80% Gone

I’ve been meaning to write about this important topic…

I got my own place when I was 18 and have lived in several apartments since then. I’ve always had apartments because I either lived alone or with one other person. I never felt the need to get a house because I didn’t find it necessary to need that much space. I also never felt the need to buy a house and commit to living at that location. Every place I lived felt temporary, no matter how long I lived there. It was as if I knew I’d end up going elsewhere.

My point of explaining this is I gathered a lot of belongings over all those years! Every time I’d move, I’d get rid of a few things that I didn’t want anymore, but I’d still bring all of the belongings I had accumilated over the years that I felt still had some use left in them. It seems common people are likely to get rid of belongings when they move because it’s such a hassle, so less things to move is better. I can look back now and say I still had way too many belongings.

I moved into my current residence two years ago. I live with my boyfriend and he does not have much free space in the house at all. He has plenty of belongings and much of it could be considered “a bunch of stuff” that just sits around and needs to be sorted through one day. But it’s his house so he can have all the stuff he wants. Myself, on the other hand, am limited space and need to use it in the best way I can.

Before I moved in, he had a room that he used for storage. He referred to it as “the hoarder room”. Small pieces of furniture, old clothes, boxes of “stuff”, cords, some personal items, papers, dog toys, a whole lot of things. He made an effort to clear out the room for me to put all my belongings. He and I share his bedroom, but he barely has any room for his own belongings, so my goal was to put my things in the spare room. I also put a couch in there so I can hang out and relax with my cat.

But let’s backtrack to where I was in the process of moving in. I knew very well that I had way too many belongings to fit in one room. I had much more belongings and lived in a place were I had plenty of space to put them. I needed to downsize my belongings badly. When I was packing all of my things, I became annoyed at how many things I had that has been packed away in boxes the whole time I had lived there. Duplicates of kitchen items, stupid odds and ends, knick-knacks. I made many visits to the trash bin and the thrift store to get rid of unwanted items so it would make moving easier. I ended up packing all the things I planned to bring with me and the move happened. All of my boxes were placed in the front room of my current residence and, little by little, would be unpacked and situated in the room I’d be moving them into.

Once I started moving my things in, reality started sinking in that I still wouldn’t have enough space for everything. In fact, I needed to get rid of so much more. I angrily looked through each box and bag, tossing things into either a trash bag or a thrift store donation bag, wondering why I had clung on to so many things that I wasn’t actually using. It felt like an overwhelming amount of clutter. I even inspired my boyfriend to find things he needed to get rid of, although he still kept a great amount of “stuff”. We made a huge donation to a local thrift store and also dumped a truck full of things off at the junk yard. By the time I was settled into the new room, I easily got rid of about 80% of my belongings.

Within the last two years, I’ve gotten rid of more things. Each time I do, I feel a little bit more free. That extra space is valuable, worth more than the things sitting around that I don’t need or use. I can’t help but notice more things in the room every time I go in there. Even though I don’t have much left compared to what I used to have, I know I still have too many belongings. When I have time, I’d like to pick through things and find out what else I can eliminate to create more extra space. I’m going to look at this as a project and will be documenting my ideas and successes!