Digital Minimalism

I mentioned that we’re moving to Iowa City in August. I lived there before, and am excited to live there again. It’s a fantastic community with the highest density of artists of all kinds I’ve ever seen. And you can actually afford quality of life, a phrase I didn’t understand at all, being from Boston, until I moved away from the East Coast.

After a lot of talking we decided that we’re going to only move what we can fit in a car. A car we don’t own yet, but nonetheless, a standard-sized four-door sedan. My husband will drive, with a friend, and since I’m a bad passanger and so is our cat, she and I will fly.

Both M@ and I are kind of pack rats. Not in the hording sense, but in that we always think it’s cheaper to keep what we have than to possibly have to replace it in the future. We’re pack rats in the frugal sense. And in the sentimental sense. But it struck me that moving all our stuff half-way across the country is a lot more expensive than moving what we absolutely need, and getting new things as we need them there. This is especially true of furniture, and the thing I have the most of, books. Especially considering that the books are rarely used more than once.

Anyway, this was a tough decision for us, but we started early and have two months to go in which we can slowly get rid of all the things that are weighing us down. And M@ just sent me a link to The Cult of Less, a website dedicated to digital minimalism. And some great tips.

So what does it mean to get rid of everything? I have to think hard about what I need, what I don’t. What’s replaceable and what is not. What has genuine importance and what has unearned sentimental value. How to weigh sentimental value against size and ease of moving. And we have to do this together, being respectful of each other’s choices.

So here’s the goal: get down to a car-load of things by August 1. I think we probably won’t make a list of all the things we’re getting rid of, as Cult of Less suggests, only because it would probably take more time than we can give. It’s a good idea, and I like the idea of some kind of record of the things I’ve gotten rid of – though that’s the exact mentality I’m fighting against, that archivist instinct to preserve.


    • miles

      ditto rachel… I know I can make use of a bass amp or drum, if I were asked to hold onto it for you for a while.

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