In the fall of 1995, I moved for the first time in my life. My parents still live in the house where I was raised. Up until starting college at the University of Wisconsin, I had only known one house.
Then, Witte Hall. Kronshage Hall. Henry Street with five other dudes. A place on East Gorham. 2 apartments on Gilman Street. I moved nearly every year. Each August, I would move everything I owned. Most years, I did it with a pack of friends, and I did it on foot.
Then, in the fall of 2002, I moved to Los Angeles. My girlfriend at the time was already in LA, and she found our apartment. She signed the papers. She paid the first and last month’s rent, as well as the security deposit. She did all of the difficult work. When I arrived in early October, my half of the arrangement was to furnish the place.
Madison’s annual moves taught me to jettison heavy and unimportant furniture items. They’d always get replaced, or I’d do without. In LA, I thought that I’d actually stay in once place a little longer. I bought a relatively nice sofa. I bought the best furniture and housewares that I could afford. The relationship fell apart two years later, and it was time for me to move again.
That relatively nice sofa was my bed for quite a long time. Thanks to Craigslist, I found a new apartment almost immediately. If you believe in God, you could say that the big man handed me a primo living situation on a holy platter. I just think that life doesn’t give you anything that you can’t handle- I have been in this current apartment since 2004. It’s not the most glamorous place, but it’s rent controlled. There is secure off-street parking. I can walk to some of the best stuff LA has to offer. My roommate has been here since 1995. You do the math. The pieces of furniture I have collected and acquired since 2004 are remnants- some are left over from that first LA apartment. Some are hand-me-down chairs and tables from neighbors and friends. Some are IKEA stopgaps that turned out to be more reliable that I thought. I am looking around now at this current apartment and wondering where some of these things came from.
On June 1st, I’ll do something I haven’t done in almost a decade. I’m moving. But this time, I am planning on jettisoning EVERYTHING, save for some irreplaceable keepsakes, some clothing, my computer, and musical equipment. I am prepared to sell or donate nearly everything I own.
I have essentially become a slave to garbage. Looking around, I have a shelving unit of dusty books that have gone unread and neglected for years. I have cabinet that is obese with CDs, but couldn’t tell you the last time I used one of them. My closet bulges with shirts and pants that I have no intention of wearing ever again. The list goes on and on and on.
I plan to tear through these things in the next few months and I plan to show no mercy. Wish me luck.