You know you have a problem. That had been my mattress at some point, but luckily, it wasn’t my kitchenette and I wasn’t guilty of the stuffing. That was a friend of mine with acute pack-rat syndrome. He tells me he’s doing better these days.
I always think that I do a decent job at not accumulating stuff, that is, until I have to move. While I was still living in Bangkok, I had to rent a pick-up truck to move my stuff from one place to the next. And I was moving from a tiny studio into a full-sized apartment, not the other way around. Both were fully furnished so the move didn’t involve any of the heavy stuff.
When I moved out of Bangkok, even though I thought I had already learned my lesson, I left a mess for my roommate to sort through. (Buddha bless homeslice for that.)
This past year, I’ve been traversing through the US and considering how efficient I thought I’d become at travel packing (i.e. one small backpack, two weeks anywhere, no problem), I was utterly befuddled at the amount of things I stuffed into my ride. (I blame the roomy interior and spacious trunk.) All jokes aside, it was only then when I decided to take full stock of what I really needed and what I had to let go. It was an awful lot.
The weaning began and it’s still ongoing.
There’s nothing like a good set of statistics to help us visualize our problem with clutter. “Ours” as in the “developed world,” and by the “developed world” I mean mostly America. The site becomingminimalist (great site!) compiled a few crazy and scary stats regarding the accumulation of goods.
Among the crazy:
5. The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently, there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing (SSA).
Among the terrifying:
11. Nearly half of American households don’t save any money (Business Insider).
Back in Thailand I have a stylish
American Thai Cambodian Australian short friend who (aside from remaining anonymous) had the habit of wearing a particular tee on a given day. There was the Wednesday tee, the Thursday tee, the Sunday button-up, etc. Incredibly efficient… is what she calls herself. I don’t think I’ll ever be on her level but I’m definitely cutting down on my surplus threads and belongings. Becoming minimalist? Maybe so but definitely heading in that direction.