Year-long Quest to Get Rid Of Stuff

Jack and I have been on a quest to minimize our possession for a very long time — Then again, we either have a lot of stuff, or not actually getting rid of anything and just thinking that we are, because it seems that we still have tons of stuff.

We’ve been planning our RTW trip for 4 years and have always kept in the back of our mind that the more we have now the more work it will be to get rid of them.

As part of our attempt to save money for our RTW trip, we have constantly moved to a smaller, and smaller sized apartment: from a 2 story-2 bedroom apartment during college, to a 800 sq foot apt, then to a 600 sq foot, 1 bedroom apartment we’re currently living in.

So at first, it was out of necessity not to be swallowed in a sea of furniture that we turned to Ebay and Craigslist to sell our stuff. But now, it has become almost a habit to go on selling spree every now and then. In general, we tried to keep a negative flow of stuff into our apartment.

Of course, we had our moments of relapse. We got into climbing last year. And we needed to buy gear so we don’t fall to our dooms at the base of the mountains — so it doesn’t count, OK?


In the past year or so, we’ve gotten rid of:

1. Bed frame. Oh, it was a beautiful bed frame. Solid wood, stained dark cherry with simple lines. It didn’t quite make it during our last move because we realized that you can simply put the mattress on the floor and the world would not stop spinning (don’t worry, we tested it first).
2. Feather bed cover. It was heavy, and unwieldy. And very hard to clean. It had to go for the simple reason we were too lazy to take care of it.
3. A bike, roller blades, camping gear. When we had to buy climbing gear, we decided to sell a bunch of stuff and actually ended up getting more money than we needed.
4. A book shelf and everything it carried — books, picture frames, and trinkets.
5. Half of my closet. I now only have 3 pairs of shoes and I know my co-workers have started to wonder if I own anything else other than a this grey sweatshirt (I do, but I should sell them because apparently I never wear them anymore).
6. All of our movie and game collections. We used to have about 5 thick folders worth of them.

Anybody wants a bookshelf? -- Jack and Jill Collection

The mysterious cabinet -- Jack and Jill Collection

We are now entering another selling/purging spree and I have my eyes set on:

1. Another bookshelf. This one is also filled with books. I :heart:books. This will be tough.
2. A mysterious white cabinet. This contains the inevitable “I don’t know what to do with this but I’m not ready to get rid of them” stuff that every household seems to accumulate. Last time I check it has a collection of rags (I know, rags?), my Wacom tablet, and my lightbox (from when I wanted to be an animator)
3. The other half of my closet. I only wear about half of the clothes I own anyway.

A couple things we learn in the process:

– Even though my inner pack rat rebels at the thought of getting rid of stuff, it is a truly liberating feeling to see a recently emptied corner, or see a patch of lighter colored carpet where a furniture used to sit. There’s more room to breathe and ‘white space’ in the room –> happier us

– Stretching this process out for months or even years definitely makes it a much easier and less stressful experience. We do not have to make decisions right away about items that we’re more attached to.

– I’ve become much less tolerant of clutter and I’ve been able to see my desk again for the past 6 months or so. Yay!

– With more time, we could end up earning more money by selling our stuff because we don’t have to settle for the first interested person due to time constraint.

– And more importantly, subconsciously, living with diminishing amount of possession prevents us from being too comfortable with the idea of settling in. It’s funny how the more stuff you have, the harder it is to let go.

Not to mention that our foster kitty is loving the extra space.

And it just means we’re that much closer to crossing out our pre-departure to-do list. 🙂


So, anyone wants to buy some LP books?
Or a bag of rags?

5 Replies to “Year-long Quest to Get Rid Of Stuff”

  1. It feels great, doesn't it? We've been steadily getting rid of our stuff and not buying any more over the last few years. I'm happy to say that we got rid of the last of the things we were selling before our RTW this weekend…just a few odds and ends left that we can give to charity. It does make it so much easier when you get close to departure!

  2. I'm currently in the process of eliminating most of my stuff for my trip next year. Over the years I have moved into bigger and bigger places, which only gave me more space to fill. Now I'm seeing the negative effects of that and am taking actions to change that. It's amazing to me how much stuff that I have that has no purpose.

    I'm looking forward to cutting the chain of stuff so that I can be more mobile.

  3. I'm currently in the process of eliminating most of my stuff for my trip next year. Over the years I have moved into bigger and bigger places, which only gave me more space to fill. Now I'm seeing the negative effects of that and am taking actions to change that. It's amazing to me how much stuff that I have that has no purpose.

    I'm looking forward to cutting the chain of stuff so that I can be more mobile.

Comments are closed.