Downsizing My Life

22 May
Messy Desk

Messy Desk - Flickr

Over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow, I will be downsizing my life. This downsizing will take place in tandem with a few other projects I’ve decided to work on. I’ll announce the details of the other projects as they come up in case anyone is interested.

So, what does all this talk of downsizing entail? It involves an idea that “stuff” we acquire and hang on to throughout our lives can be both good or bad. Some of the good “stuff” might be the last surviving records of your grandparents immigration via Ellis Island. Bad “stuff” is that which doesn’t give any real value, and just hangs around taking up space. Bad stuff can sap you of time and mental energies as you fight to keep a handle on all the stuff you own.

The idea behind my current downsizing project came from the author Rolf Potts. Potts wrote books about travelling the world with little to his name and wrote a lot about the value of “stuff” and how he saw it affecting lives. He writes:

“…neither self nor wealth can be measured in terms of what you consume or own.”

These words rang true to me when I first read them almost three years ago. However, I didn’t act on the thoughts and ideas inspired by these words back then. Seeing Potts words again, I don’t think I’ll make the same mistake twice. I will be selling and/or giving away those things which I don’t need or use any more. I will be as ruthless as possible in purging all the excess “stuff” from my life.

It’s not as bad as you think! And no, I have not gone crazy…not yet that is. 🙂 I’ll be keeping a careful list of the things that I part ways with. At the end of the two weeks, I’ll post the, hopefully, long list of stuff I managed to ditch. My hope is to raise a little money from it and take a trip somewhere with it before the end of the summer when medical school starts. At the least, this purging of “stuff” will allow me to make the move to Dominica with little/less trouble. 😉


Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Motivational, Personal


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8 responses to “Downsizing My Life

  1. PGYx

    May 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Good luck with your downsize! Purging the unnecessary stuff makes room for not-necessarily-tangible better things in life. I’ll be in the same boat this month as I prepare to move.

    Oh, and your desk looks pretty organized to me, if very, very busy with things. 🙂

    • Flustered Grad

      May 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

      Thanks! Wait, you’re moving? How’d that one slip by me? Going back west I take it?

      That’s not my desk in the picture. It is a grad student’s desk though. 😛

      • PGYx

        May 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

        Ah, after nearly a year of internship and a recent trip to Colorado I wish I were headed back out West! But I made my rank order list based on program quality and was fortunate to match at my #1 choice in a location that bears zero resemblance to the West.

        3 more years on the East Coast for me barring any radical change.

  2. Rishi

    May 23, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I’ve found that digitizing everything is a great way to purge lots of space-occupying materials. For example, if you have an extensive CD library, rip the music to your computer and/or make “.iso” images of your data discs just in case you need them in the future. Then you can toss the CDs.

    I scanned in heaps of my old paperwork, so I could recycle stuff from undergrad without having to feel bad that “I threw away all that work” too. 🙂

    • Flustered Grad

      May 23, 2011 at 8:34 am

      I don’t think I’ve owned a CD since freshman year of high school. I’ve bought all my music online and err ‘acquired’ it. 🙂

      I have a external with all my notes from undergrad, and now grad school too, on it. Best $200 dollars spent. Really saved my butt a few times when the computer had gone crazy and there was a big project due the next day!

  3. Axl

    May 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

    So you’ve decided on Ross? Awesome- congrats. So jealous that you’re starting this fall while I keep my fingers crossed for the next 8 months and then wait another 8 months 🙂

    • Flustered Grad

      May 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Yep! Ross seemed to have the best mix of craziness to suit me. Don’t worry, you’ll get into med school before you know it.

      I think my RSS reader is broken for your blog’s updates. Just realized you had a ton of new stuff and I hadn’t been updated about any of it. Grrr…

  4. SuperTammy

    May 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I find cleaning stuff out cathartic. I normally do a goodwill donation clean out 2-3 times a year, but since I am moving for PA school and will probably not be coming back to my house I did a deep clean. I cleared out the attic and got rid of stuff I have had for literally half my life. My husband just took the last 8 garbage bags full of stuff today.

    At least you have a some time to sort through it all!


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