When I found this bag during the downsizing process of my “Musty Art Supplies,” I saw white spots clouding one side of it, and my heart sank just a little. Would this be the first object I’d regret throwing away? Did mold get to it? I put it out in the patio closet to air out. When I tended to it with soap and hot water today, I realized what it was, and its attachments.
Everyone wants easy results. They wanna lose 50 pounds, have the coolest stuff, and all right now! I want to enable myself to move somewhere astounding. Many places, actually. I want to see how it’s like living in Phoenix, Cincinnati, and Fayetteville, to name three of hundreds of cities. Doing so requires materialistic sacrifices. It’s not easy, although one box here, a donation run after filling up a trunk there, and eventually, I’ll achieve my goals.
I don’t generally like taking “before and after” shots while organizing because it’s easy to introduce deceit. Compare this photo – soak in its cluttered carpet – then skip to the end of the essay. What a clear carpet…! I could have just put it all in a box, off-screen, leaving the mess to be tended to another day, which is what we often do. Instead, we should aim to spend the time to untangle and address. 
When I think of writing and editing, my mind will often return to a place that doesn’t exist anymore. Through coincidence, I returned to this place a few months ago. Instead of seeing that alcove I see in my mind monthly, with the latest 90s computer technology showcasing digital publishing and reading books on computers, there was some other exhibit. I will never return to this place again and yet I will always return there.
There was a box that might have appeared in older photos. Its blue and gray plastic contained old art supplies from when I was in high school if not middle school. Atop those partial memories were raw materials I considered crafting into art projects and never did. Over the past week, I threw out the junk, saved the keepers or second-chancers, and am donating the rest. I researched art foundations or daycares, then realized something:
I don’t need more junk, but I always check the dumpsters just in case there’s something worthwhile. I found plenty of cool junk in my last complex’s dumpster, including most of the furniture I used for many years, and this complex’s weekly pick-up schedule allows for opportunities to see some weird junk. As I rifled through this rolling filing cabinet, with its sawed-off lock, this thought popped into my mind: I don’t need more junk.
I won’t read all the books I own. After downsizing everything else in my apartment-mansion, I will be honest with myself about the books I own that I want to read. I will donate or sell any books I’m not compelled to read. An outdated videography book currently sits in my donation pile. It and others represent skills, stories, or somethings I won’t need – for now. If I do, I can always buy them again.