Stuff, life, and happiness

Boxes and boxes of papers... now empty! Mostly.

Ya know, lately I’ve been going through my stuff. A LOT. Going from 1.5 roommates to 3 roommates has posed some challenges, mainly in the closet department. Where before I had a whole spare room, and its closet, and my own whole closet, oh and the front closet for my stuff, I’m reduced now to that same front closet (it’s mine! MINE, I TELL YOU!) and half of my own closet.

Anyway, I’m inspired by my partial-now-full-roommate MBF’s own life of simplicity. He moved in with 4 boxes and a suitcase. His ethos mirrors a whole host of bloggers I read: Love Life, Not Stuff. I want to live in the place I live, not in the memories of things. I want to have new experiences and understand that who I am is the sum of my experiences. I want to make sure I’m understanding that keeping things doesn’t keep the people or places I attach to those things any closer to me.

The bottom line is: why am I hanging on to so much stuff? I mean really. I found 5 boxes of “mementos” in the form of photos, magazines and cutouts, and brochures. Brochures! For places I’ve been. Paint chips, for rooms I don’t own anymore. Silly Nimmers… Inspired by simplicity blogs, tiny house blogs, traveling blogs, and just plain sanity, here goes. Oh, and read that link in this paragraph. All sorts of good info there, including the Story of Stuff and the 100-things challenge. Plus RowdyKittens is just a fun blog with good info!

So, after 10 years (no joke) of hauling these papers around, I started recycling a BUNCH of paper. Magazines, those brochures, even my left-over wedding invitations and programs. Wow. Talk about something with no future use. In full disclosure, I still have a full invitation framed up as a gift from my brother. That, I’ll keep. After all, it’s not the memory I’m throwing out, it’s the excess.

This is the easy stuff, so far. I’ve ditched about half my fabric stash, most of it still in clothing form (Goodwilled and Salvoed). I set myself a goal to use the a huge chunk of it I’ve earmarked for a project this summer. Yarns I gave a stay of execution. I can’t even look at yarn in the dead of summer. Although I admit I started thinking about knitting just the other day after I saw Twist’s new patterns. That’s a first for me: summertime yarn lust.

The photos. Wow. Well, a ton of them I’m sending off to folks who are in the photos. A ton more I’m ditching, if it’s a photo that’s crappy or makes the subject look weird. Unless that’s the point. Anyway, I’m thinning down to pics that I will put into albums. *Gasp!* Yes, I do plan to keep albums, and I even plan on thinning out ones I have had since junior high. Do I need a 7-photo spread of a rocket in the Smithsonian? No, 13-year-old, Nim. No, I do not.

Some photos I’ll scan and post on Facebook for chuckles. And then I’ll scrap the hardcopy. I’ll probably end up with a mix of 3-4 albums, a collection on FB, and a lot of photo-mailers to friends.

Speaking of mailing and friends, I also came across stationery and cards I never really used up. So, since I’ve got this handy dandy iPhone dev book from teh libarry, I decided I’d write an app that pulls a random person from my address book and sends me a little reminder to write them that day/week/whatever. Basically, I want to use up those cards and stationery rather than donate/recycle them. It’s been far too long since I’ve picked up a real pen! Also, I owe my roommate from college a big ol’ envelope of confetti. Did I mention I had all the cards folks gave me at the wedding? Well, hers was packed with confetti, as is our tradition. You win this one, Perkins.

Today should be interesting. Roommate the third is coming over with some of his stuff. I’ll need to have a space for it. Doh! Attacking closet in earnest at lunch!!


9 thoughts on “Stuff, life, and happiness

  1. I went from one room, and 2 closets in my moms house to 2 bedroom, 5 closets (3 lg, 2 sm) in a year… how does that happen. Oh and I still have stuff in mom’s house!

  2. I am so with you on this, Arwen! I am a terribly (!!!) nostalgic person and I keep EVERYTHING (!!!). I wanted to clean out all my bags, boxes, and closets in my parents’ attic this summer, at least a little… But then first it was too cold up there, then it was too warm up there, then I ended up opening only the wrong boxes, the ones with books, and I simply cannot throw away books. I just sat there, skipped through some of the books, started reading, and put them all back. And then it got too warm again. Maybe I should give it another try after reading your text… 🙂
    By the way, I really really miss you, Arwen! This may sound stupid to you, since we haven’t seen eachother in ages and never had the chance to get really close (thanks so thousands of kilometers distance between us), but you are on of those people I really really just like a whole lot, just because you are you. 🙂
    Have a great day and I am not giving up the hope of seeing you again someday soon! 🙂

    1. We have a saying here, Tabea: if your ears are burning, it means someone was talking about you. Were your ears burning? Cause 2 days ago I asked a friend of mine if he really wanted to go to Germany for Okt’fest in 2011. I’m serious about it, and I think MBF is too. The other friend might go, but he also got a really sweet invitation to go this year, which he is heavily considering. He has his own lederhosen!

      Anyway, don’t give up because of course I’ll be back to see you again! ❤

      1. Who in their right mind would pass up Oktoberfest in Deutschland?

        Think I’ll ride my motorcycle down to Fredericksburg for this year’s.

      2. Nice! MBF and I will no doubt join you! He picked up a second motorcycle, too, and will be working on it over the next few months. Love to see you!

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