I recently emptied two shelf sections; unlike months or years ago, where I’d compulsively need to fill that space with something, now I don’t have that same compulsion; it’s wonderful. The space shown below is already claimed by these boxes containing my CD collection when I can retrieve them, but I have no plans for the other space. No future tenants scheduled to move in. I’m now starting to value the freedom of empty space.
I often daydream of moving somewhere quieter, cheaper, or better.
When I look at this apartment-mansion from certain angles, I’m reminded of just how huge it is, not just architecturally, but in terms of overall storage capacity. I have five bookshelves in my dining room and they barely take up any space. They serve their purpose well, have some aesthetic scuff damage to ensure they won’t sell for much, but I don’t know how many more moves I want to take them on.
Will they oppress my next apartment?
They certainly will, if I end up renting a cheap room or smaller apartment somewhere quiet or in a better neighborhood, so I’ll probably sell them at some point during the next eight months or so. The major detracting thought from that is that I won’t get the same price as I paid for them, but they’ve given me sufficient value where even if I got nothing from them, it wouldn’t be terrible.
That’s probably why I haven’t filled those shelves too quickly.
I’m reaching a point in my materialism where I now fully understand the burden of the price per square foot. I’m proud of these empty spaces now because they represent projects I’ve been able to complete or close out. I still have many artifacts of forlorn memories sitting within sight, haunting objects that need to be exorcized somehow, but the trick is where and when. I’m not going too fast with certain things because it’s harder to part with them than others.
Those more difficult projects will close in time.
Once I purge out all those fanciful projects, I can focus my time, effort, and money on the projects that actually inspire me: rowing, writing, and I guess to a lesser degree, exploring our reality to its fullest. These objects have chained me to this apartment-mansion for a year. It’s a nice enough place, but I resent enough about it, including the price of rent, neighbors, and its appearance of being better than it is, to where I value the flexibility of moving out before my lease’s expiration more than I do many of these objects that I kept because of some kind of pre-move obligation to my hoarding impulsions.
It’s serving its purpose well, though.
Just like many of these objects served their purpose to educate me that I was beholden to materialism, I am currently studying the arts of downsizing, to then study the arts of rowing and literature in more detail.
I’m also getting out of this space more frequently.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Both the sentiments “I’m proud of these empty spaces now because they represent projects I’ve been able to complete or close out.” and the interest in photographing these two spots popped into my head this morning as I was getting ready to head to the gym. I wasn’t able to capture this sentiment as clearly as it struck me in the morning, or the “what,” but I explored the “why” to a reasonable degree.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
Above: “Zeal,” which is currently my storage room, unlike the office I had intended for it to be.
Below: Bookshelves, without a book in sight.
|Written On: April 24th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|