I have been looking forward to purging for months. It is a massive pro of traveling for me. Since I am going to be out of the country for up to 18 months, maybe more, I will certainly not be needing most of the ‘stuff’ in my apartment. Of course I’ll keep the valuable things) but the vast majority of my apartment was furnished with second hand furniture and kitchenware. I was incredibly thankful for it when I first moved to Boston, as I was right out of college (and unemployed) and did not have money to furnish my own apartment. My family (immediate and extended) was extremely generous giving me everything I have. Now though, I have both outgrown it and no longer need it.
I have outgrown the hand-me-down look. I used to not care, I was just happy to have a comfy couch regardless of what it looked it. However, in the past 8 months, my attitude towards my ‘home’ has changed. I now value having my home feel welcoming, inviting and comfortable, to look around and see myself reflected in my space. Currently, I don’t feel that. I did not choose anything in my apartment so the space does not feel like a true reflection of me. Before I decided to travel, I was looking at buying a new couch, bed, dresser, dishes, everything. I wanted to choose and therefore like the things that filled my home. For me, it brings a sense of comfort and joy to look around and see things that I like, chose and paid for.
When I decided to travel, obviously those plans died. But, traveling does give me a rare opportunity to rid myself of everything that I do not want anymore, which not surprisingly, is 90% of my possessions. And when I come back, I can finally choose the things that fill my home. I can create a space that feel like me.
Before that, I have to rid myself of everything.
For the last 3 years I’ve lived in a fully furnished 2 bedroom apartment that is approximately 1000 sq ft. That’s a lot of space and a lot of stuff. Over the past 3 months I’ve been gradually getting rid of many of my possessions.
First my bedroom.
I went through all of my clothes (and linens and towels as I also keep those items in my room) and purged 11 trash bags of clothes, bedding and towels, plus a box of shoes and bags (all donated). All my clothes, shoes and bags fit into 3 medium sized plastic bins (which includes workout clothing, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sweaters and jackets).
As for my bedroom furniture, well, there’s nothing left. Dressers, bed, desk, computer chair and bookcases were all given away.
On to the kitchen.
I gave away 90% of the things in my kitchen. I no longer own any silverware, glasses, dishes, wine glasses and most of my pots, pans and baking dishes. All were given away. My kitchen table, chairs and cart are all being given to family members.
As for my living room, I think the only thing that remains are some DVDs and my DVD player. 2 couches, 2 end tables, 2 lamps, a coffee table, a rug and a TV were all given away.
My life was condensed into 10 plastic bins/ boxes that are currently stacked in my living room (2 are not pictured). 7 will go to my uncle’s for long term storage and 3 will come to NJ with me (the 3 clothes bins).
And that’s that. After 4 years and 2 apartments, all that remains is 10 boxes.