Over the past year or so I have been working on lightening my load by going through everything I own and deciding what is essential and what is dead weight. Four decades as a middle class American produces a lot of dead weight pretty much by default so this is turning out to be quite the daunting task. My goal is to own less than 100 items.
Part of what makes this such a chore is disposing of the unwanted in the best way possible. It would be tempting to just throw everything away but I feel that would be irresponsible of me and also less profitable. Granted there are many items where that is really the only option.
Even this is a lot of work I can tell you that it is paying off and I am already starting to see the benefit of owning less stuff. Which motivates me to continue. But it is taking too long so I have set the goal of being done with this project by December 31, 2012. By then I should be able to make a simple list of the less than 100 items I own solely.
I say it that way because being married and sharing a household presents some items that sort of fall out of the category. Dishes and silverware for example.
The digital age is helping this though. I was able to take my 300+ CDs I owned and upload the music to various internet based services and then sell the discs. I’ve also being the same with photographs and documents that can be digitized and saved electronically. It is nice to have this option but I am not attached to these digital copies so even if they are lost I’ll be happy to let them go.
I am learning the owning less stuff equals more freedom. I spend less money because I am not buying new stuff. I have more time because there is less stuff to maintain and to clean. Not being attached to my possessions means I do not have to worry about losing them through theft, fire, or age.
Going through this process is changing my view on life and my place in the world for the better. I am very much looking forward to this process being over and curious to find out what ends up on my <100 list. And will it end there.