03 November 2011

My efforts to slim down the things in my life are ongoing, but now I have a new force driving them: I’m going to be moving at the end of the month.

For one thing, I definitely do not want to be moving every box I own again. There is simply no point to that, and it gives me a great chance to look further into what is truly necessary for me to own.

This move will enable several aspects of simpler living. First and foremost, I will be cutting my commute from 25 miles down to about 5, thereby saving time, gas, and frustration on my daily commute. I’ll be moving from what is frankly a suburban wasteland to a quiet residential neighborhood just outside of major urban areas of Atlanta. I’ve even had the fantasies about biking to work when the weather is warmer… we’ll see about that one.

My primary space will be smaller (one of the driving forces behind shedding even more ‘unnecessary’ stuff), but the common areas will perhaps be more useful to me. Even more importantly, there will be more opportunities for utilizing the kitchen (both in terms of space and of cooking), thereby helping me to eat healthier and more simply.

There are three categories of stuff currently proving difficult to shed.

The easiest of these are the books. I have a handful of books I will read from time to time until the day I die, but the vast majority of them should have been read once or twice then passed on to someone who would appreciate them. So, that is what is happening with most of the ones i am liberating; they will be donated to various book-hungry charities in hopes they will make it into someone else’s hands where they’ll be appreciated all over again. I don’t really have any (save perhaps a couple of handmade books) that would be worth enough to justify the effort to sell them.

The next easiest are the DVDs. Luckily, my brother is taking many of these off my hands. Frankly, they all should go; the ones I am interested in seeing again will be ripped before then. DVDs are something I really don’t need in a physical sense any more. Ultimately, the rest of them can either continue to be given away, contributed to the common room at my new place, or thrown in the next box I give to Goodwill.

The hardest, and most ironic, are the CDs. I say ironic, because for years I have listened to music almost exclusively on first my iPod then my iPhone (before you whine about the reduced quality of MP3s, be aware I only listen to my ripped CDs in lossless formats). Now, there are a few CDs that can probably be sold for $40 or more on eBay (which is about my minimum these days for it to be worth the bother). But most of them need to go, and this is where I’m having the hardest time thinking of how. I have too many to unload on a used CD store, and it would have to be somewhere that actually pays cash instead of giving you credit (the point is to get rid of CDs, remember, not set me up to buy more cheaply). Some can be given away, I suppose, but I’m at a loss for somewhere where they could actually be donated. And just as with the books, there are a very small handful that are worth keeping, either because there is something cool or unique about the package, or (e.g., my own releases ;) they are worth keeping for some nostalgic reason. These days I buy digital whenever possible; I’m actually having a hard time remembering the last time I bought a physical CD.

So yeah, getting rid of stuff is hard.

Coming soon: fighting with my family for a minimalist Christmas, and downsizing my space needs at work.