Purgatory: Moving out and moving on

By Jacey Gibb, Opinions Editor

[quote style=”boxed”]It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything. – Tyler Durden[/quote]

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]orry guys, no new instalment in the Laurel Borrowman purge-athon. Instead it’s just little ol’ Opinions Editor, Jacey! But what am I doing invading the pages of Life & Style? Well, my roommate, Nathan, and I recently decided to ditch our old apartment in favour of something, well, a little less horribly out of the way. Turns out south eastern Vancouver just isn’t the cultural hotspot it used to be. But before we made the move, I decided to get rid of a bunch of stuff and Laurel offered me a guest spot in Purge-atory, with the result being this purge-by-purge account of my pre-moving activities. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy being able to once again see my closet floor.

 Fun fact: To add further incentive, Nathan and I made the process into a drinking game: purge three items, give a drink. Not surprisingly, we became very intoxicated as the evening progressed, which probably made the ordeal even easier.

The first room to suffer our enthusiasm was the kitchen. Through various special events and holiday giftings, we’ve gained a discomforting surplus of cups/mugs and about three different sets of plates and bowls. I wanted to purge most of the dishes, but Nathan argued that we needed them for when company came over. I pointed out that in a year and a half, we’d have three people over for Thanksgiving and that was it. We are now down to five plates, two bowls, and about half the cups we had before.

Other kitchen items to perish in the purge: extra pots and pans, a crock pot, a broken sandwich press, spices given to us by Nathan’s parents that remained unopened, and, the one I was the most conflicted about getting rid of, a fondue pot. I received the set a few Christmases ago and thought, “Finally! I have a fondue pot!” I quickly realized that no one ever fondues and that the gift’s giver was a moron.

I love sitting down to an enjoyable book, but my collection is something of a literary rogue’s gallery. The few occupied shelves on my bookshelf consist of old textbooks, various finds from thrift stores and bargain bins, things I stole from our building’s laundry room, and about three books that I actually paid full price for. Though I loved most of my collection, I know I’ll never read any of them again. About 35 were deposited in the laundry room downstairs and five favourites were hand-delivered to new owners, leaving my collection at a meek nine books. Acceptable.

[quote style=”boxed”]It was surprising how easily I cleansed myself of the aforementioned items, but the emotional climax came when it was time to trim my CD collection. Like any human with two ears and a soul, I really adore music, but the digitalization of the world has made hard copies semi-redundant.[/quote]

Similar to my book collection, my bloated movie collection consists of many titles that I haven’t touched in the last year. In order to better prioritize, I started a pile for DVDs and VHSs destined for the pawn shop. About 80 movies left the apartment in a box, including an unopened copy of Mars Attacks, Bringit on 4: In it to Win it (it was a gift), Taxi (it wasn’t a gift), and my long-treasured DVD of Undercover Brother. Hey, we all have to grow up sometime! We ended up getting a mere $50 for everything and got a $48 parking ticket in the process, but I’m not in the purging business to make money.

Both of our rooms have oversized closets, meaning they were begging to be pillaged. We both sadly parted ways with our homemade Toy Story Woody and Buzz Halloween costumes, along with about half of my other costume pieces—maybe if my friends would realize the importance of themed parties, I wouldn’t have to. Once in my closet, it was a bloodbath of old board games, clothing, and things that I’d hoarded for sentimental value that meant nothing anymore. The worst part was my discovery of old stories and other writing from when I was younger. The teenage angst seeping from those pages basically forced me to hurl them into the nearby garbage can.

It was surprising how easily I cleansed myself of the aforementioned items, but the emotional climax came when it was time to trim my CD collection. Like any human with two ears and a soul, I really adore music, but the digitalization of the world has made hard copies semi-redundant. Sure, I get a kick out of tossing a disc to someone and saying, “You’ll love them,” but in the past few years my CD buying has slowed down immensely and my collection has become less relevant. I decided to cut my collection down to only the top 30, but the process was agony. I put on my definitive break-up song (“I found a reason” by Cat Power) and began cutting the cords to my musical past. Nathan was experiencing a similar ordeal on his bedroom floor one door over, and we both exchanged cries of desperation like “I can’t get rid of this one! It’s so good!” or, “This album took me forever to find!” But the more I whittled away, the more I started to realize that it didn’t matter. I was down to my top 15 albums when I finally decided that I would simply find a foster home for my collection—in its entirety. One of our staff writers, Eric Wilkins, has proven in the past to not be the absolute worst at music, so I decided to bequeath my collection to him. Take care of them Eric. They’ve served me well.

Though I more than achieved my initial goal of making the move easier by getting rid of belongings, I also took away a valuable lesson. I got a great reminder that stuff is only stuff, and actually has little significance in my life. My possessions don’t define me and they will continue to not do so. I’d like to thank Laurel for taking the week off from Purge-atory and giving me a means to share my possession cleanse. As for you folks, I highly recommend getting rid of crap. It feels great, makes moving easier, and best of all, can be made into a very successful drinking game.