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My Assault on Stuff & What I'm Doing Next

My recent war that I've been waging has been against stuff. For a while (and by that I mean since 7th grade), I've produced my own income and spent most of it on things from the internet. I've talked about this before so I won't bore you with the laundry lists of my posessions.

Then when I sold my house in North Austin, I was faced with the prospect of moving all that stuff. My most financially productive years were while I lived there, so I bought a ton of stuff. During that period of collection it never occurred to me that I would eventually move. My garage as well as one of the bedrooms in the house because warehouses for my things.

When I moved, I took a pretty extreme approach. I went through every item in the house and made a decision - either I needed it or not. If it was worth more than $50 or so I sold it. If it was worth less than that I put it in a bedroom. If it was worth less than $5-10 I donated it or threw it away. I posted my address on craigslist and let people go into the bedroom and take all that they wanted. Within a few hours the bulk of my stuff was taken away.

Stuff we don't need

On Stuff in a Notebook

I'm moving out of my room that I've been in for eight years. Moving means packing, and packing means going through all of the stuff that I have and deciding what I want to keep, and what I want to get rid of. As I'm going through this stuff, I'm wondering why I've kept some of it for so long.

I'm a sentimental person, but traveling has made me realize how little I really need to survive. After all, the things that truly matter - love, happiness, music, travel, people, adventure, memories - aren't materialistic.

So (excuse my language) why the hell do I have all of this shit? Why do I have ten pairs of socks I haven't worn in years when someone else could be making good use out of them? Why do I have a watch that I got when I was six years old, a baseball I found during band practice (I don't even play baseball!), and a beanie I used to love but haven't worn in three years? Why on earth did I keep a report I wrote in high school that I'm never going to read again, a cheap plastic yo-yo, and six decks of cards?

I'm finding that I've held on to things I don't need or use or even think about anymore. So as I got through my stuff I'm trying to keep only the things I know I'll use or enjoy on a regular basis. So far all I'm keeping are clothes, photos (the ones that mean something), a few books, a music stand, some dvds, my notebooks, my travel maps, and a few posters for my dorm room. Everything else is going.

My new goal is to get rid of these things on a regular basis, so that I'm never keeping more than I need. The most important things are not things at all.

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