Fitting your life into one closet.

Okay, one room and a closet, but the room is just for books on shelves and a computer on a desk.  Everything else should be in the closet.  I have gotten a lot better about not collecting unnecessary crap as I grow older but I still have a lot of stuff from the past (and that’s not even counting what’s boxed up in the loft of my mom’s garage).  I’ve heard stories from people in their 50’s and 60’s about the joy of downsizing, cleaning out all the old crap and simplifying their lives.

I figured this was a great time to take up that banner because it is a great way to find stuff to sell on Ebay and we aren’t 100% sure what we are going to do with the house while we are gone.  I will have enough to worry about come January.  I don’t want cleaning out the house to be one of those things.

It forces you to take stock of all the junk you’ve collected over the years.  I’ve been dividing things into four basic groups:  Ebay, Goodwill/AmVets, Trash & Keeper.

I also had several boxes of old receipts and credit card statements dating back to the 1990’s.  Looking at old financial documents is a lot like looking at old photographs.  Even though you primarily remember the good times, when confronted with hard evidence you are left to wallow in the regret of the things you did and even more the things you didn’t do.   The good news is that you get to feed it all through a shredder where it meets a violent end.   Take that, student load statement from 2003!

But that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?  Looking back and thinking, “I was so young and energetic and I wasted it on what?”  Once you power through the depression of realizing that you were a jackass of epic proportions, it fuels you to take on the adventure at hand.  Do you really want to look back at pictures 10 years from now and think, “Holy shit, was I that young?  I could have done so much more.  I thought I had all the time in the world.”

So, what made it into the closet?  One of the essay questions on my college application was something along the lines of, “If you were to spend a year on a space station, what three things would you take with you and why?”  I can only remember two things:  A photo album with pictures of friends and family and a guitar.  The photo album, well, because.  The guitar because I figured I would get more mileage out of an instrument then recorded music.  Back then I still thought I had the talent and determination to be a great guitar player.  Besides, it was 1993 when you couldn’t fit an entire music catalog onto something that fits in your pocket.   You have to pack light.

What does that have to do with my closet?  Ninety percent of what is in there now, aside from clothes, is music or photograph related:  Guitars, CD’s, cassettes, photo albums and boxes of photos that need to be cataloged.  My goal is to scan as many of the key ones I can before we leave just in case.  We’ll see if I get around to it.

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We're Mark & Julie

We quit our jobs at the end of 2013 to backpack around the world. We're sharing our stories, travel advice and hopefully some inspiration. Read more...

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