While I have no idea what the mythological Atlas felt as he hoisted this “celestial sphere” on his back, I would imagine it feels something like the crippling pain that spreads throughout my body as I attempt to conceive how I am to minimize my life into tiny packages that can be easily traveled with.
Four months ago, my plan was to begin the process of sorting through all the junk I’ve accumulated over the past 26.9 years-recycling and donating what I did not need, shipping a box every month to Mexico, and figuring out what I need to store back at home (parent’s home), and what I absolutely needed to keep until my very last day here in Florida. And four months later, I’ve done nothing.
To give you some perspective, here is a picture of what my life used to look like back in college (2007-2008):
Judge, judge, judge away. It’s okay. That was about 6 years ago, and I promise my life has improved since then. I am a little more organized. I clean up after myself… a little more. Than I used to. I swear. I don’t leave boxes of pizza on the floor. I now put them in the refrigerator. But you can imagine. You might think to yourself, “how the hell is he going to manage this?“
And, to be honest, I have no idea. I’ve read blogs about minimalist lifestyle, and it’s something that I am very interested in. But I always tend to accumulate more junk. And now, I need to figure out how to maximize my life through minimalism. I have 19 days to take my unorganized scattered life environment and put it into one of 4 categories:
- Disposal - Questions to ask yourself: Is this item trash? I mean, is this literally a piece of garbage? If so, then it needs to be marked for disposal. Have you used this item in the last day? week? year? since you moved to Florida? since college? since you lived with your parents? If “no” for most of those questions, then it needs to be marked for disposal. Do you even like this item? Will you wear it, use it, watch it, eat it, etc., despite whatever sentimental value the item and its memories contain? If “no”, then dispose! Do you even have room for it after you’ve packed your bags and shipped your boxes? Then just get rid of it! (of course, recycling is much appreciated here as well)
- Shipment - Things to ponder: Is it heavy? How much can you fit into the USPS boxes without having to pay an extraordinary amount? If the package gets lost, will you survive? If the package gets delayed, will you survive? Do you really want to spend the $100+ shipping items when you could buy items after you move?
- Storage - Food for thought: Can this survive the test of time? What about the test of rats? What about the test of “family decides to through a garage sale”? Do you even want to hassle your family with storing stuff in their garage? basement? attic? whatever? Will the items still be “in” when you take it out of storage in a year? 3? 6?
- Necessities - Evaluative parameters: What items do you absolutely need to retain to be able to live decently (maybe not comfortably)? Can you milk the last drop of “x” item until your move out date? Do you really need to buy that many groceries a week before you leave? What about electronics? Are you going to ship those or put them in your carry on or checked baggage? After that, how much clothing can you fit in your baggage? Do you really need to take all those books, movies, cds, etc., with you? Looking at the necessities you need, how can you minimize the packaging to maximize space?
So many questions running through my brain, resulting a lot of anxiety around this step of the move. Which is probably why I’ve hesitated so much in starting it. But… I’ve only got 19 days to be all packed up… so… here goes nothing!