The more stuff you have, the fewer options you have. Sure, you might be materialistically rich, with all matter of anything you might want or need, but that clutter won’t pay rent. Try dealing with the existential crises that arise from long-term unemployment, looking at your bank account, your monthly burn-rate of savings, and not thinking: “If only I hadn’t bought so much stuff. Then maybe I could have moved into more affordable living arrangements.”
Past my writing desk is a pile of stuff I plan to donate tomorrow.
One of the items is a certain thing that took up the larger block of real estate in the photo above. The details are unimportant. My mind could explore all of its potentials that I never used over the years, how I could have used it for this, or maybe tried to sell it, but that never happened. Instead, when I got it [for free, at least], I put it away to collect dust, then when I started moving out of the old place, I realized I never had a place for it, then it just stowed itself away further.
I won’t know its 5-year plan. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
I will not know whether anyone used it to its full potential, and frankly, I don’t care. It and the objects I’ll be donating represent items that I could work toward selling for a few dollars, but I just want it gone. I want to clear out this space even more than I have already. I’m nearly cleared out of the storage unit, and by the time this essay publishes that should be fully closed out, so that will be one milestone. The more I look at the stuff around me, the less I’m interested in keeping it.
Maybe it’s that sour taste of rent prices? I don’t think it’s entirely that.
I like the idea of being flexible. I can’t be flexible when I’m worried about where I’ll put this or that. If I can sell the five bookshelves that I bought that now just contain organized clutter, those will be five fewer items for me to worry about where to store in the next place. Maybe I’ll have an equally large dining room area? I probably won’t. I have enough storage racks to pick up the… slack… and with fewer possessions overall, I won’t have to worry about renting another two-bedroom.
I want a small, cheap, quiet apartment or even bedroom.
I want a place where I can row without having to drive miles out of the way, a place to write, and a place to store, I suppose, my clothes, my cherishes possessions, and whatever remains. Moving out of the old place meant stowing way everything I wanted to keep. Moving out of this apartment-mansion means clearing out everything I know I can live without, one box or bag at a time. Then I’ll be free to move wherever.
Seattle is becoming too expensive.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Not a good day for overall emotions.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Second hallway in the apartment-mansion. Sorry I didn’t vacuum.|
|Written On: May 2nd [20 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|