Last year i felt i had too much stuff…i have felt that off and on for a while now…i take long lingering gazes at tiny houses containing minimalist belongings…insert < sigh > here. but last december i had had enough. My yearly cycle doesn’t start at jan 1st…my yearly ‘whack on the side of the head you idiot you haven’t done enough’ occurs somewhere around my birthday. My goal for 2012…well the only goal i managed to keep in front of me like a horizon..was to get rid of half of what i own. I had and have no idea what half of what i own looks like..unless i decide to drag everything i own out of the house and onto the lawn like the families in Peter Menzel’s Material World book. and don’t think i haven’t thought about it.
Regardless I THINK i have made a dent in my goal..indeed i still have a storage cupboard I have bungeed closed but i DID make a huge dent in other stuff. Because i had started divesting my own stuff right after my mother passed leaving me hip deep in stuff i didn’t want. I have been pitching, selling and giving away as much as possible. My clothes are minimal compared to the people on those clean house programs..how can you HAVE a mountain of clothes for one person? I like cooking so my kitchen items aren’t minimal but i no longer have things I don’t use….and so forth. I keep taking passes at my tools and devices and such.. because income waxes and wanes, I took the opportunity to sell a large portion of my dvds, and an even larger portion of my cameras. Some of the valueless cameras were donated and i think i have a few more going that direction. I don’t feel entire free of STUFF weighing me down but i am getting there.
I have exchanged some clutter for other clutter…I emptied a closet with clutter and filled it with a shelf of long term storage food and supplies. …… I still have a few extra bicycles i want to clean up for rental for next year…and i have an extra boat i haven’t used yet..and i have my eye on a canoe to add to the pile. But I don’t consider that kind of crap clutter..it has a moderate value, would be easy to part with and I WANT and Do use them. Well at least that is my rationalization, and i am sticking to it.
To really complete my goal, I should take a pass through all my books…but unless i am ready to get rid of half or more, it is a wasted effort. if i take a shelf apart to dust, i will usually take out 1 book in 10, that’s helpful but insignificant – because i am probably adding books at the same rate…i figure if i am staying even..i’m okay.
My biggest and most satisfying divestiture was when i found a home for my wedding china…to be honest i had it before i was married…the married part was not pertinent…i just collected it for myself. anyway…16 dinner plates, full on full multipiece service for 8 with all sorts of serving vessel oddments…it was 4 large well packed boxes from the basement…the newspapers inside were 20 years old…that’s how long it had been down there. I gifted it to a friend who had in the last 12 years been flooded out twice and had resolved to have mismatched dishes for the rest of time. AHA I SAID!…I HAVE A SOLUTION…and deposited the boxes on her the next day. I hope i didn’t add my clutter to hers..but she was happy, i was happy…and i am sure the dishes are happy.
Just because the clock on the wall says 2013 doesn’t mean i will stop the ‘get rid of half’ mindset…i fact i think i have finally made it a lifestyle choice..hmm..is that what one needs to change a habit?…a year of concentration? hopefully…otherwise the backslide will be hell.
Right this very minute I am working on ripping the last of my CDS ..which have been living in a rubbermade tub since i took their bookcase away and gave it to the books…ripping them to my hard drive..which on its face sounds like a grand idea..but i need to increase my cloud storage to cover that little 2 terrabyte hard drive for it to be worthwhile. There is always the chance of an accident. So the goal is to rip the cds…sell the cds and pay for the Carbonite coverage for the CD digital contents. right? right!