"I made small efforts here and there to scale down and shed the unnecessary odds and ends - but found in the grand chaos of moving that a more radical approach would have served me better."
How I did it: One doesn't realize just how necessary it is to make radical breaks with the objects in ones life - to scale back MARKEDLY. I didn't do this nearly as well as I needed to. But I tried to go through the things that one always means to go through (books, mostly) and make some merciless decisions - tossing them into piles for donation. Thinking about how life is too short and I'm really never going to read any of them... Also clothes... With furniture, CDs and an old guitar, I had a yard sale and made a couple hundred bucks one day - reminding myself that it would all be put to good use in other people's homes.
Lessons & tips: MORE RADICAL IS BETTER. Even more than you think is necessary. And then even more than that.
When moving, you can't even imagine the way things keep spreading out in front of you. The objects are never ending. Try to pack EVeRYTHING a week in advance - every last box - just so you can see how impossibly never ending it is. Ones ability to estimate how much there is, and how much needs to be gotten rid of, is ROTTEN. Pack EARLY and get rid of stuff EARLY. Because in the end you'll find yourself having to throw stuff on the lawn for garbage that you really want to keep and mourning the fact that you have all kinds of garbage in your car that you would happily trade if you just had time to take it out of the car to make space for that stuff you have to now leave on the lawn.
Resources: I love watching that show, Hoarders, while trying to declutter. It's sometimes so extreme and disgusting that it's hard to relate to at all, but it does really illustrate how, ultimately, in its final form, loving STUFF is a form of madness, and all STUFF is really just dead and in the past. It's a way of being tied to the past, and taken away from life and the now.
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