So yesterday marked the beginning of round two of the Jump off the Ladder Challenge. For round one, I gave up eating at restaurants for 20 days and had some amazing benefits. This time I’m tackling our balcony storage closet. This is where the things that I haven’t purged from my storage unit ended up, sitting, collecting dust for months. There are 10 boxes, stacked 5-6 ft. high containing the following:
- College lecture notes
- Camping gear
- Gardening supplies
- Craft supplies
- Christmas decorations
- Graduation caps, gowns, cords, and various other memorabilia related to school
- Odds and ends
My goal is to reduce the clutter by 50% or more. Most of the stuff in this closet hasn’t been touched since January, and since it has been in neatly stacked boxes I’ve never bothered to go through them. But I’m tired of clutter and our apartment management is looking to eventually put a washer/dryer unit in that closet, so this stuff has got to go. I plan to eliminate and consolidate so when that day comes whatever is left can find a home inside the apartment without any trouble.
To be perfectly honest, I haven’t always embraced minimalism. You would think that, living in three different apartments in three years, I would have embraced minimalism much sooner. In truth, my family has a bit of a history of hoarding. My great-great-uncles were hoarders. They had two houses for all of their stuff, and their backyard(s) looked like a stereotypical movie junkyard. After their relatives cleared out all of the trash they found World War II Jeeps buried underneath the piles of stuff. My mom has 17 boxes of Christmas ornaments and has a sixth sense for knowing if a single ornament has gone missing. Naturally, when I moved out of my parent’s house I had quite a collection of stuff. Every birthday/Easter/Christmas/elementary-school-lunch-box note and card, every art project I had done since kindergarten, my mom sent it all with me when I left. And I lugged them around from my first apartment, to my second apartment, to a storage unit. All of this stuff ended up in a 5’x5’ storage unit stacked wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling since there was nowhere to put them in my current apartment. I had no idea how to throw them away.
In my recent purging (and elimination of my storage unit!) I found my own trick to letting things go. My biggest problem with throwing things away was if it was a gift. I have no problem getting rid of stuff I bought myself. Once I realized no one was going to be coming and inspecting the apartment for the gift they gave me or the card they wrote me 15 years ago, I could drop that shit like it was hot. They probably didn’t remember giving it to me anyways. Boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff were instantly gone.
My darling Tristan has moved me from apartment #1, to apartment #2, to apartment #3/storage unit, to storage unit #2 after my first unit was hit by a truck. Actually we had only known each other for about a month when he helped me move the first time, so now he will forever remember me as “Box Girl.”