If there’s one thing that I’ve returned to when readjusting to apartment living is that at any moment, someone, somewhere, could knock on the door and stop on in. It’s the same as a phone call, really. You can set your phone to “do not disturb,” but people will still knock, sometimes with reason. This time, it was the police, asking to search for any signs of domestic violence. Sure. I have nothing to hide.
I’ve already moved. Other than some stuff in storage, everything I own is under one roof. Shouldn’t I have returned to writing fiction? If this move has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not attached to 80% of what I own. The sooner I get rid of that 80%, the sooner I can write with less stress weighing me down. With these overflowing material and minor financial worries, I can’t focus as well as I once could.
Why do we need objects to tell us stories? Can’t we tell our own stories? Do the objects carry a certain external storage for certain events? When are objects imbued with such honors? Upon significant achievement, heroic sacrifice, or humble ascertainments of quaint aspects of reality first encountered through interacting with the object in question? If it’s the third abstractly-worded answer, here’s a story about a bathtub part and an overall pleasant customer service experience.
“Before I picked Chris up this morning, I donated three “bags” of stuff.” “Of what?” “School supplies, mainly. Childhood school supplies.[1,2,1]” Moving from a rental house into an apartment was a nice way to get rid of the biggest clutter in my life, but without changes in materialistic mentality, I was likely to return to that same hoarding lifestyle. “I had to rent a big apartment to fit all this stuff… I don’t care about…” 
I consider each box I own, now, to be an unsorted box whose contents will end up in one of three piles: keep, pending, or donate. “Keep” and “donate” are self-explanatory, but how about “pending?” That’s anything that I’m not sure if I want to keep. I have a whole “downsizing wall” dedicated to pending things. It’s the last-stop-shop for many of my possessions, with a week-long time-limit, and it feels surprisingly refreshing for me.
How much are you comfortable sacrificing to achieve your goals? What personal/professional comforts will you give up in order to do what you find most valuable? Would you give up a good paying job if it got you closer to your goals? Would you donate a childhood collection of pencils you’ll never appreciate again so that you could free up the time, space, and mental energy for everything else you want to do in life?
I donated my former favorite hoodie today. If there were any regrets, it’d be over wondering and wishing if things could have worked out so I didn’t need to downsize, but that’s not a positive mindset for me. Instead, I’ve adopted a methodology for keeping or donating: Is it worth $10? This hoodie is probably in a cloth bale being shipped overseas, but it wouldn’t be worth $10 for me to retrieve. Why would I keep it?
“Do you really need it? Do you have their complete discography? You should narrow down your collections from 100… to 3.” After having moved almost everything into the new apartment, my relief over getting my overwhelming housing situation squared away was a 10th of the emotion I felt. More so, I felt disgusted. How could I own so much stuff? So many collections I barely enjoy. If I have 100 collections, I know now I only care about… 3.
When I’m bored, if I ever am, I never think about playing board games. If I’m not writing in a semi-professional capacity, I’m working on a large writing project, or decompressing by writing a casual essay here. I’ll do other things, but board games just aren’t something I want to pursue as a professional, amateur board game designer, or even casual player. Maybe if invited? Otherwise, I have no use to keep board game boxes.
I have some difficult decisions to make soon. I’ve put together my first post-move round of stuff to assess whether I can sell, donate, or trash. Scarce few items may go back for me to reassess later, but I’ve chosen these items because they have limited aesthetics, nostalgia, or utility. I have harder decisions left, yet these decisions have kept me up tonight, thinking about them, so let’s explore the attachment to a childhood guitar…