My Life in 5 Bags

August 26th, 2019 will be standout date for me forever. It was the day that I closed the door to one chapter of my life. The day that I moved back to the west coast for some time. The day I said goodbye to my small NYC apartment, my neighborhood bar, my favorite bodega and my favorite fitness classes. The day I said goodbye to some of the most influential people of my life. August 26th, 2019. The day that I realized my entire life, 28 years, could fit in 5 bags. 

I was quite proud of the way I packed. I’m a very sentimental person and have trouble letting things go (Cancer sign anyone?) yet this time around, I found myself wanting to let go. I started my packing process by packing the “must-haves”, items or clothing that I knew I couldn’t leave behind. Then, I sorted through the “maybes” that eventually made their way to the donation pile. See below for my last donation pile, as I had been to Goodwill a few times before to drop off 5-6 bags. 

It felt so good to see this pile. And it felt even better to see that my entire life could fit into so few bags. Granted, these are very heavy bags. But still, just 5 bags. 

I will admit that I did send a few boxes too, but for the most part everything was in the bags you see pictured above. It was very hard to maneuver down my 2nd floor walk up apartment…and to the hotel that I stayed in for the last night (the cart wasn’t available)…and even in the airport before check-in. Some moments, I just kept thinking to myself “I don’t care if this gets lost, just take it”. The things I kept close to me were my laptops, phone and passport. That’s all that mattered. I don’t know what turned this switch on – was it the frustration or annoyance at lugging this stuff around?

During the packing process I kept asking myself “Will you want this a year from now? 2 years from now?” and “Is it replaceable?” If I questioned the item too much, I knew that I didn’t need it. If it was replaceable, and I knew I would miss it but it wasn’t worth bringing (my Keurig) then I donated it. Some things, like graduation stoles and medals, and my favorite souvenirs from my travels remained a priority. The clothing was the hardest to purge. Who knows when I may wear this? So what if I haven’t worn it in the past 2 years, I still love it. I know this has a hole in it, but I love it. I’ll definitely need this one dress for that one day in that one special moment, when the weather is just right.  I had a lot of reasons to keep everything but in the end my replaceable rule came into play and I knew that if I truly missed something I could buy it again. But chances are, I won’t even notice it’s missing. 

We’ll see if in the next month or two I’m able to get rid of more things (Does one person need 6 Chargers jersey? Yes). I truly believe that I don’t need much to be happy and that I’m not that materialistic but in my purging process I realized that maybe I am more of a hoarder than I thought. I’m not at the point where I need to go on the Hoarders show, but definitely have more than I’m comfortable having. Fingers crossed that for the next move I can rid of even more of my belongings. 

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