I like having stuff. I hate having too much stuff.
Just one trip to Target reveals my weakness for buying shiny new things I don’t need. This desire to accumulate, however, is in constant battle with a desire to downsize and unshackle myself from material belongings.
This is why I have a storage unit — albeit a small one — packed with things I haven’t touched in a few years. There are some things I just can’t bear to give up. The longer I stay away, the sillier this seems, but there’s comfort in knowing my treasured couch will be waiting for me when I once again have a home for it. (I just hope too much time in storage hasn’t sucked the awesomeness out of it.)
My love of stuff also explains why, after a little more than a year in Korea, I have managed to accumulate so much of it.
At first, I didn’t want to acquire anything new. Partly because the flight here and the burden of carrying twice my body weight in luggage was fresh in my mind. Partly because I knew I already had all of this stuff back home in storage.
It irritated me to no end that I had to buy dishes when I have boxes of them in California. Plus, my apartment was so tiny, I had no place to put them anyway. So I lived an entire year with the absolute minimum in my kitchen — and it wasn’t so bad. I ate out a lot.
Interestingly enough, my tiny closet didn’t prevent me from buying new clothes on a regular basis. I guess my priorities are pretty obvious.
When I moved to a bigger apartment a few months ago, I was so excited to have more space, but not because I wanted to fill it. On the contrary, I wanted it to stay empty and available so I didn’t have to reorganize everything every time I wanted to use something. Very quickly, this goal was thwarted by the generosity of friends leaving the island.
They asked, “Do you want these chairs, these books, these dishes, these clothes?”
I always answered, “Sure!”
So now, again, I have borderline too much stuff, and again, it’s stuff I can’t bear to be without … at least not until it’s my turn to leave the island.
The future recipient of my hand-me-downs is gonna be thrilled.
In light of all this, I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I struggled with this challenge. More than a few times, I chose an item I thought I could live without and promptly found reasons why I couldn’t. Finally, I settled on five things, mostly clothes. And even though I was hoping my dead plant would somehow spontaneously come back to life, I’ll be honest, it was more like trash than clutter.
Still, my apartment is a little cleaner and I feel a little freer, and that was my intention for this challenge. So I win! Angela: 2 Stuff: -5
Who’s winning in your life, you or your stuff?
To see what’s coming up, check the 30-day Challenge List.