Staying in hotel rooms might help reduce hoarding tendencies. On a recent flight, I brought a nearly-full suitcase and the intention of only getting meaningful souvenirs. I had myriad materialistic moments between visiting: two music stores, one thrift store, one videogame store, one museum gift store, and five airport souvenir stores. I barely succeeded in not buying anything meaningless. My collecting intentions were focused around two questions. Second: “Do you have any rare Nirvana stuff?”
First: Will I care about this item in one year?
I’ve cared about my Nirvana collection for years. It’s all stored in one big, non-heart-shaped, box. Ideally, everything I collect should fit in it. When I asked that question at the second music shop, they just had one generic Nirvana poster. I didn’t ask at Sea-Tac’s Sub Pop shop because between a freshly-reprinted Bleach cassette and In Utero essay book, I had my fill of souvenirs, without weighing down my future moderately minimalistic lifestyle.
That box will either go into storage or future apartments.
I survived a week without all the stuff I’ve collected over the years. I, of course, had infrequent concerns over losing it all to a break-in or some disaster. Once I was asked what I would do if everything burned down. Initially, I said I would not rebuild, but after being questioned, I rebuked: I’d first rebuild my 80s/90s GI Joe collection.
My problem is I collect in too many fandoms.
Many of my collections were scattered into many spots until I started this moving process. Over that past week abroad, I’d forgotten about most of my other collections. Without constant proximity, I suppose we tend to only remember the most important things. Are further away things less important then? That’s not quite true.
Maybe the truth is in that hotel room?
I fully unpacked my suitcase on the first night, keeping everything in manageable areas: dirty clothes and clean clothes in one area; laptop, paperwork, and everything else inside the suitcase to easily obscure anything valuable – for my piece of mind.
Everything was neatly organized. Never any mess.
My collections had become messy due to inadequate discipline in regards to putting things away properly. In comparison, libraries have massive collections of books, yet their cataloging system keeps everything organized. With at least some organizing discipline, I, too, can keep my collections orderly.
I should frame my collections like staying in that hotel room.
Use only the space you need. If you don’t need to use the dressers, don’t. It might have been nice to put away everything, but then I wouldn’t have kept the idea in mind that I was just there temporarily and if I’d compulsively bought too much stuff, I’d be stuck figuring out what to throw out.
The time away from my cluttered lifestyle was nice.
Since returning back, I’ve used that decluttered hotel room framework to objectively look at my objects to more decisively decide what to keep or sell/donate.
I’m practicing anti-hoarding hotel habits now.
|Quotes:  This question was inspired by videogame collectors that post their garage sale hauls online. They’ll visit dozens of garage sales early in the morning and if they strike up a friendly conversation, they’ll ask specific questions. They’ll continue, even if the answer is no to “do you have any videogame stuff?” Sometimes, being prompted by Nintendo or Atari will prompt them; their idea is that people remember things by different names. This tangent is completely irrelevant because the answer to my Nirvana question is usually always a hard “no,” but when it’s a yes, it’s a wonderful odyssey through the backroom museums of materialism.|
|Sources: My collecting experiences.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about hoarding, and specifically the question: “Does hoarding happen when we collect things without intention?”|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Hotel room with my suitcase to pack. Sidenote: A flight attendant gave me hassle on my flight back, telling me I’d have to check this luggage because I’d “expanded it out” past their size limits… until another attendant let me pass. My materialism game runs fierce.|
|Written On: October 4th [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: October 31st [1 hour] – The previous draft was messy and didn’t convey any deeper thoughts.|