Getting Smaller

Trying to squeeze 10 pounds of shit into a five pound bag also known as my move to a one bedroom apartment.

I guess it is finally time to admit that I have more stuff than a) I need and b) than I’ve got room for. It is a hard thing to come to grips with, it has very profound implications, beyond the obvious, “where do I put all this crap?”  It denotes a passage in my life.

As we grow up from a child to a young adult we start to collect things. Insignificant things, important things, things with sentimental attachment. We continue to acquire more and more stuff as we head off to college, start our first jobs, take our first apartment. Furniture, clothes, books, music, jewelry, the list goes on and on.

Life goes on, we move, new jobs, bigger apartment and move again, we get married, some of us buy a house. More rooms to fill, more stuff to store, each time our lives move to the next stage we need a bigger trailer, a larger moving van.

When children arrive the mountain of stuff explodes, in some cases forcing people to rent a room somewhere to save the overflow. If children are involved, it is astonishing how much stuff is necessary to drag along even on a short trip to the store.

Of course at some point the cycle reverses itself. The children leave or go off to college, their rooms kept as shrines at least for a few years. They return as they ready themselves for their launch into the world for good, generally returning to collect the remainder of stuff they think they’ll have a use for in their new endevor. It’s time to start thinking about downsizing, but where will we put all this stuff?

Deciding what to keep and what to dispose of becomes a heart rending study in sentimentality versus practicality. What is obvious to eliminate for one person would be something someone else could never part with. In the end it is simply a matter of volume of cubic footage, what it is doesn’t matter it just can’t take up more space then you’ve got.

My life has probably been the exception to the rule, it seems to have been in every other way. Over the course of the last 35 years of my life I moved from a 2 bedroom house to a 4 bedroom house to 2 bedroom apartment to 3 bedroom house to 4 bedroom house to 3 bedroom house to a studio apartment to a 2 bedroom apartment to 2 bedroom townhouse to a 2 bedroom apartment and finally to a one bedroom apartment.

A couple of observations and regrets, I wish I had the money back from all the real estate commission, moving costs and redecorating expenditures and like most people, having lived through it, I’ll do it differently next time.

Some of the changes were due to circumstances beyond my control, job changes and such but several moves were to satisfy the desire to be a good American, bigger is better, need more rooms more land, more cars, well you get the idea. The money paid to fill all those extra rooms, the riding mower to cut that 2 acres of grass, etc etc.

So that’s where I am now, I have reached the point in my life through age and circumstance that necessitates a smaller footprint.  This is the last time unless I go to a studio or find a nice dry spot under a bridge.

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