my war on stuff

Maybe it’s because I’ve moved so often in the past six years (I’ve never lived in one place for more than 12 months, most places less than that), but I’m extra conscious about the amount of stuff I own and constantly thinking about how to reduce it. It’s looking more likely that Year 3 might be my last year in Bishkek, so I’m hoping to stay on top of my purchases and not have to spend too much energy (or money) transporting stuff back to the states (or wherever we end up), especially if I’ll also be toting a cat and a child across continents.

Attempting to build a comfortable expat life is not usually conducive my wannabe-minimalist lifestyle, nor is living in a big house. Last week my housemates moved out and left several bags and boxes stuff for Farrell and me to either keep, sell, donate or trash. I happily kept some things, like sheets and blankets that aren’t ugly (something we never managed to purchase up until now), extra pillows (obligatory for sleeping comfortably while pregnant), bars of Belgian chocolate (immediately put to good use), an oversized neon turquoise sweater (I’m a fan, Mamajan is not)

and our very first piece of baby gear (it’s real!).

(P.S. – My former housemates had a son, hence the blue, but don’t take this as any sort of hint of what Baby Styers is.)

The vast majority of their stuff just took up space and stressed out my inner-minimalist. Plus, they were even storing several boxes of stuff for another person who moved away more than a year ago. She thought she’d return, but didn’t, and now couldn’t really remember what it was that she was storing.

Solution? A Facebook invite to our Bishkek friends and acquaintances to please come take our stuff.

Aside from a couple remaining bags of clothes (hopefully on their way to a women’s shelter soon), it was a successful way to lift the burden of objects off of my conscience. I don’t even think the people who showed up realized what a favor they were doing for us. People would grab something, look it over, make a face, and ask, “How much for this?”

Nothing. Just take it. Seriously, please just take it with you.

I won this battle, but not the war. I’m already planning on how to tackle things like the fold-out couch that we inherited, Farrell’s amplifier and three guitars that were either shipped out here or acquired along the way, office furniture, all of the kitchen supplies we’ve bought over the years, and so much more. It’s making my head spin, but at least I have at least several months to deal with it.

If I can leave Kyrgyzstan with just my two suitcases (plus kid and cat), then I’ll be a happy girl. Where exactly those two suitcases will rest once I take them out of Kyrgyzstan is an entirely different situation to consider though.