My story with stuff

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This is one of those stories that has the ability to drive me crazy. Perhaps it represents the most significant change, I consciously made the decision of doing in my life, becoming a minimalist that is.

I am not a minimalist, in fact I am long ways away from becoming one, on the other hand though, I have been trying to become one and so stuff sit on my nerves. It all started couple of years back at a time where I had nothing much going on for my life except a relatively unstimulating office job and I lived alone. I heard someone say how they would like to become minimalist and I decided to see what that really meant. Of course, the internet yielding a lot of theories and success examples and tips and, and, and…

Then I came across www.becomingminimalist.com. The website had some interesting information, enough to keep me thinking about the issue.

I decided that whenever I buy a new thing, I’d have to get rid of two of the similar category. This had generally succeeded at keeping from buying things and I found that it was changing they way I look at stuff.

Then I looked around in my crowded bachelor apartment and decided that I can probably live minus a 100 things in this place. So I decided that every day I will get rid of three things for 33 days and throw in a bonus at the end. To be honest, I forget if I followed through with plan until the end.

However, I became “allergic” to stuff and while I am not claustrophobic, the idea of having a lot of stuff started to increasingly bother me.

Then came the dreaded moving day!

I was supposed to move the day after having worked insane amount of hours and slept very little for the entire week before. I had decided that I will fit all my stuff into 15 boxes and three suit cases. Yes, I packed few things earlier and I got rid of some stuff and I had a pile to take to the free store but I could have never anticipated how much more stuff there was left. In that one day on Tuesday October 30th, I had to pack up all the rest of that stuff and move it.

It was daunting, chaotic and somewhat maddening! By the end of the day, I felt like I wanted to throw away everything. I had a few friends who were really helpful at getting rid of stuff or placing it in the appropriate piles and while I was ready to give up on everything, I really wanted to keep my target. I think being overtired, sleep deprived and overwhelmed made it much easier to decide on giving up whatever that no longer fits and I managed to keep my targets, and 15 boxes and three suit cases moved into my aunt’s basement while I bought an e-reader and took off with a 23 kg bag to what would become a 4 months trip away.

Every time I think about that, I struggle with the idea that I managed to collect that much stuff and also reflect on to how difficult it was getting rid of them. It was almost like divorcing my stuff. And without philosophizing it too much, I think having certain things with me for a long time gave a certain level of comfort that despite things and surroundings changing some things always came along.

Now, as I am slowly retrieving my stuff, I find that I could do without so much more than I thought I would. Every time, I go to get something I find 2 that should just go. I get mad at myself for getting into the trap of buying stuff and of being attached to stuff and of society being attached to stuff.

Stuff are bad for us, bad for the environment and bad for our wallets, yet stuff make us feel and look good. Well they don’t anymore and now more than ever, I am ready to get rid of stuff, and perhaps that’s not a bad thing. I know I’ll always have a book or a notebook to fill the void and that’s how much stuff I need.

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