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Making The Cut

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This weekend I sold all of my furniture and a lot of other things I could do without. Here is a list of things that I’ve sold already:

Blue couches w/ ottoman
Green striped couches
Area rug for living room
Dining table
Room divider
Coffee table
5×5 Ikea bookshelf
4×2 Ikea bookshelf
Wall bookshelves (yes, the ones that failed on me)
Full size bed frame
Full size memory foam mattress
Entryway shoe storage unit w/ matching mirror
REI backpack
Digital camera
Laundry hamper
Surf rack

Before and after…

…and I’m still trying to sell more things like my Xbox, laptop, DVDs, Blu-rays, mp3 player…and yes, all but one surfboard (gasp!). There definitely are a lot of items that I have not used in a long time and could not be bothered to get rid of. I realized the big obstacle in this “100 Things Challenge” is how to sort which clothes I’m going to keep. I also need some rules.

Is each individual piece of clothing going to count as one item?
What am I going to do with memorabilia/gifts that were given to me?
What am I going to do with my lacrosse stuff? I have 2 sticks, 2 helmets, pads, 10+ shorts, 10+ shirts, 2 bags…you get the idea. It’s strange, but sometimes feel like I need to keep these items to show my future son that his dad played a lot of sports, was the UCLA lacrosse team captain and all that good stuff because I’m sure he’ll give a crap…

The more questions I came up with, the more I realized how many things I really had. My list was easily over 600 items if you counted things individually and if I was really honest with myself, I am sure that I don’t even use or think about half of them. I want to donate all of the clothes that I don’t need to people who will be needing it for the upcoming winter months, but I need to establish a set of rules for how to keep stuff that I still use. Here are some rules I came up with (could change) but let me know if you have a better idea of how to modify some of these or if they are good:

1. Toiletries/Bathroom Items. I will count things like toothbrushes and razors but not things that get replaced such as shampoo, shaving gels, soap, toothpaste, etc.

2. Skivvies and Such. I will count underwear, socks, undershirts, etc, each as one item but I will limit myself of how many of them I have. For example, underwear will take up one item slot but I will only own ten pairs. While minimizing what I have is the goal, I still have a job and I can’t be showing up to work wearing underwear flipped around because I don’t have enough. Gross. Who ever does that? Certainly not me…

3. Related Items. When I count my acoustic guitar as one item, I will include the case, picks, capos, strap, and all that good stuff. If not, I think everything in my acoustic guitar case would total about twenty items. However, things that are not necessary would count as an additional item. If I went out and bought three extra lenses for my Canon XSi, those would count as three more items as they are additions/upgrade to what I already have.

4. Borrowed Items. I won’t count these because they’re not mine. This relates with the next one with furniture.

5. Furniture. I technically don’t own a bed or desk anymore so those would be borrowed items. Anything that I want additionally would count as an item such as a rug, lamp or table if I decided to buy them.

6. Clothes. I have too many but I do wear a lot of them. I need shirts for work, working out, church, impressing the ladies… and I guess while I am still trying to find excuses to sneak more items onto “The List,” I think I’ve come up with a good solution. Normal clothes like shirts, shorts, pants will be two per item. Outerwear, jackets, hoodies, sweaters and hats would be one item.

7. Memorabilia. I won’t count them, but I will go through and see what I really want to keep and store them in a small box. There are things that I will not ever give up such as my high school football helmet my coach gave me and letters from friends. I need to figure out what really is worth keeping and donate/give away/trash the rest of it.

I cleaned out about half of my clothes yesterday. While some items were easy to part with, there were times when I wrestled with the idea of giving away a piece of clothing that I haven’t touched or worn in years. Eventually, I was able to compile the first group of clothes for donation this week: over thirty shirts, three brand new slacks (never worn from Banana Republic!), twelve dress shirts (half of which I’ve never worn with tags still!), ten hoodies, five polos, and quite a few pairs of athletic shorts I’ve collected over the years from playing sports.

Clothes that didn’t make the first round of cuts

The Good: It felt very therapeutic to sell all of my things this weekend and finally getting the first batch of clothes ready for donation. Moving towards my goal of living with only necessary items and able to give again is very exciting for me. A lot of friends have reached out, called or sent me a text message about their excitement for me which is super encouraging. I really appreciate the questions that some of them are asking which helps me to clarify why I’m doing this and fill them in as well. I feel like I am moving in the right direction and hopefully have a clearer picture of what my list looks like by the middle of this week.

The Bad: The List. It is hard to get down to 100 items… I still have so much junk I have to get rid of. I still have so many items to donate. While I should be excited to see that I have so many clothes to give away this week I can’t help but feel slight guilt and regret for not realizing this sooner. I should be focusing on how these items will be blessing other people but the selfish side of me wants to hold on to things for whatever reason. But deep down I know that I’ve just had too much stuff sitting around. This is something I have to work on and hopefully as time goes on, my attitude and way of thinking in regards to this will change as well.

Thoughts. It’s interesting that I feel the need to hang on to things because I view them as  records of what I’ve done with my life. A lot of these things I would love to share with my future friends and family but I am getting the sense that I hang on to things so people can see them and say, “Okay, this is who Johnny is. He’s done this, this and this…” I don’t think its because I’m searching for approval from other people but rather to show people who I really am. But for whatever reason, I do have the tendency to hang on to weird things that have even the smallest, slight meaning to me. For example in high school, some girls baked me a plate of chocolate chip cookies after a home football game and handed them to me as I walked off the field (in glorious victory). They were on a paper plate covered in plastic wrap and the girls wrote, “Good job #20!” I kept that stupid paper plate wonderful expression of friendship for 7 years on my desk before finally throwing it out.

Until next time. Cheers.


Written by jonewantsm3

November 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Posted in 100 Things

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