Another house, another cut

by Sarah Luna

Each time I move, I am forced to come face to face with each of my possessions. I must confront the reasons (or lack thereof) for owning each useful item or useless knickknack. The physical reality of moving all of my stuff deeply impresses upon me just how much I own and–if I am especially reflective–just how much others do not.

While the house I moved into is much larger than my apartment, I personally have less space. My closet isn’t even deep enough to accommodate hangers, for example, yet over the last year I’ve doubled my wardrobe to include winter wear. My bathroom, though spacious, is no longer exclusively mine.

With opportunities for international travel on the horizon, I am troubled by the practical problems created by my excess stuff. What will happen to it? Both rent and storage are expensive, and I can’t take it with me. The simplest solution I see is to simplify.

I’ve cut down my wardrobe by half, mercilessly selling and donating what I have not worn. Have I worn it since I graduated from A&M? No? It’s gone. Do I have more than 5 of the item (like long sleeved shirts)? Yes? What are my five favorites? Ditch the rest.

Books…oh, books were painful. I love and revere books and, consequently, hoard them. My room has no bookshelves. I could buy bookshelves, but then I would be buying more stuff to accommodate my current stuff. And honestly, why do I need books that I am not actively reading? Something that is pretty on my shelf could be meaningful in someone else’s life. I’ve tried selling them; the local bookstore wouldn’t take them. Tomorrow, I will donate three large bags to the Friends of the Library, but I still have three bags of books that I have trouble giving away anonymously.

And what about sentimental things? What about the jade dragon Brian gave me for my 18th birthday? What about the pilgrim shells that have accompanied me on my every journey (even ballroom competitions)? Or the beautiful cross Jamie gave me for Christmas? Or the picture of my mother and me that I keep on my desk? Such things are not necessary, yet they are special to me and part of what make my house a home.

Taking my inspiration from Innermost House, every possession that remains will have been carefully chosen. Sometimes I feel it would be easier to simply throw everything away and start fresh.

I’m still struggling with office supplies, my desktop, toiletries, and other things. What belongs in a room that is supposed to be a sanctuary?