[Downsizing Zeal] Freedom: Not Deadheading

My moving-out pace, to attain freedom from high rent is slow, but, I’ve kept some things in mind to keep the pace going. Whenever possible, I’m trying to fill recyclable bags with recycling [topped with a garbage bag] the night before going anywhere, so I can trash the trash and recycle my recycling – and the bag if it gets thrashed. Another is frequently bringing down bags to donate. With few exceptions, then, I don’t deadhead.

I haven’t felt well enough to make any donation trips.

But they’re in my trunk, ready to go, so that way I can keep the process going. If I feel well enough after my next chiropractic appointment, I have enough stuff to make a worthwhile trip to donate some things. Each time I do this, I feel a sense in regret over the process, but, the more often I do this with things that I’ve already put into bags, the less attached I feel to the individual items. In some way, decluttering the years of psychological hoarding I’ve done starts with detaching myself from individual thoughts and feelings. Items I’ve donated pop into my head on occasion, and it’s weird to think about why, since all of those are items that I’ve decided I no longer cared about.

Why would my mind care about them after they’re gone and donated?

This is the part where I remind myself that downsizing isn’t an exercise in decreasing emotional attachment to the point of being psychotic or anything. Downsizing is more about clearing out the spaces in our physical and mental areas that are wasted by things we don’t care about. I can think of few reasons why I should own a book I’ll never read – maybe if I want to keep it in mint condition, for collectibility, or if I plan to read it eventually. If I’ve read a little of the book and might never want to read it again, why bother? Well, that does limit the potential for me to return to that book, which, can be regretful. It’s not like that’s the only copy of the book to ever exist, and if it is, I made a decision once in my life, based on the information I had at that time.

Why should I want to change my mind months or years later?

Having the context of that time could maybe help me appreciate that book more, so that’s why it’s almost more important to start out small with recycling. I kept around too many smallish boxes, so, I’ve been going through the process of condensing these boxes down to recycle them. It would be more ideal to use them to store things, but, if I’m in the process of reducing large portions of my property to live somewhere that’s more affordable, accessible, and maybe even will enable me to travel around, then it’s important to clear out these objects that otherwise are in the way.

I retrieved a Mickey Mouse plush from the recycling today.

I don’t have much of a need for it, but someone might, so after throwing out my recycling, I retrieved it and put it in my box of things to donate. There was a spot on the foot that had gotten dirty, so it might not be the cleanest, but I think it deserves a better spot than the garbage. That might be why most people keep things for far longer than they should. There is something to be said for trashing perfectly useable items – I saw some Funko Pop boxes in the recycling that, well, could be worth money to resell but then I’d have to deal with Funko – which might be why hoarding is such an unspoken but perhaps common problem.

I found it mentally difficult to even begin recycling those boxes.

Each box collapsed represents a decrease in potential. Each bag of things donated represents a decrease in my overall net worth. But considering how many hundreds of dollars I’ve sunk into the apartment-mansion to store all this stuff, I’m not going to let the sunk cost fallacy seduce me into paying for things I don’t care about – even if my mind might occasionally tell me I do – on a monthly basis. Each time I pay rent is like paying for the square footage of things regardless of the price I paid initially for it. There, then, is no inherent value for me to keep things that are easily recreated or restored. I can get boxes from anywhere from the apartment’s recycling to businesses or even buying my own. If I can clear out the objects that are the least productive, I can get to the objects that are the most productive.

I don’t need to make massive, sweeping changes.

All it takes is one load at a time. It’s easy enough for me to bring down to the recycling then my car: a bag of recycling, my on-the-go bag, and sometimes even a bag for perishable foods. I didn’t do much today to help clear out the apartment-mansion outside of bringing those bags down, but that helps. Everytime I don’t “deadhead” is productive. What I need to do, then, is set myself up to succeed by making it easy for me to bring down these bags whenever I go out. That means prepping all of the recycling before I go, keeping the trash bag easily accessible at the top so I can throw it out first, and prepping all the bags with easy-to-carry donation bags before I leave, so all I need to do is carry the bags down. Spending hours on the donation decision-making process is fair. It’s just that should happen before I bring any of those “to donate” bags over to the “donation station” area to donate, and I have frequently thought about what to donate while driving or doing other activities. That’s important to reduce donation regret.

However, once you’ve made a decision, stick to that decision, and move on.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Fourth of July entry lined up well, and, I’m trying to prep some of these essays again so they’re not last-hour spontaneous essays. It’s kinda tricky, but, it’s more rewarding to have less of the “think about the whole essay” happen right at the same time. This is the same approach I’m taking with donating – break up the donation process into segments so when I feel well enough to get over to a thrift store or wherever, the trunk is already full, so I can just unload and go. Same with these essays. Prep them then write when I feel well enough to do so.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
Photo: An abstract photo of a recycling bag.
Written On: 2021 May 24 [8:38pm to 9:07pm]
Last Edited: 2021 May 24 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.