Minimising the Other Belongings (ARCHIVE)
Originally posted September 24, 2016
36 items of clothing, 9 pairs of shoes, 4 bags
As I started to remove unnecessary items of clothing from my life, I started to remove other belongings from my life.
When I first moved into my apartment with a large amount of built in kitchen, bedroom and laundry storage, I thought, ‘I’m going to need more storage’. I had this idea of filling my lounge nook with a custom built in cupboard. Lucky for current me, past me had no idea what this was going to look like. I called in a carpenter and asked him how he thought we could fill the nook. He had few ideas and almost no enthusiasm, and after he left and I never heard from him again, I decided I didn’t need to build up the nook just yet.
As I started removing items of clothing from my life, I started to look around other spaces in my apartment. They started to look too full. At this time I was going through the shopping fast. To be completely honest, putting my shopping hobby to rest was leaving a gap in my life. So I begun a new decluttering hobby to fill the gap. I would mill around the apartment anxiously, thinking about all the places filled with belongings. Then I would tackle a shelf or a cupboard that needed a cleansing.
I used the same instincts for decluttering my books, CDs, DVDs, documents, kitchen items, bedding, cosmetics, art supplies, stationery and miscellania as I did for my wardrobe. Did I have more than one? Did I use it? Did I need it? Did I like it?
I discovered a strange resistance at this time. ‘BUT I’VE HAD THIS FOR YEARS,’ I would whine about a random belonging that I never used. The best example of one of these moments was the CD collection cleanse. I sat down with the 25 or so CDs that had been moving house with me over the last 15 years. After I was done resisting the cleanse, it occurred to me then that I didn’t even have a CD player. To reduce the blow of letting my lifelong belongings go, I told myself I would just burn the CDs I really loved. Then I realised I didn’t have a disc drive in my laptop. I chuckled at the idea that I’d even owned these things for the last five years. I decided to cull the collection down to my favourite dozen or so. The ones I kept now live in the nostalgia glove box of my car, and they actually get listened to on occasion. The others are gone and I had literally forgotten they ever even existed in the first place until I wrote this paragraph. I probably couldn’t tell you what they were now.
With time, I’ve allowed the nook to live in peace as a nook. I’ve also emptied a number of cupboards and shelves. Did I need all those books that I didn’t even like? Did I need all those DVDs I didn’t watch? Did I need 10 baking trays? Did I need those receipts from 5 years ago? Did I need that red bedding set that I hadn’t wanted to sleep in for years? Do I miss the unused belongings? No.