Yes I'm still alive. My stuff is here too.
Been moving into my new place for the last 2 weeks and shedding an old roommate. 2 guys, 1 co-op - not pretty. Trust me. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're REALLY good friends with the other person or REALLY desperate - I was out of work at the time and about to run out of unemployment so that was my reason. But now that I'm getting settled, I'll save $140/month for a bigger, better place and will get my deposit back in full so actually I'm losing nothing in the process of moving.
I'm also amazed at just how much crap I accumulated over a short period of time; I'm a person whose apartment you could say is fairly spartan (and not just because that was my High School mascot) yet after 10+ trips in my car to move this stuff plus the help of a friend to move the big things, I realized how much of it was just taking up space. Lugging that junk in the sweaty summer heat puts it all into a new view.
I'm selling a lot of this junk on craigslist/ebay while it's still in view and fresh. Most was stuff I kept telling myself that I might use someday but never did and haven't for the 2+ years I owned it. What's painfully obvious is that if I didn't need it then, I probably don't need it now. And if I do, I can always rent it for the day I'm using it (or better yet borrow) or just get it back on craiglist/ebay for cheap.
That said, cleaning out my possessions was emotional on many levels - nostalgic memories, feeling liberated, feeling vulnerable without it, feeling mild sadness parting with it, feeling regret for spending money on something I didn't need, feeling generous in that I can give my stuff to people who could really benefit from it, and so on. After distancing myself emotionally, I realized it's just material possessions, I possess them, not in reverse - but it has felt like that on a subconscious level. Sure I'm taking a loss on these items as they've depreciated, though I'd probably lose more if they were destroyed in an accident, stolen, tossed or left to collect dust. It's also good to know that my stuff can be turned into money quick if I am in a pinch, but I'd rather keep my money in banks and investments, not in material things.
While doing this, it also reminded me of the people I have worked with in Hollywood (see, I'd tie it into the theme of this blog loosely somehow). I always noticed that those who had offices that looked as though their file cabinets had vomited all over their desks and the floor and the guest chair and table got sick more, were always more upset and unhappy. Conversely, those with clean offices and were generally laid-back, happier, emotionally stable and seemed more productive...and they worked in the same building in the same company with very similar types of jobs. Now of course I never had access to the inner workings of their lives so it's hard to say why some people were so swamped while the others could make their fung really sway, but I feel like this was more of a symptom than the cause; clutter filled execs would often waste time feeling bad, complaining and so on - which only led to falling behind and more clutter. So obviously there's something going on behind the scenes here and maybe some of it was being out of synch with values, spreading their selves too thin, or distract themselves from doing work and taking time off in order to avoid the real issue.
Like any good script, it's all about keeping it simple. Sure you can have a ton of crap going on and feel confused like when watching the latest Hollywood SFX tentpole - but usually they don't make sense and you come out feeling somewhat ... off. I've found it is so much more helpful to get my life simpler and thus my mind - since not having to clean my place is one less thing to have to do - and as a result I can focus on my values. Besides, if I don't declutter while I'm alive, my heirs will have to do it for me and divvy up my junk ... and I don't want people thinking why the hell did he hang onto this?