When I was in the old place, it was easy to put stuff away and forget about it. Here, everything is on ugly display, clogging everywhere that isn’t urgently needed. Two hallways? The one with less priority gets filled. Wide hallways? I’ll put boxes anywhere there’s not somewhere where I can easily trip. This situation is terribly loathsome to me. I hate this messy predicament. How will I/we get myself/ourselves out of our messy situations?
One box at a time.
I thought the worst offenders would be the old computers I’d collected back before I started writing, when I thought I’d want to build up a computer museum and the hardware was cheap, but instead it’s the mundane stuff. Theoretically, we buy in bulk to save money, and so we can have a decent supply of items lasting us months [or years]. When we spend or receive erroneously, those items clog our lives. I only need a handful of soaps; two plus boxes can go.
When so much is offensive to your sense of calm, it’s easy to downsize.
Another route to go that is less self-loathing is to assess what you own but will never use. I own three suit jackets, yet two of them fit me awkwardly, and I enjoy wearing none of them. I have more regular jackets than I can even hang up in two closets, all of them and other clothing are currently overflowing to the point where I am unable to invite a maintenance person over to assess why the hot water in my apartment will not run for more than a few minutes, let alone walk around normally.
I am much less attached to superfluous clothes as I am having a hot bath.
Getting to this level of physical desperation was the kick I needed to shift my downsizing into gear. The constant anxiety, threatening my long-term sanity, which prevents me from thinking clearly in the short-term, are all not worth the potential of earning $5 here or $10 there. Let me free myself of some of these physical shackles holding me down. If I give my excess to others in need or slight disadvantage, will that free me of these mental burdens?
Yes. You don’t have to get to this point to force yourself to change.
I/We own much more stuff than I/we need. While it’s nice to stockpile food and other consumables, I/we have many lifetimes of supplies of things that it’s frankly OK to buy once or twice a year. I/We didn’t do it out of malice. I wouldn’t feel comfortable preventing others from not having opportunities so that I could succeed. Yet, here I am, sitting engulfed in clutter, in an expensive apartment, forcing me to accept a gig with dubious individuals, all so that I can afford to store stuff I don’t completely care about.
I focused on packing up the stuff I cared about most.
If only I’d learned to also detach easier from things I didn’t care about.
|Quotes: I was going to more gratuitously quote George Carlin in that final paragraph, but I think a hyperlink will do, and in the ebook version, well, you can probably click on that link too, if not, check out “A Place For My Stuff.”|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: The violent realization that not being able to enjoy this new place, not being able to find important things, and having to navigate around like some sort of hoarder contortionist were actually legitimately causing me anxiety and stress that threatened to consume me. I was half-worried that I’d move here, get comfortable, and things would return back to normal. Just like shaving the beard, decluttering is a daily activity, and though I admit that I looked good in certain photographs, the beard doesn’t suit my lifestyle at this point in my life.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: The hallway that you can see from the front door leading into the storage room, “Zeal,” currently engulfed with clutter on three sides.|
|Written On: March 14th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: I did a second pass edit in part because I liked where my head was at after I finished writing. I entered the essay with such an existential worry that it consumed me, made me unable to focus, actually made me feel physically ill, and now, I feel good. Sorry to my editor, J.D., in the ebook form, you’ll have space undernearth here for further editing comments.|