Not so long ago, I was known as a pack rat. (And a slob.) It was one of those things that developed gradually over time. Cleaning in my room was always the chore I hated the most. I never had the attention span to sift through things I liked and weed out what was less worthy of being at a visible place to grab when the mood hit me...whenever that might be. In some dark days of my youth, the maelstrom look of my room was a secret organization method for me to see immediately what had changed when I had my back turned. Back then, things had the habit of mysteriously disappearing and it gave me a little piece of mind to be able to visually confirm what I still had or had to chalk up to my "faulty recollection" of having it in the first place.
In adulthood, the mess became attributed to sheer lack of time and attention. In the past few years, home is probably the place I spend the least amount of time. My desk isn't so neat, but it's contained in a way that my bedroom floor never could be said to be. It's easy to forget dishes in the sink or laundry on the floor when you only see it for a few hours between sleep and leaving. As this year has unfolded jaggedly, the mess has gotten worse. But finally, I found an interesting solution to the clutter problem: moving.
I've been working up my way to this for a long time. For many of the past six months, I've been stuck with my head in the sand as shit got insane around me. I've been the queen of bad decisions. (Or maybe it was perfectly logical to let a barely working ex-dealer and felon move in with me and coast for a month or two before I woke the fuck up? Yeah, I didn't so either.) After spending 3 and half years here, this apartment means a lot more to me than just a place I've kept all my shit. It's the longest place I've lived straight since I was 14. And it's also filled with a colossal amount of garbage. My M3 conference pass from '05? Trash. The piles and piles of magazines I've gotten in the mail and never read? On the curb. Random dinner receipts and old flyers to shows I didn't even attend? Out of here.
What surprises me the most is how good it feels to reduce the clutter so much. Not to say that largely moving myself doesn't have a bunch to do with it, but where in the past I would've held on to everything "just in case," I have to curb my instinct to pick up everything and toss it. The new place is a lot smaller and most of the garbage I've been spreading around 5 rooms just doesn't need to go there. And that is a very good thing. Streamlining FTW.