Friday, 7 January 2011


One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to take an inventory of my belongings, and purge at least 10% of them, preferably by the time I move out of this apartment. I'm hoping this will serve multiple purposes:

1) getting rid of 10% of my stuff, thus reducing the amount of clutter in my small room/stuff I have to drag with me when I move possibly far far away
2) forcing myself to go through everything means that when I'm done everything should be more neatly organized
3) reminding myself what I have so that I don't go out and by more things that I don't need/continue to add to my toothpaste collection

I've already started in on it because I'm super keen on this particular resolution, and so far I've inventoried 247 items, 81 of which I've gotten rid of. That's more than triple my target percentage! But I know it will only get lower from here, because I've mostly gone through things like clothes and jewellery, which I'm far more willing to part with than the things I have yet to inventory, such as books and dishes.

The unexpected thing that this project has forced upon me is that I'm also taking another type of inventory. I find myself taking stock of which memories, attachments, and emotions I'm still holding onto, and which ones I'm ready to start letting go of. Disposing of the physical reminders of these things means that I'm relying solely on my memory to keep them with me, which means eventually I will forget them. There were a lot of things I was ready to let go. There were some things I was not.

For example, when I found this necklace in the bottom of my jewellery box, I thought "I never wear this. I can't even remember the last time I wore it. It's been years. I could get rid of this." The flash of memories from the day it was first pressed into my hand, and the accompanying lump in my throat as I stretched my hand toward the 'discard' pile, disagreed with this diagnosis. The necklace is back in my jewellery box, where it belongs.

The once-treasured Reel Big Fish scarf hiding at the back of my closet led me to discover that they put out a new album two years ago, and I had no idea! I'm listening to it now to make up for lost time. After that, I'm going to listen to their live album to see if I can still sing every word and speak every piece of dialogue along with them. I really thought I could have let this one go, but it somehow ended up around my neck instead of in the pile. I guess I'm holding on for a while longer.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Oooh! This was a good idea. I wish I had kept the camera at hand while I did a chunk of purging before Myron came home. I wound up with four gigantic trash bags at the curbside that week, and when the two of us are here on a normal week, we never even fill one entire trash bag between us both.

I should have pretended I had a move in my future. That's powerful motivation. When I'm moving, I always wish I were one of those free spirits who get by on a backpack full of broomstick-gauze skirts and rock-crystal deodorant.