Moving In The Right Direction

From the January 29, 2010 issue of Hoboken Progress:

There’s nothing quite as humbling as sorting through your own stuff, especially, when you have decided to rearrange your bedroom on a random Wednesday night.

I’m not the tidiest of people. While I like to have a neat appearance, I find that my possessions are quite needy—they have a tendency to cluster together in groups.

In my determination to tackle time management and organization for 2010, (also inspired by the fact that my roommate and I got sick of hearing each other though the door that separates our rooms) I decided to play a little Russian roulette with feng shui.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve made a last minute decision like this. In the year and a half that I’ve lived in my current bedroom, the head of my bed has faced several directions. I’m a big believer in change the space, change the attitude.  This was no exception.

I have also lately taken on a crusade to simplify my life, and weed through all my possessions, which is quite an exhausting task. After flipping my room around for a few hours, I am now sitting next to two huge, black plastic bags: one full of clothes and shoes (some not even worn) to give away, and another full of beauty supplies, and other paper goods I have somehow convinced myself to part with. (I prefer the term “pack rat” to “hoarder.”)

But, besides accepting the fact that I really don’t need to hold onto notebooks from every college English Lit class, I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I’m not the only one maturing in my room—all the cheapy bedrooms things I bought when I first moved out are as well, and I am truly understanding the idiom, “You get what you pay for.”

When I first moved out of my parents house, after a brief stint which I refer to as my “Banana” years, ie, the year and a half I somehow pasted together 40 hours a week working retail at Banana Republic (my name tag is a magnet on the fridge), I was so excited, and so very poor. Almost two and a half years later, I’m finding that all the purchases I made with my new, tiny budget were essentially just short term solutions. Cute and design-conscious necessities for my bedroom (so that my room didn’t look like it housed a squatter) were high on my list, but low on affordability, so instead of sliding tubs for under the bed, I bought $8 flimsy plastic zipper packs to hold my jeans.

By now, surviving a major move downtown and several turns around my current room, these packs, a few other plastic items, and my “hand-me-down” furniture are begging for mercy.

Sorting through my stuff has made me realize how far I’ve come living independently—even if I can only measure time by falling apart, plastic gear from Bed Bath and Beyond. A little wiser, and better at budgeting, I feel that I’m always ready and excited for my next move, even if its only as small as changing which direction I face when I sleep.

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