Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Apartment, the Junk Yard

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm moving into Manhattan this summer. Unfortunately, my travel schedule prevented me from getting anything done, so I've had to cram it in to this last week. I've been cleaning, packing, cleaning some more, moving everything, and then doing it all over again -- I'm utterly exhausted.

As it turns out, in addition to our love of books, another thing Pauline, Kekla and I have in common is our clutter. Looking around my apartment in the last week, I realized I have quite the junk problem. As I started to take things out of their nooks and crannies, piles began to form of things I don't need, don't want, or forgot I even owned. I had clothing which has never and will never fit, shoes that looked like they would fall apart if I walked more than five blocks, and trinkets I should have thrown out years ago.

After forming several of these piles, and filling up at least a dozen garbage bags, I had to ask: how did I end up with all of this? Why is it that we collect these things when it would be easier to get rid of them? My junk consisted mostly of souvenirs, free t-shirts, pamphlets from organizations I've never heard of, and wedding-related books and magazines.

So I started piles: things of value (sell/swap), things in good condition I've outgrown (donate), and things nobody on earth wants (trash). Of course, even after throwing out a lot, there's more I need to get rid of once the unpacking begins. I have a lot of clothing to recycle -- did you know you can recycle clothing? I'm organizing a clothing swap with friends to get rid of what doesn't fit me and replenish my now non-existent wardrobe. Sadly, I'll also have to go through the ten boxes I filled with books, because I can probably sell or donate most of those. (Anybody need a chemistry textbook? Social psychology perhaps?)

When was the last time you went through your junk? Is it time for a fresh start?


Kekla Magoon said...

Yeah, I'm doing this too, because I may move end of summer. I have so much STUFF, and some of it is hard to get rid of. Which doesn't really make sense, because it's not necessarily stuff I want (apart from the books).

It feels wasteful to throw certain things away ("Just in Case"), is my problem. I think that's the bottom line.

sally said...

I feel good about the fact that I'll be donating and recycling most of what I don't want and really only threw out what can't be salvaged anyway. That way it doesn't feel wasteful -- it feels like I'm doing something good. Giving something I don't need to somebody who does.

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