Monday, October 09, 2006

Material Furl

Simplicity. It is harder to embrace than one could possibly imagine. Yet, it is the times when I am without the baggage of ownership when I have been happiest. It is a weight like a backpack that bogs us down and until you take it off you have no idea of the burden.

I've readily embraced this mantra backpacking. I have the smallest pack I can possibly use for mountaineering. And every trip, be it overnight or a week it is full. This is also the lesson of houses of which mine is quite comfortable. But a box or a bag must be filled. It is time to shed this weight so I can do more of what I love: travel, be it globetrotting or just comradere with old friends.

Continuing through John December's Live Simple, I inventoried my stuff (well, the big items beyond my outdoor gear and tools) and was surprised at its brevity:

Item Inventory Support Goals?
Bookshelf Yes, but books should be thinned
Computer Desk Yes
Computer Desk Chair Yes
Desk Yes, as workspace for laptop (employer owned) and file storage
Desk Chair No, only need one chair
Computer & Printer Yes
Bed Yes, but could be more practical
Nightstand Possibly
Dresser Possibly
Washer & Dryer Possibly
Lamp Yes
Table & Chairs Yes, but could be more practical
Loveseat Yes, but could be more practical
Sofa Yes, but could be more practical
End Table Yes, but could be more practical
Coffee Table Yes, but could be more practical
TV/Stereo Cabinet Yes, but could be more practical
Indoor Plants (3) Yes, but could be more practical
Pots & Rack Yes
Coffee Pot Yes, but could drink less
Toaster Yes, but not necessary
Toaster Oven Possibly, duplicity with oven
Plates & Bowls Yes
Tableware & Utensils Yes
Bakeware Yes
Glasses Yes
Crock Pot
Patio Table & Chairs
Yes, provided not readily available outdoor seating

This is challenging. I only had the guts to say "No" to a duplicate desk chair that isn't really that comfortable. The loveseat and sofa fell close to this category, but at least one of them is nice to have to relax. I think I need to step back and examine the list again later. It is not that large, only 29 items.

Now I did leave a lot off of the list. All my tools, tents, packs, bikes, holiday stuff and clothes. These will have to be examined later. I also restricted it to items of a certain size. For example none of my 7 pocket knives were inventoried. But it is a starting point.

As I wrote earlier, my move to Idaho was based entirely off of the fact that I came to value time more than money. If I can live simply, my money will go much farther and I will be better able to enjoy the time that I do have. It is far easier to come up with money than time. Only one of the two is an artificial.

How often we forget.