April 9, 2012

What's Really Important

This week I found out my family might end up homeless again. Once I got over the initial terror, I went through the normal routine of thinking about what I needed to pack in case we had to leave in a rush. For a family of four, this means I only have room for one suitcase.

Realizing I had to fit what I need to survive, and what's really important to me, in a single suitcase was a big wake-up call.

Me and my family have slowly been purging our belongings, taking a tiny step each day to minimalism. Since this month last year I've purged over 70% of my belongings. But I still have way too much to fit in a suitcase.

When I entered my room this morning and looked at my shelves, full of stuff just yesterday I had felt was too precious to even consider getting rid of, I realized how worthless most of it was.

Slowly, almost in a meditative process, I pulled things off the shelves and put them in a get-rid-of box one at a time.

Manga? Gone. Books? Keep a few, toss the rest. CDs? Poof. Magazines? Gone. Makeup and Accessories? Almost completely gone. Art supplies? Wiped out. Fabric scraps? Gone. Bulk fabric? Substantially lessened.

I can now list my personal belongings, and it's just a little more than one hundred things. This is the biggest purge I've ever done at once, and I feel completely set free, as if I could pick up and leave at any moment without anything holding me back. I am no longer tied down by material objects. And I love it.Going to college like this is going to be very easy.

My 100(ish) Belongings:
  • 22 pieces of clothing
  • 1 small box of makeup and jewelry
  • 1 Cellphone
  • Computer
  • 1 Bible
  • 4 notebooks
  • PSP
  • Camera
  • Ukulele
  • 2 small boxes of art supplies (markers, paints, ink, pencils, etc.)
  • Wallet
  • I-pod
  • 43 Books
  • 1 photo album
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Atari piggy bank (what can I say? I'm a nerd)
  • 2 boxes of magic cards (again: nerd)
  • Knife
  • 1 bag (bag has library books in it, nothing else. I use this when traveling)
  • 5 sketchbooks
  • 6 binders of writing
  • 1 portfolio of drawings
  • 4 pairs of shoes (Sneakers, flip flops, high-heeled sandals, and green flats)
  • 3 CD's
  • 1 CD booklet 
  • 1 tackle box
  • 1 fishing pole
Total: 109

I'm not quite down to a single suitcase yet, but I am really, really close. I managed to move a few things digital, which helped. I keep my schedule on my phone, and I use my phone's alarm as my alarm clock for example.

Look at your belongings as if you could fill only one suitcase - what would you take with you? What's really important? What isn't?

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