So after church today I came back to Miserysauga for the night to hang with fam and just rest. But I didn’t come alone. As part of the Quest for Less, I’ve brought a whole bag full of stuff that I’ve had lying around in one form or another for way too long. Half-done scene sketches, reference material, old magazines – lots of stuff that’s either crap or that could be repurposed to something greater. I always tell Sarah that one of my main daily goals is to never come home with as much as I have when I head out the door in the morning. This applies to:
- The amount of stuff in my bags
- The amount of weight I’m carrying on my shoulders from the to-do list that needs tackling/how many things I have on my mind for that day
- Sometimes, even the number of bags I’m carrying
I love the idea of downsizing life (except when it comes to the job – that’s never cool). I’m sure that at one point in my life, amassing all the stuff that I have made sense. I’m sure that much of it had sentimental value at one point or another. But now is not then. The things that have a lot of sentimental value to me – my candygrams received through five years of private school – sit in a box I’ve duct-taped in triplicate. If I ever feel like I’ve reached the lowest of lows in life, that box is meant to help remind me of good times and who I can be if I try 🙂
But stuff is transient. You might need a certain thing at a certain point in your life, but that need wanes. I’m at a point where going digital seems to make a lot of sense for much of the clutter I surround myself with. Mi amiga Clare is always on my ass about the box of reference material I never ended up getting out of my life…
But seriously. Taking a good look at my life, I know it’s time to clean out shop on a lot of what I have around. Hence the Quest for Less. What I’m hoping to do here at intervals over the course of 2011 is release video episodes on what I’m doing to get rid of all the stuff I have, in the hopes that others will learn to rely on hoarding less material possessions in their lives. There’s much that we could do differently, and I’m damn near positive that it would improve our quality of living.
For instance, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Sometime last year — no, I guess the year before — I got a year’s free subscription to Maxim. But… I don’t read Maxim. Shoot — I don’t think I have since I read a few back as a teenager. But here I am with a dozen of ’em and no use for them.
So do I:
- Give them to someone else so that it’s no longer my problem;
- Wait until I have a chance to read them to get rid of them; or
- Option C?
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Option C! But it changes every time. (Sneaky option!) This time the solution made itself known in the form of an OLFA utility knife!
Think about it. We live in these boxed-in arbitrary spaces, right? Far too often, we fill our limited spaces with junk. We’re told that we need the latest version of this, the chic item that will be the next greatest status symbol for us to own. Let me reflect on some facts:
- I’m going through nearly 20 years of stuff in my room. At least 50% of it, I can’t remember why I had it in the first place
- You don’t really get a good appreciation for how much you’ve changed as a person until you really start examining things from your past. In looking at a lot of the things that are in my room, much of it doesn’t reflect who I am anymore, and now I have the responsibility of figuring out what to do with it all. Joyous.
- It’ll take me till the cows come home — multiple times — to scan and sort all of this into usable categories on my computer, which is a nice segue to…
- My iPod Touch has 100+ apps on it. I probably use 5-10 on a regular basis (Music, Words With Friends, Scrabble, iBooks … shoot. Make that 4).
- I have 2 TB of storage sitting at home. What’s on there is vastly disorganized and likely will never amount to 2 TB of data
- NJ brought up the disadvantage of digital holdings is that one falls prey to an “out of sight, out of mind”-type mentality which is so true. I’ve got to get my data storage game in check. And between three hard drives, a laptop with 500 GB storage, multiple USB keys, an iPod Touch, storage in the cloud, etc. — let’s just say that I have my work cut out for me.
Perhaps I should’ve started purging from my life earlier. Perhaps I should’ve never gotten so much crap in the first place. But the reality is that it’s here now and I need to figure out what to do with it all.
The 2K11 24/7: The Quest for Less. Game on!