Stuff. Everyone’s got some. Some people have more; some have less, but everyone’s got some. When I moved out of my parent’s house after college, I could pack most of my worldly belongings into about 8-10 decent-sized boxes, excluding clothing. I came to realize last weekend that I now have more boxes of Christmas decorations than that. It was a sobering reflection…

My personal collection of stuff has metastasized into an mass of boxes and storage tubs in the basement filled with books, games, models, computer junk, homebrewing equipment, CD’s, videos, and other assorted detritus that I mostly haven’t touched in 10 years or so. I’ve purged my belongings in the past, but apparently empty space in my basement has some vacuum-like properties, for I now seem to have as many boxes of crap as I always have had. I consider myself fortunate to have never need to rent a storage locker or pod to store my excess crap in. I view that as a sign of either too much money, or too little common sense when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Still, I’ve decided that I have too much crap again, so I’m starting to think about ways to downsize, and what to keep.

I firmly believe that petroleum and natural gas shortages will be biting us in the ass sooner or later, and when that reality hits home, the houses we’ll be able to afford to heat up here in the Great White North will not allow us to hoard the amounts of stuff that we now consider ‘normal’ in today’s society (or, there will be more people inhabiting each dwelling, limiting the amount of crap each person can hoard in the basement). I should have purged more before I moved (and I did throw out a lot of junk then, believe me), but I’m now realizing that I have a much longer way to go. Do I really need 10 boxes of books that I haven’t cracked in a decade, if ever? How much stuff am I going to keep around ‘just in case the kids might like them?’ I inwardly groan whenever my parents bring over more boxes of crap from their place that they’ve been saving for me for decades, yet here I am subconsciously plotting the same thing against my kids.

I’m going to keep the ‘crafty’ stuff like the brewing and gardening stuff, since that’ll always be useful. The books, movies and CD’s will be cut down significantly, I think, and it’ll also be time to plow through the many boxes of neglected knick-nacks and other home decorations to see what may be used, and what simply is garbage we have yet to throw away. I used to play a lot of games in college, and many of them are still packed in boxes in the basements. Since I mostly play the ‘classics’ these days like chess, backgammon and go, I’m thinking a lot of the rest of the stuff is excess to my requirements. My plan is to get down to around a dozen boxes or less of personal effects for myself, period. We’ll see how I do.


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