What Do I Really Want? What Do I Really Need?

I'm a hoarder. No joke. Anything as bad as you'd hear about in the news or see on reality tv. Yet, I'm so burdened by all of these possessions that I often wish my home would burn down one day while my family was at work/school.

Right now, my goal is to move from a packed to the gills with stuff and filth sfh into a 2 br apartment with just the real necessities. I will learn tomorrow if I have been approved for the apartment. If not, I will have to look for a different place, but I feel pretty confident about this complex. I am terrified though that my current landlord will want to start coming by to "spruce up" the house in anticipation of the next renter. He'd probably have a stroke if he opened the door.

I am interested in minimalism not as a statement about the environment or capitalism or consumerism, but because "stuff" has ruined my life and I'm worried it'll ruin my kids' lives, too.

I removed 5 bags of stuff from my home today--some of which had barely been used. Yet at some point, I must have acquired it thinking it would transform my life for the better. I'll have to constantly remind myself that possessions rarely can do that.

Here's what I think I will need (aside from the fridge and stove that come in the apartment):
a microwave
my bed and my kids' beds
one dresser or chest of drawers for each person
two lamps (one for each bedroom)
2 sets of linen for each bed (so I can change linen while washing one set)
basic living room furniture (sofa, coffee table, lamp)
basic dining room furniture (credenza, table, and 4 chairs)
desk for homework and paying bills
mini washing machine ( I've tended to buy extra clothing rather than do laundry. This way I will have no excuse.)
mini dish washer (I've done the same thing with tableware and cookware that I did with laundry.)
my daughter's bike
my elliptical bike
a coat rack for the hall closet
a toy chest for my younger daughter
tv and cable box
one bookshelf and whatever essential books fit on it.
cat's litter box
no more than seven sets of summer clothes, seven sets of winter clothing, one coat, one jacket, three pairs of shoes (dress, athletic, and casual) and one pair of boots per person.
one bath towel and washcloth per person
one place setting per person
one cookware set (skillet, sauce pan, large pot, cake pan, and cookie sheet)

I've stopped here because looking at that list, it already seems like so much stuff to have in the new place and yet I know how much stuff I'd have to get rid of in order to get down even just that. For example, I'm definitely getting rid of our hibachi grill and patio furniture (even though my mom --also a hoarder-- will have a cow). I'll toss the foot spa and the neck massager that just might be broken anyway. I own a sandwich maker, three waffle makers, and a George Foreman grill. I can do without all of them and I'm sure they'd find good homes, but that's one trash bag of stuff already. And I'd still have all of my specialty bakeware (for fancy shaped cakes, muffins, cookies, etc.) which would be at least 4 trash bags full. There's a big storage bin of yarn left from when I thought I'd take up knitting after my mom said she wanted yarn for Christmas and then never took it home with her.
laquitaemerson laquitaemerson
May 13, 2012