking up certain items and saying to myself, “WTF? When did I last need/use/touch/think about/lay eyes on this thing?”

Such items have started being set aside. Once critical mass is achieved (or I finish unpacking, whichever comes first) they’re all going to Goodwill or some such organization. I suspect that a fair number of boxes of stuff are going to be leaving this flat in the coming weeks.

It helps that I spent a week with the vast majority of my worldly possessions boxed up and essentially unavailable to me. Aside from some cookware I find that I missed almost none of it. This is making it a lot easier to jettison some dead weight. Anything which doesn’t have legitimate emotional significance or serve some actual (rather than perceived or potentially eventual) need will be sent packing.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through a purge and it is in no way the most drastic. A little over five years ago I had far more stuff than I do now. More books, more records, more furniture. Then I moved into a smaller apartment and found that I would like to be able to move around. The amount of stuff I unloaded was impressive (and perhaps frightening). Some of it was difficult to part with but not traumatically so.

By the end of the process I felt so much better about my living environment and learned that stuff is just that: stuff. It can be replaced if needed, though thus far I’ve found that I haven’t had a need to replace any of the stuff I got rid of in the first big purge. This just proves that ditching the crap was the right thing to do.

Furthermore it formed the basis of a new philosophy for me. If I need something I go out and get it and I only buy what I need (read: no stockpiling). Also, I’ll only buy it if I have a place to keep it. This helps keep the accumulation creep to a bare minimum. Impulse purchases still happen (far too frequently) and are mostly limited to less material things like music and food.

This latest effort is less purge than maintenance. Though the accumulation is minimized it still seems to happen somehow. Also there’s all that old stuff with which I couldn’t bear to part before but which now has lost its usefulness or significance for me. Out it will go and with it a little piece of my cares. It’ll be liberating and my new place will look all the neater for it.