Toss vs Donate

As you know, dear readers, my mom came up over the three-day weekend to help me pack and start slowly moving things back to Iowa in preparation for my imminent move back in with my parents at the end of this month.  Both my mom and my dad tease me for having too much crap.  And I’ve even jokingly admitted it when moving between apartments.  But this move is different because I’m moving with the mindset that I will be moving to a foreign country in the near future.  I’m not going to be able to take my bed or my desk to Japan with me.  And in that same vein, I don’t need my couch at my parent’s house – they already have several.

So I’ve been faced with the constant debate between tossing an item or donating it.  Add the options of selling it or giving it to a friend to that equation and, for me, it’s like trying to do advanced calculus.  I’ve never been good with numbers.  And I’ve never been good with the idea of throwing things away that I don’t really need.  I mean, I still have notebooks full of school notes from freaking high school.  I graduated in 2006.  I don’t need notes from English class anymore.

My problem with getting rid of stuff I know I don’t need is that I have this irrational fear that I’m going to need whatever item in the future, regardless of how unlikely it is that I’ll need it.  If I know I’m not going to need it, then it becomes an issue of the item being sentimental.  Even marginally sentimental items get packed into a box where I won’t look at it until I move again.  I still have a diorama I made in 2nd grade because I vaguely remember making it.  That’s really the only reason it’s sitting in my drawer.  I vaguely remember working on it with my mom.  That’s it.  I don’t need it, I don’t display it, I don’t look at it unless I’m going through my massive amount of things and trying to get rid of stuff.  That never makes the “toss” pile.

My favorite option is to donate things that are still useful.  That way I don’t feel like I’m wasting anything, and if it’s something that’s marginally sentimental, then I tell myself that someone else will be able to make memories with it.  Whether it’s donating to a GoodWill or other charity or giving to my friends, this is the option I most often choose.  While this doesn’t make it any easier to move back to my parent’s (because I’m still taking practically all of my crap with me), it’ll be worth it in the long run.  Once I’m settled in back in Iowa, it’s going to be several trips to GoodWill with clothes, books, craft supplies, and other things.

What about you, dear readers?  Do you have a borderline hoarding habit like I do?  Or do you live minimally?  Share in the comments!


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