Quiet Perspective

@cpowell

Written by Chris Powell. Technologist. Minimalist. ISFJ.

quietperspective.com

Decluttering Momentum

I grew up wanting it all in the 1980s. I had to have all of the Transformers; autobots, decepticons, dinobots, you name it. I tried to collect all the baseball cards in the world; complete sets and doubles of my favorite players. All the video game cartridges to stick in my Texas Instruments TI99–4A computer. All the sports digest magazines. You get the idea. This mindset exploded like a microwave popcorn bag in my 20s decade. I was out of college, making a good salary, and living the good life in my own home. It was such a dangerous equation:

Money x [Desire for things + Space to store things] = A cluttered mess

Things changed when I was in my mid-thirties. I was in my two-car garage on a Saturday morning. I had to get something out of my car. Reached in, grabbed it, closed the driver-side door, glanced at the other half of the garage, and stopped dead in my tracks. Instead of empty space for another car, I saw stacked boxes of things and miscellaneous furniture I wasn’t using inside my house. It nearly reached the top of the garage. For the longest time, I told myself I might need these things someday, so I kept them. But something happened.

One box of old, irrelevant papers got dumped in the recycling bin. A carload of unnecessary items got delivered to the Goodwill. A couple boxes of books originally bought because I wanted to convince myself and others that I was well-read, but never read, donated to the public library. Buddies with trucks stopped by to help haul my unused furniture to the Goodwill. It turned into a weekend activity. Eliminate the unnecessary. Part with the unused. Say goodbye to someday. And before I knew it, I was able to see the concrete surface in the second car spot in my garage.

Less things stored in my home. More space to move around. Less unused furniture, more open air. Less plates, dishes, and glasses in my cupboards. More space to neatly store what I actually used on a daily basis. It felt freeing.

So I ask you, friend: what can you remove from your life? What is something you are holding onto in hopes you’ll need it someday? What can you eliminate from your home, yet get to someday when you want it? (hint: it rhymes with flybrary rooks.)

What can you say goodbye to? Can you live through the grief of not having it anymore, and make it through to the other side. Can you be okay with it not being around? I’ve been there. If you’re like me, it’s tough to give things away, or sell things online. I’m wagering your memories of stuff will fade someday because your mind will focus on the current things in your life. And I believe now is more important than the past.De


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