Simplicity Part #1

I am a hoarder.  I would say “I used to be a hoarder.” but that would imply that my change has been permanent.  I cannot see the future, so I feel that statement is a bit premature. “Tempting fate”, if you will.

I have moved 17 times in 7 years.  You would think that would prompt one to limit one’s belongings, but no, that is sadly not the case.  Due to my serial fascinations, I often will (or rather, used to) buy lots of items in a given category in a short period of time, and then will take forever in finishing using them, if the process is ever completed at all.  In my experience, most of the time, it was not.

When I started to plan for Korea, back while I was still in school, I knew that I was going to have to get rid of a lot of my stuff.  When I was packing up my dorm room, I gave away (or sold for minimal sums) all my furniture and as many of my cast-off belongings as I could, and the rest were thrown away.  Seeing the sheer amount of waste that I was causing gave me quite a bit of pause.  When I finished college, I was unsure of when I would be headed to Korea, so I had not planned on finding an apartment.  Thus, I knew that I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff.  But, due to some last minute hassles with my college, I was not able to thoroughly look through my belongings, so I ended up keeping FAR more than I had hoped.

After spending 6 weeks unwinding in Switzerland, I ended up living with a long-time friend and his girlfriend, in their spare bedroom, in Boston.  However, I have many, many friends, and soon I decided to couch-surf between his apartment, Marc’s apartment (boyfriend), and various friends’ couches.  I started off by spending 3 weeks down in North Carolina with a reenactor friend of mine, and so before I left, I put almost all my belongings into a storage facility, and packed one big bin of summer clothes (it was late July), one of fall clothes, one of winter clothes, one of reenacting gear, and one of miscellaneous gear.  I was not sure when I would be back in Boston, so I had to be prepared.

By the time I stopped wandering, 8 months later, I had really figured out what I needed and what I didn’t need, of the things I brought.  Some things I wished I had brought, but did not, and some I ended up never using.  So, that showed me what sorts of things I tend to use the most; quite an important bit of knowledge.

When I finally came back to Boston and opened the door of my storage facility, I looked at the 5x10ft space, piled solid and over my head, and thought “What is all this crap for?”.  I had lived for 8 months out of the bins in the back of my truck (it has a camper, so it’s kind of like an SUV almost) with almost no discomfort, and so when I saw the massive pile of….things…that filled my storage unit, I felt almost gross.

By that time, I knew when (approximately) I was headed for Korea.  I was going away for a year, and when I came back, I would be living somewhere completely new, but neither Marc or I knew where yet.  But, the more important thing was that I could not afford to keep the storage unit while I was in Korea, and since I would be car-less upon return, I would not want to deal with having to move so much stuff.  I would have to get rid of most of it, about a UHaul truck’s worth, in my estimation.  Quite a daunting task indeed.

————————————-

The second half of this is about how I went about getting rid of 75% of what I owned, and what was going through my head as I did so.  I will write it on the train later today while I’m on the way to Seoul.  I felt that really, giving the background was important, and I wanted to keep this from getting too long.

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3 Responses to “Simplicity Part #1”


  1. 1 Liz Opp August 15, 2008 at 12:09 am

    I’ll be curious to see Part II.

    Is/Was the simplicity thing motivated by your experience among Friends? Or was it, plain and simple, just the “grossness” factor you describe?

    Blessings,
    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

  2. 2 Driftingfocus August 15, 2008 at 12:25 am

    That’s part of what Part II is about. 😉


  1. 1 Simplicity: Shut Up and Listen on un-hoarding « among Friends Trackback on February 18, 2009 at 6:34 am

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