Getting rid of stuff

It’s easy right now to be purging our excess things, because half of our stuff falls in the category of excess! It was an exhilarating month–we made $150 out of a trip to the book store, vintage shop, and clothes consignment store. The best part is, it felt good to get rid of it all. I like seeing space in my closet and on my bookshelves.

But I also feel the panic rising up when I start to think about continuing on in the future, and I’m not quite sure why. Why does stuff have such a hold over me? Particularly stuff that I haven’t touched in years, and probably won’t ever touch again. Why is the idea that I *might* use something again a valid reason to keep on storing it? And why do I feel upset at the thought of letting go of something that I know I *won’t* use in the future? What do I really need to live, and what is just contributing to my idea of middle-class security and social obligation to have?

We are in the process of examining almost everything in the house. Just as I felt odd to admit that I wasn’t that interested in the typical pink or white collar job, I feel odd to think about what accoutrements I could do without. Say, a bedframe. Only people in the ghetto and broke college students would just have a mattress on the floor, right? I’m looking at our antique iron bedframe and seeing it as a potential source of money, and also realizing that I’ve always liked the idea of sleeping close to the floor. Why do I feel like such a deadbeat to admit that?

It’s interesting to feel both so liberated and so incapacitated by owning less stuff.


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