It’s more like a year-end bonus, but whatever you name it, I buy myself something around this time every year. Long story short, this year I bought an apartment.
I guess that’s a new take on the gift that keeps giving.
Anyway, the last couple days have been filled with moving stuff into the new place and I’ve come to a realization about “stuff.” I simply own too much of it.
”I’ll use it eventually”
I’d like to introduce you to my favorite phrase, “I’ll use it eventually.” It’s pretty much the reason why I keep anything – even if it won’t be used for another 50 years. I don’t really spend all that much money, so what I do own is, for the most part, odds and ends.
Looking at my desk now I have several old eyeglass cases but use only one. Computer components are everywhere – there’s some RAM just hanging out in anti-static sleeves on the other side of my desk. In between is a graveyard of odds and ends – handles to my dresser, keys to a golf cart (I don’t own one, but like all good things this has a story or ten), batteries, stamps, piles of ink replacements, Chapstick, etc.
The funny thing is that my girlfriend has way more stuff than me. As we were moving in I compared our stuff piles and she’s definitely winning in terms of weight and sheer volume. It’s 10:1; there is no contest.
And yet, she thinks I have too much stuff. And I do. But then it must be realized that if I have too much, then she has 10 times the amount that can be considered too much. If I have the common cold, then she has the black plague.
Moving Plus Trash
Given that I have lived in an area no larger than 10×10 for most of my life, there is no excuse for the number of garbage bags that left my room as I prepared to move out. I really had and still have too much junk.
Trashing things has been particularly liberating. I’ve adopted a new phrase which essentially exists to counterbalance the first: “but can I buy one of these in the future?” Bam!
Once I started throwing things away that could be repurchased in the future, my throwaway pile became ten times bigger. I know that’s a really miserable qualifier for how to sort through things, but to borrow another phrase from the land of PF “it’s what works for me.”
Yeah – that phrase works. I’ve been throwing away things like mad.
Starting with a clean slate is awesome. No more junk. No more things to stumble over. No more “experiments” with half-dead electronics hiding in the corner of the room next to late night business plans scribbled on a dry-erase board.
Plus, I’m accountable now because my other half’s desire for 100% cleanliness and organization will trump my natural favor for disorganization.
Tl;dr: Throw stuff away? Feels good, man.
Photo by: Tim Patterson