Minimalism and Owning Less: Part II

10 Sep

Back on the 4th of July I wrote some thoughts on minimalism and owning less. Basically I want to get rid of as much stuff as possible that doesn’t really provide any value in my life. A simple enough proposition, right?

That was slightly over 2 months and damn if I still don’t seem to own a bunch of crap!

Alright, I will give myself a small pat on the back for getting rid of some stuff, including:

  • 40-50 books & some movies
  • 5 big bags of clothes
  • an old microwave
  • laptop bag
  • half dozen picture frames
  • an extra computer chair
  • random art supplies
  • and lots of trash & crap all gone from my car, closet, and attic

… but I still feel like I have a ways to go.  If I truly want to be able to capitalize on this “live anywhere since I work remotely” idea, I have a  lot to get rid of. A lot. And I’m not sure I’m ready to part with a lot of either, like my couch, drumset, and TV, nor am I mentally prepared to move just yet.

But there are still a lot of things I know I do want to get rid of that I need to deal with.

Now For My Next Trick, Does Any One Have an Attic I Can Borrow?

In addition to selling & giving away the items listed above, I also pulled the “become a minimalist by storing crap in your parents attic” trick. It works quite wonderfully, I must say!

The parents attic now contains 7-8 small boxes of stuff . There’s some comic books and baseball cards but mostly they’re full of old zines from my teenage years: punk rock / DIY stuff, vegan straight edge / Hardline zines, CrimethInc literature, anarchist stuff. (That should give you a sneak peak into my teenage years.) I treasure this zine collection and intend to keep it – forever, I guess? -  so I don’t feel bad about storing it at my Mom’s.

What’s Left To Get Rid Off

Lots & Lots. Here’s some things I know for sure.

1) I want to get rid of all the books and movies the bookstores wouldn’t buy. What to do this crap? Good question. I’m planning on giving it to the library and writing their value off as a tax deduction. I just need to do it.

2) My small but spacious odd instruments collection + an extra guitar in the attic. I have some weird instruments that are in the attic that just take up space, like kids pianos, a wooden xylophone, and so on. I love how these look but I dunno… they do absolutely nothing for me and I don’t even have space to have them out so what’s the point.

3) That big ass RAID server in my closet. Bought it off Craigslist when I was planning on getting my CCNA in another life.

4) Misc crap like an old bed frame, misc old (and broken!) computers, an extra laptop still in the box, computer books…. and more.

There’s no emotional connection to that extra laptop or the 3 broken computers in my closet, the RAID server, and lots of this stuff I want to get rid of. It just takes time and resources to thoughtfully get rid of these things without just throwing them away. I need to buckle down and do a massive Craiglist sell off and just get it done with!

Next Update: November

Honestly I’m not very satisfied with how far I’ve gotten in the last 9 weeks getting rid of stuff. I basically spent 2 weeks putting a ton of effort into minimizing my belongings and getting rid of things and then have done nothing at all after that with the rest.

I’m gonna finish this between now and November. By Thanksgiving I hope to report to you that I’ve liberated my psyche by getting rid of tons more things. We’ll see!

In the mean time, if you know any one that wants to buy a RAID server for $50, let me know. ;)


4 Responses to “Minimalism and Owning Less: Part II”

  1. joshua becker September 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Go get ‘em! We’re cheering for you.

  2. Cynedra September 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Good luck at getting rid of excess stuff. We have been slowly (really really slowly) getting rid of excess stuff since the first of the year. We have 3 kids and have been married and living in the same place for a while so it’s amazing how much stuff we have. I can’t wait to read your next update, maybe that will give me the motivation to keep going.

  3. Ben September 22, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Thanks Joshua and Cynedra. It truly feels good knowing there’s some people out there who have got my back on this endeavor. :)

    And BTW, you both have awesome sites…!

  4. GG September 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Nothing quite like moving house for this. Time before last, I put an ad up on FreeCycle and another local freebie internet site, rented a large-size skip-bin, and put everything I wasn’t keeping out on the front lawn. This included an entire ROOM of computers. Family, friends, and work colleagues got first pick before the official “come and get it” date.

    At the end of the weekend, anything which hadn’t gone to someone got tossed in the skip. Filled it to the brim and then some. Never regretted it for an instant.

    Best. Clearout. EVER.

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