Friday, August 31, 2012

I don't know where to start. That's what everybody says when they have just so much to say but can't begin to say it.

I have too many things. Although I have always kept my room tidy and fairly neat, I have always had too many things. I collect CDs; I used to have mounds of stuffed animals, shoes, clothes; tons of knick knacks; souvenirs from my travels, concert tickets, events I go to, items from my school days, get the picture. I would say though, that I have always managed to keep my things within the confines of my room. I live at home. Where I come from, it isn't unusual to live at home (yes, with your parents) even after you've reached adulthood and beyond. So I have my room, where I insist on keeping everything I own. I refuse to contribute to the clutter outside of my space.

I would not say that the idea of minimalism is new to me. Somehow, in spite of all the material things I possess, I have always been drawn to the concept of having an empty space. I can probably attribute this to my not having much space my entire life. However, I have never had an empty space. And now, more than ever, it is something I aspire for.

I am not ready for total minimalism. I prefer to be a semi-minimalist. I do love the things that I have, but I am also willing to part with items that have absolutely no contribution to my space or life, other than dust. I am not aiming for an empty space with just a bed and a desk. I love my television, my DVD player, my Mac, my printer, my ipod, my shoes and my CDs. I just want to have as little as possible, but not take away my joys. Again, I say, I don't wish to embrace the whole minimalist lifestyle, but I have nothing but high respect for those who practice it.

And so begins my adventure. (I call all my endeavors "adventures" -- boring or not.) My journey to an empty-as-it can-be space began about a week ago, when I decided that I just don't want to be surrounded by so many things that I haven't even touched in years. That's the conscious part. See, I've been decluttering my space for years. But I think that it is only now that I have consciously decided that I do want to get rid of most of my stuff. At one point in my life, I decided that I didn't need the hundreds of CDs I had and started trimming down. Ten years down the road, I wanted my CDs back. This fear has always haunted me, but when it does, I keep telling myself, "it doesn't and shouldn't matter." These things are replaceable. If I want to listen to that old Mary J. Blige album, there's always YouTube. I haven't ripped all my CDs to iTunes because I like keeping the physical CDs with me. But just yesterday, I resolved: I would go through my list of CDs and ask each one, "If I lost all my iTunes data, would I desperately want to have you back?"If the answer is "no", then out it goes. Let's see if I can pull this off. I digress. So these past few weeks, I've been throwing things out. Then there are things that I'm really iffy about. These are the proverbial sentimental stuff. I need to learn to detach more.

I have two bags full of stuff heading for charity now. Yet it still doesn't seem like I've reduced the amount of stuff in my room. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it's because I still have a lot of things on the floor; things I don't know where else to put but on the floor. These include shoes (though in boxes), subwoofers, and just things.

So this is my progress so far. I have a target date in mind, but no target resolution. I would like to be done with all this by December 2012. But I have yet to decide if I want all unnecessary things thrown out by December, or just all things off the floor by December, all just fewer things in general by December. I have yet to make up my mind.

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