Mid-twenties, student, renting, moving a lot - how much stuff can one own, and what are your strategies for keeping to that?
I moved house nine months ago thinking I'd stay here for years, and I have to up sticks again this month for a job.
It's a gigantic pain in the ass but it's likely to be like this for a few more years, and I would like to be more strategic about it so I know it's no harder than it needs to be. I can't afford storage and while I get on very well with my parents, they have kindly made it clear that the Museum of Carbide isn't going to live in their house. I have nothing there right now and will probably ask them to store my (condensed) academic stuff.
I'm working in and studying architecture (taking the usual year out to work, back to college in 2009), which involves a fair amount of materials, and I keep throwing them out and rebuying them six months later. It also means, combined with personal research interests in surrounding areas, I own a bunch of rare, big, out of print books that I may never track down again if I let them go. My dormant primary hobbies are bookbinding and zine-making, which are also materials-/tools-intensive.
My next move is for a short-term sublet across the country, where I will have to get down to very little stuff and will also find it harder to replace things. I'm getting really sick of purging my stuff and having replaced lots of it six months later, and while I'm no minimalist, I am not a hoarder, not sentimental and do not have a compulsion to shop.
- What's a reasonable expectation of quantity, in your experience? Is it a carload, or is it a backpack but with a secret attic full in your parents' house?
- Is it viable to have collections like CDs, or Agatha Christie paperbacks? Things that are enjoyable but not vital or irreplaceable. (By contrast, my small collection of records is going nowhere.)
- Does it help to be ruthless with hobbies, even if it means being wasteful or passing on resources you may not be able to afford to replace?
- How does one reconcile living like this with being an adult who likes owning a desk big enough to draw on, or a set of mixing bowls that will last for decades, etc?
- I am in Ireland
, which means no Half.com, no selling on Amazon, and eBay is only viable for things of real value because the postage is offputting for people.
- Yep, I donate anything I'm getting rid of to charity shops if I can't sell it or give it to friends.
, yep, that's an awesome resource but it's the reasonable quantity bit I find hardest. I know it's subjective but people achieving this with more success must have personal guidelines, which is what I guess I'm after.