After over twelve weeks of addressing clutter in all areas of my life, I have to learn to get used to empty [shelf] space. Even three months ago, I couldn’t leave any surface without something to fill or clutter it, yet now, I almost struggle to fill the shelves with stuff. I will probably half-fill this plastic shelving unit I cleared off over the next few days, but it’s not the urgent rush it’s been.
Putting away these 90s X-Men toys has been the hardest thing for me to do since I began pummeling my psyche’s hoarding tendencies after Thanksgiving. I kept a majority of my stuff, donated some, but these… they impersonated many of the same toys I had as a kid. I still have them all. Whether they’re painted over or not, I boxed them up fairly easily, but these were harder. I’m trying to figure out why…
All of this stuff I’ve collected over the years is forcing me into expensive housing to store all of it. It’s overwhelming to the point of losing time due to constant anxiety and stressful to the point of being unable to pack. I’m having trouble focusing and can’t enjoy leisurely activities. I won’t be able to afford the space or stuff for too long. Why not just throw out everything that isn’t irreplaceable or sentimental?
My biggest source of clutter was all of the half-finished projects I never completed. I’ve learned to complete projects with this website, where I come up with an idea and publish an essay daily, but I’ve only just learned during this downsizing-move to finish or trash projects. Supergluing bolts onto a toy car was just a fun project, except, I never did the final steps to finish the project and display it properly. No more!
When I started my career in technical support, the people I admired the most had the most information. Their years of experience, context, and intuition were inspiring, so of course, throughout my career, I wanted to emulate those well-informed individuals. I no longer need esoteric technical knowledge to that degree. Why hold onto most of it? I would only read passages on occasion, anyways. Best to keep one or two references then donate the rest.
My VHS collection sat for months, inconveniently blocking an aisleway, intentionally being an intentional eyesore. Incidentally, with months of packing, donating, and keeping context, and a renewed interest in watching occasional movies, I’ve purged anything that I can watch in a higher definition or anything that isn’t rare/resellable. VHS represents a particular aesthetic for me, so if I’m going to enjoy it, it needs to be manageable, otherwise, I won’t want to deal with it.
When I moved furniture for minimal wage, we estimated the two densest things to move: textiles, then books. Bundles of rolled-up carpet were only beat by furniture. Large boxes of books might not seem bad until you have to move it a few times or the fatigue kicks in. All the boxes I’m using for books are smaller than around 12″ width, 12″ height, and 12″ depth. You never know who’ll give you a hand. Strong or otherwise.
When I started the move-out process, I owned 171 CDs that I’d never heard before; today, 59. That 171 didn’t include 30+ I hadn’t cataloged, so let’s just say over 200. That’s obviously wasteful. I’d say I’m not passionate about listening to more than half of those 59 CDs. That said, I’m keeping them because will still listen to them all for two reasons: ownership obligation and training myself to stop buying things without using them. In other words: materialistic discipline.
“I want to support [Cradle of Filth] somehow, but I just don’t buy CDs.”
“I own over 1,000 CDs and after about the 8th CD you find a duplicate of you start to just feel bad.”
Are CDs more antiquated than cassettes now? At least with a cassette tape or record, they are glorified through high-end sound systems that encourage total focus. With CDs, if you just listen to them in the car, why not digital?
What’s my perfect collection look like? Diversity, uniqueness, and quality would make me feel the proudest about owning such a materialistically ephemeral collection. Those three factors must, then, guide my future collecting intentions because I know I’ll get more CDs. Is it merely enough to say that I want to focus on quality over quantity?