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.
I sorted through some of my childhood collection of pencils this morning.
At first, I thought about only keeping one or two, but as I gained momentum, I realized I still had quite a degree of attachment to these objects. It’s almost absurd because they’re just pieces of art wrapped around a cylinder. It took about one hour, but I went through and kept the ones I had the most attachment to, and the ones that I didn’t have as much attachment to I put back into a bag I’d used at some point to collect these unsharpened pencils. It’s an odd thing to collect, as an adult, but as a child, if I went to a gift shop they’d usually have a pencil for cheap enough for a child to afford.
It’s not so easy to get rid of these pencils as it was some other things I owned.
I’ll leave this bag in my sorting seating, where I will also converse with guests.
I think I’ve collected all of my childhood writing instruments in the downsizing racks. I’ve already collected two big bags worth of pencils to donate, meaning I’ve cleared out another big box of miscellanea, which means this year of living in this apartment-mansion has already gotten off to a good start. I have the structure in place now to make sure that if I have one hour where I can’t be engaged with writing/editing, say while I’m waiting for some work to be done on the apartment, then I can idly sift through things.
Worst case, I’ll keep this “pending” bag for another year.
My subconscious fear is that when I move out, it’ll be another terrible week or more to move everything, but consciously I know that won’t be the case. If I move out in March 2020, I’ll start the packing and moving process at around New Year’s, where I’ll take an even closer look at everything I own to decide if I want to keep something or not. I was worried about returning back to old habits, but I haven’t been inside a thrift store in over three months? I’ve had the occasional fancy over buying some cool new action figure or LEGO set, but those thoughts have less priority than sorting out my living room so I can invite guests over without having junk everywhere.
Yesterday, I received two Marie Kondo books as gifts. These are two more books in my reading pile and collection, but I think that’s reasonable.
If I’ve downsized 90%, is another 10% that bad?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: A sequel to “Sacrifice Almost Everything,” of sorts, where the former is an exploration of when I get fed up with something enough to want to downsize it, and the later is going through the process to determine what to keep, leave pending for later, or donate.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
First: Pencils/pens I want to keep
Second: Pencils that are pending keep/donate.
Third: My book collection overlooking the seat where I’m sorting these things.
Fourth: Two bags going to the thrift store.
|Written On: March 22nd [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|