Sunday, April 15, 2012

Changing Tactics

The past couple of months I've been engaged in a massive household project. I'm trying to get rid of "stuff". Stuff I don't need. Stuff I don't want in my life. Stuff I don't want to move into another house.

Fact: I currently live in a four level townhouse.
Fact: I have been dealing with chronic pain issues for years, and it's just been getting worse.
Fact: I am not getting any younger. (Duh, no one does!)

My plan is to get this house viewable and ready for sale by April 2014, at the latest. Not only will this involve some renovation and remodeling of the actual house. I will need to divest myself of lots of "stuff" so that the house looks more like a magazine layout than an explosion of crap.

I have found a two level condo, where the master bedroom is on the main floor. The place is a bit smaller than what I have now. Another good reason to have less stuff, aside from the fact that I really don't want to move boxes and boxes of meaningless/useless crap.

One of the contributing factors in my divorce was the ever-clutter-prone state of our living space. Another was my desire to reinvent myself into a person with a brighter and more serene outlook. All the "stuff" I find myself surrounded by not only challenges my sense of lightness and serenity, but it also reflects a past that I am growing away from. It would be easier to accomplish that growth without the hinderances of a lot of the "stuff".

You will notice that I used the word "crap" several times as a synonym for "stuff". When I first embarked on this project, I instantly lit upon the term. It sounds ostentatious as well as fun, doesn't it?

Decrappification involves getting rid of things that I cannot envision in my new life. I have a set of guidelines to help me determine if something needs to go:

  1. Will I probably have an actual use/need of this item in the next 2 years?
  2. If I didn't have the item and I could buy it for a dollar, would I bring it into my life?
  3. Does the item have some sort of emotional significance that is worth being reminded of? If so, would a picture of the item suffice?
  4. Does having the item bring me any measure of joy?
  5. Is it worth paying to have the item moved to a new house?

What this means is that a lot of the following categories of items are being winnowed severely:

  • Books (already emptied four 30"x72" bookcases)
  • Vinyl LPs (all gone)
  • VHS tapes (one 36" shelf remain)
  • CDs (most are already ripped to redundant hard drives, though I'll probably keep about 20% of the current collection)
  • Clothes (ex. 4 drawers of t-shirts. Really?)
  • Fabric and other crafting supplies
  • Dishes (I am single and I rarely entertain. How many glasses/cups do I really need?)

I recently got rid of a lot of expired and useless stuff in my bathroom. I reorganized four cabinets and the linen closet. (See evidence here )

Summary: Decrappification is my current passion. SInce it's easier to write about things that you are passionate about, AND trying to simplify a life that has been consumed by "crap" fits into the concept of "herding kittens", I will probably be reporting in on this project here now.

1 comment:

JP Burke said...

Good luck. I have hoarder tendencies, although it's more a matter of not having time to engage my decision-making process and overcome the inertia to actually throw stuff away. Truth is that I much prefer a lighter lifestyle and I hate clutter. Yet I surround myself with it.

The summer will, hopefully, come soon enough and allow me some leeway to declutter. In the meantime, I hope your efforts are successful.