Saturday, December 7, 2013

...where did all this stuff come from?

i have always naturally been interested in living a minimal lifestyle. now that i'm housed it has become more of a challenge, one that i feel is time to get serious about right away. these things especially come to mind this time of year, when people feel the need to go out and spend money on things to give one another that we may or may not even need. personally i've never really been huge on the idea, i'd rather spend time than money on the people that i love. the smiles and memories long outlast plastic gadgets and trendy do-dads and toys.

you would think that a person who has spent a considerable amount of time living out of a rucksack may not own a lot of things, but in my case it seems this rolling stone did pick up an abundance of moss along the way. i had become so resourceful in the craft of living sans address that i had several different places to store my things and lost track of what i had already owned.

finally in the last move, all of my [and matthew's] possessions are together under one roof.. err, in a tiny basement apartment that we share. he had recently spent his share of time floating around surfing couches and crashing where he could, which means his stuff was scattered all about as well. now that it's all together in one place, it has come a bit of a chore to deal with. we spent the majority of our year after moving here gardening, working, traveling and generally being outdoors. now that hibernation time is upon us, the piles of stuff we spent a few seasons pushing aside is now our current task.

having all of my stuff split up made it seem like i had a lot less than i actually do, and it also means that a lot of what i own consists of clothing and gear. most of the clothes are second hand or hand-me-downs that i acquired over many years of being thrifty and requiring layers to survive. i even had stashed away in my dad's basement totes of things from my early childhood like artwork and stuffed animals, namely beanie babies. in a friend's closet i had three totes of art supplies, two of photos and albums, a small tote of camera gear. in my main storage a selection of camping gear, blankets, rucksacks and various footwear to coordinate with the seasons.

oh, and books. lots and lots of books. between the two of us, we have our own personal library right here in our apartment. everything from anime to health and nutrition, fiction and philosophy, gardening and textbooks and a bunch of stuff in between. put it all together with a mishmash of random junk that has snuck into the boxes and bags and totes and you've got way too much stuff.

phew! see, it even took a bunch of paragraphs to explain all the stuff we already have, and we don't need any more. this season we are taking the time to go through the things that we already have and making use of them, donating what we don't need and organizing our inventory so that it is more accessible. we've already made some great finds on our mission of living a more minimalist low-impact lifestyle. one of these key finds; old journals from my rucksack days. at that point in my life i lived with so little that i was profoundly more grateful for every little thing.

this sense of gratitude i find kept me fulfilled and i rarely longed for more than i had. the memories from this mentality reminded me of this, and how important it is to acknowledge the 'sacredness' of every little thing in our lives, material and not. and at the same time how to let go of things that i once held so sacred. it's a delicate balance that if not well maintained will result in ditching things i never meant to, or hording things for the fact that i don't want them to go to waste.

i'm not sure where i'm going with this post, i guess i just didn't want to forget all that. random thoughts that came to mind when i was asked what i wanted for 'christmas'. you know what i want for christmas? ...less stuff.

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