Too Much Stuff

Pine Point, Scarborough Maine – Photo by Dan Steven Erickson

You might know that I used to operate a site about minimalism and simple living. I never quit thinking about living with less. I’ve just had a lot of other issues in life that I’ve needed to deal with. But like many of you, I still have too much stuff.

What is too much? That probably looks different for each of us. I know that I currently need a storage unit. That’s too much. Granted, I just moved my belongings from a 1800 square-foot condo in Washington to Maine. I moved here 18 months ago, so we kind of already got the basics. Now we have extra. Plus, the place in Maine is only 775 square feet.

Here’s my goal for the summer.

I want to eliminate 50% of everything and get the remainder into my basement storage. It shouldn’t be too hard. After that, I’ll continue to whittle away at lightening the load. In fact, if I ever move again, I want to take no more than a car load. If I stay in Maine, I might live in an even smaller space in the future.

This problem of too much stuff is on my mind because I just spent $6000 and two weeks moving our stuff. We rented a 15-f00t U-Haul, filled it up, and towed my daughter’s old Mustang from Yakima, Washington to Maine. I’ll sell some of the more valuable items. But I’ll never break even. And the longer I have to keep a storage unit, the more money I spend. That’s not good when I’m going into semi-retirement.

As with the ritual of Swedish Death Cleaning, part of me is thinking about what my next of kin will have to deal with when I die. But I honestly want to do this for myself, too. I went 18 months away from three quarters of everything I own. And the thing I missed the most was a 99-cent backscratcher. That’s sad but true. – dse

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