Returning to a simpler " and cheesier " way of life
September 26, 2007
Keep. Toss. Keep. Keep. Toss. Definitely keep.
I have been saying that a lot lately as I pore over piles of stuff. I’m in the middle of a “life reduction” because I came to the conclusion that I have too much stuff.
I don’t know how I accumulated so much junk; I really tried not to because I knew that it would come back to bite me.
Since the age of 16, I have moved a total of six times, with half of those including at least a two hour drive. I learned very quickly that more possessions meant more stuff to move.
To a fat kid, stuff to move translates to exercise.
So, when I got my first big boy apartment, I told myself that I would take a very minimalist perspective in what I had. I made sure I always had the basics: Television, microwave, video game console, computer, pot and dishware.
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If I had all that, I was set. I also always had a mattress, sometimes it was a futon mattress someone loaned to me, sometimes it was mattress I rescued on garbage day and a couple of times it was a couple of blankets piled on top of each other.
Sure, it had its drawbacks, like having my oatmeal taste like macaroni and cheese or having to “air dry” after a shower, but come moving day, it was all worth it.
But recently, my once minimalist attitude has become, shall we say, decadent.
I realized I have an entire closet of stuff that I don’t even have room for in my one-bedroom apartment and decided it was time to downsize.
But it’s hard, because I’m just sentimental enough that I want to keep useless junk for admittedly stupid reasons.
Things like a cork from the bottle of champagne I drank during the turn of the millennium or that hourglass with the dragon wrapped around it I received one Christmas.
How can I part with the flatulent Santa Claus ornament or that set of women’s lingerie a former flame said she would “come back to get when she was ready.”
In a way, I’m a little ashamed of the sheer amount of useless crap I have managed to collect. Will someone please tell me how ” despite the fact that I have never personally purchased one ” I ended up with three garbage bags full of towels? Not even pool or bath towels, but three freakin’ bags of KITCHEN towels.
I also have sheets for four different sizes of mattresses, several of which I have never owned, yet there they sit, taking up space in my closet.
I rummaged through old posters, scribbled notes and years worth of useless receipts and loaded up the Dumpster at my apartment with 19 trips worth of junk.
Each time I made the shame walk across the parking lot with another armload of frivolity, I must have looked like a congressman leaving the adult film superstore.
I threw away a couple of those purchases, as well.
Yep, I was as ashamed as the single guy walking out of the premiere of “Bratz: The movie.”
On the plus side, in my examination and “life reduction” I have found several items I thought were lost forever ” like my burned CD with the theme song to the “Gummi Bears” television show.
My hope is that when I am done “life reducing,” no matter how hard it is now, I will return to the good old days.
Where everything tastes like macaroni and cheese.
What do you have too much of? Tell me about it.