I’m loving the purge! It feels so good to rid myself of unused items, unappreciated furniture, and redundant clothing. The books are a hard one. Some, I’ve read and won’t pick up again so, donating them to the library is a no brainer. Then there are books that I just loved and may want to read again. Should I donate them and when the time comes I can go check them out? What if by not having it on my shelf I forget about them? Knee-jerk reaction: GET RID OF IT!!! Two plastic tubs are now full of reference books to keep. Useful stuff like refrigeration, solar heating, humanure, tree pruning, chemistry, and sentimental stuff like high school year-books. That leaves twenty five or so, geology books, labor histories, social critic, and science books that I’d like to read or read again in the near future. I could be doing better, but I try not to beat myself up too much; I’ve already donated hundreds of dollars worth of pristine condition books.
Every time I load up the car for a trip to the consignment shop, Goodwill, the book library and the tool library, it’s that much less I’ll have to move and find a place for in my new home! Furniture is one of the best and easiest to purge. A lot of it was sourced from goodwill or garage sales so, it is somewhat eye-catching, quaint, cute, whatever and the consignment shop won’t have much trouble selling it. We have our share of particle board furniture from IKEA and big box stores, but it’s all in good shape because we’d only buy stuff that would stay rigid and not get all floppy. I’m not the least bit shy about throwing a couple drywall screws into a bookshelf or something to stiffen it up. Looking around the room at all the furniture that can’t be kept makes this whole RV move look that much more fun. Just looking around me, the things that aren’t going with us are: couch, coffee table, end table, book shelf, filing cabinet, computer desk, cat tree, three lamps, bike rack, kitchen hutch and a phonograph cabinet. That’s just the living room.
There is so much more to do and there really is time to do it. We haven’t set a date to move out of here yet because we not only haven’t bought a motorhome, we haven’t even found the one we want. That’s fine with me. If I set a date to be out of here, I’ll just wait until a month before to start the purge. By then, it will make the move so stressful and difficult that that I’ll purge in a sudden and unorganized manner, holding onto junk I should have gotten rid of because I haven’t given the necessary time to do it gradually. Once we’ve bought a motorhome I’ll feel a bit more rushed because we will have a rental payment for our place now plus a loan payment, insurance, RV storage perhaps and any improvement costs to make. For the first time since before I worked in the coal mines, money could get tight. So that’s why a gradual purge is in order. Part of a minimalist lifestyle to me is limiting stress.
This is pretty drastic purge, but it won’t be the last one, I’m sure. As hard as I try, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like living in a motorhome. Once we’re in I’m sure I’ll realize some things I thought I needed just don’t fit. We’ll have an enclosed trailer for extra supplies, but I’m not going to rely on that as a hoarding crutch, like an attic space or basement. Old habits die hard, but I like to think I embrace change rather well.
The world is changing faster than perhaps any time in human history. Most people are like a stick in the mud when it comes to changing opinions and lifestyle. Some folks are so attached to some antiquated idea of “the good old days” when everything wasn’t so complicated and citizens had respect for each other and the status quo was something to be fought for. Well, sorry but that’s all fantasy based bull shit. Humility is something to fight for. Don’t take yourself too seriously and please don’t protect the legitimacy of any established institution whether it’s government, representative democracy, corporate personhood, the sanctity of marriage, capitalism or the superiority of the human race. This society of industrial/information beings has made leaps and bounds in becoming more enlightened over the past few hundred years. The established institutions of their time have been questioned, ridiculed and nearly abolished if not replaced by more complex ones that seek to reform rather then revolutionize society. The collective organization of human beings through their assigned specialties have made relative comfort, food security, and leisure time possible, but not widely shared. It’s hard to change at the pace our society is changing and even harder to stay a step ahead of it. I will try though. Citizens will find themselves forced into purging the unnecessaries en masse. The culture will have to shift to one that sees the species survival at risk and takes great effort towards the goal of long term solutions. I don’t intend to be ready for anything and everything; I’m not a survivalist, but I intend to live as the conditions of the planet and culture require: Small
I’m sure it will be a great experience to live in a motorhome. I can imagine it. I myself live with my parents. Here in India it’s not a big deal and pretty much expected for a son to live with his parents. But eventually I want to start travelling more. Motorhomes and RVs are not common here but I too want to live very light so that I can get up and leave whenever I feel like or need to. For me the most difficult thing to let go off will be my guitars and other musical instruments. If I’m going to travel I can’t have a lot but another part of me wants to collect many different instruments. I guess it’s another area to apply minimalism to. Slowly and steadily.
I know how you feel with the guitars. I’ve got a large, and heavy, tool collection and reference books too. They haven’t had much use lately, but most of it will be indispensable soon. It’s one thing that holds me back from doing a great deal of traveling. Sometimes I wish I had a passion for something that required fewer accessories, like writing or painting. So long as I can manage my hobbies that they don’t overwhelm me.
Yeah, there is a weird stigma here in the states about living with one’s parents. Part of the consumer lifestyle perhaps? Get a house with a garage for all that junk you need!
You’re a sailor right? Ever think about living on your own sailboat?
Living on a small sailboat is another dream of mine. That would be absolutely amazing. If you think travelling on road feels like freedom, you have no idea how it feels to be in the middle of the ocean. It’s an overwhelming scary kind of freedom. I can’t even afford to think about it right now, but one day I will go for this dream as well. For now I want to do a cycle tour of my home state Himachal Pradesh which I’ll try to do next year. Have to start training for it because Himachal is mostly Himalyan mountains so its going to be tough.
[…] move so much crap again. It was time to purge and think small. (Minimalism by Distillation, and the Prodigious Purge) It was also time to consider a mobile domicile, since we weren’t sure where we want to end […]