Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I want to get rid of it all...

I am staring at closets full of stuff and wondering how much stuff one person could possibly need. I arrived in Louisiana in June four years ago with exactly one car full of things and now I would have to get a big Uhaul to get all of this stuff somewhere else.

I go through phases in life where I just want to throw it all away and I think of that line in Fight Club where the main character’s perfectly furnished and decorated apartment goes up in flames. Another character, Tyler Durden, says something to the effect that “the stuff you own ends up owning you”. I have had the feeling long before I ever watched the movie.

It was a revelation to me on the mission that I could indeed survive long term with just the items found in two big suitcases. When I returned from my mission I felt overwhelmed by all of my stuff. I painstakingly crawled through my parents’ crawl space in their Seattle home and box by box got rid of fully half of my possessions and then moved all that was left to Provo to start school at BYU. When I graduated from BYU I did the same thing right before moving to Louisiana.  

I’m not moving. I’m not going anywhere for at least another school year maybe two, but I have that urge to just start over at zero again. I don’t want all of this stuff… It makes me feel itchy. It makes me feel tied down. 

I find myself wondering where my purging mentality came from. My grandparents lived through the Depression and when they died we had to throw away pretty much everything they had ever owned because they had kept it all. I am sure that it has something to do with this being the generation of plenty and theirs being the generation of sacrifice and “not enough”.

Right now though, rather than the cultural and sociological differences between my grandparents’ generation and mine, I am interested in getting some of this stuff gone and feeling lighter… 


  1. I just moved and wanted to throw out a bunch of things, and yet I hate throwing this out.
    I don't might giving things away, but most of my clothing I either like or they are past the point of anyone else ever wanting them. So I keep them. I have one box of "things I really don't need, and will never look at or use but I don't want to throw out." I think if I can keep that to one box, that is okay, but when that collectiong keeps growing... uhoh.

  2. I am the same way. I start getting anxiety if I "own" too many things.

  3. I now have three bags in my room ready to go to the second hand store... Waiting until my roommates move out on Wednesday to get serious about ripping into the closets...

  4. I know I definitely have too much stuff, including clothes I never wear (or would have been the style I would have worn 15 years ago but don't really want to now). So many books, CDs, and DVDs too: they just pile up.


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