May 15th, 2007


100 days: giving away

I have an ambivalent relationship to stuff. I like having stuff, and lots of the stuff I have is useful or important or meaningful or just handy. On the other hand, I like the idea of putting all my stuff into a storage unit and galavanting off to the ends of the earth on very short notice, which is a hell of a lot easier if I have less stuff.

The more stuff I own, the more it owns me. Having more stuff means needing to have places to put my stuff. It means needing to have more space, which is expensive in terms of finances and resources. The more stuff I have, the larger a percentage of it I'm not using at any given moment, and thus, the more unused stuff there is in the world, and in my world. I don't need to use everything I own every day, but I do need to be deliberate about what I have.

It's unrealistic to think that I could put everything I own into boxes and have it in storage with a day's notice, but I'd like to be able to do it within a week. And I want the stuff I'm not using to be used by someone who will be able to make use of it. And I want to start using the stuff I want to keep around but haven't been using.

In general, I want to change my relationship to my possessions. So:

My 100 days project is to give something away every day. I will start with a large donation of old clothing and odds and ends to goodwill on June 1, and after that, I'll be giving something away on a more individual, direct, face-to-face basis every day until September 8.

The rules: Everything but money counts. I can give away more than one thing a day, but it doesn't "bank". The promise of a transfer doesn't count until it happens.