I’m in the middle of moving to a new appartment right now, after finishing university and beginning to work. I’ve moved about 5 times since high school, mostly across town, and each move gives me a good insight into just how much stuff I have. Also, each move made me think about what I need and what I don’t, and I threw out a good amount of stuff each time. Generally I’d say I don’t have a lot of things right now, but I wish it was less. I always think: do I really need all of this? Will I use all of this in the future, or just drag it around as ballast, reducing the amount of space I have for myself?
Books for example. I kind of hate classic books on paper, even though I have studies literature in college. The weight of books is just so out of proportion, and you read them once and I’d say more than 90% of the books on the shelves are never read again. Problem: You can’t really sell books again, as the market is flooded with sellers on Amazon selling the books for 1 cent (I guess they are making a profit out of the flat shipping cost).
The same goes for CDs. I have about 1 meter worth of albums, that is not too much, but still, I have them all on my computer and / or iPod by now, so I really don’t need the CDs any more. Again, except for rarities, you just can’t sell CDs at a reasonable price.
Then there are clothes. While I tend to spend less money than others on clothes and shoes, I still purchase more I tems than I throw out (always think I could still wear this while doing dirty outdoor work and so on). So the amount of clothes and shoes I own is slowly increasing.
Uni and high school material. Do people throw that away or keep it as a souvenir? I’m not referring to text books, but your own notes and material, including exams and compositions and homework and such. It amounts to a lot of paper and weight in my case.
I love all the digital stuff I have. It weighs nothing and moves with me wherever I am. For example I never owned physical photos, have them all digitally. Of course I have all my stuff backed up in several places, and encrypted, just in case of fire, theft, loss and such.
So now I’m thinking about scanning (or actually photographing) all my uni stuff. It will take me a weekend or two, but then I can throw out so much ballast. For all other things I own, I have decided to minimize as much as I can when I move into the new place. Yeah I should have done that BEFORE the move, but I simply had no time because of my exams.
How about you? Do you feel you are collecting too much unwanted ballast? How many things does a person really need? Or do you have a house / garage where you can just dump all the stuff and it doesn’t matter?