Releasing Stuff


Every so often I go on a binge where I try to get rid of stuff. How about you?

It’s getting to be that time again, and encouraged by the book Goodbye Things that I just finished, I’m tackling the identity element much more than I have previously. As the author points out of his own journey from packrat to minimalist, most of the things he possessed were actually the detritus of hobbies and passions that were no longer active, but served as reminders to anchor his identity.

It’s a helpful perspective, and it gives me pause to stop and reflect:
  • I’ve got a lot of livestreaming & video stuff lying around. That used to be stuff I used everyday and carted around with me to help teach others and produce live events. But it hasn’t been since July, and I don’t think it will be again maybe ever. Could I refine down to just one office and one mobile setup?
  • There’s a ton of music & audio gear everywhere around me that I look. I used to be a professional musician, and it took me many years of saving & searching to collect all that I have. But I’ll likely not need to tour with gear again, and may never take the time to learn to play all these instruments well. What if I kept only the things that I am currently passionate to play and record with simply for the joy of making music?
  • Computers and networking devices clutter my office. Though I intended to create my own network of a dozen computers for different uses over a year ago, plugging it all in at once proved to be too much power draw for my 30amp circuit. Also, since I purchased my Synology NAS and got to know my Raspberry Pi 4, I can’t say I’ve needed all the rest. Very occasionally, I do need up to 3 computers at once for testing purposes. What if I only kept one personal computer, one work computer, and my Pi? One router, one NAS, one printer? One phone, one tablet, one VR headset? Surely this should be more than enough even for a technologist like myself, right?
  • I have more clothing that I don’t wear than I do wear. I don’t like buying clothes, and it shows. I have hand-me-downs from my Dad, my uncle, and my friends, that it may be time for me to hand down too. I have costumes from my many years as a performer that might be at home in my native San Francisco or at Burning Man, but are truly out of place here in the middle of Utah. Which outfits are linked to my identity, and which are the ones that fit my body and my needs from 2020 forward?
  • Books seem to stack up around me faster than I can ever read them. The truth is, I consume more audiobooks than print or electronic books these days. Looking back, it’s probably been this way for years. Books that I don’t read can’t make me any smarter or better, they can only gather dust. I’m only keeping them from the people that want to read them, restricting the flow of information, hampering their benefit. Who could I give these books to that would appreciate them enough to actually read them and put them to good use? Could they tell me of the great knowledge buried inside these covers?

Do you have other such thoughts or recommendations that have helped you? Comment below as you please :)

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