This is me, Beate sitting in my flat in Berlin Germany, listening to a heavy storm outside, rolling a fag, sipping a glass of wine, writing my first post on my very first blog, so please be patient with me, on how the heck I am gonna get rid of almost 2.ooo things in the next 12 months.
A short roundup of WHY…
I recently read an article in a newspaper that the average European owns around 10.000 things. This number was shockingly high for me, sounded almost obscene and I thought, how many things do I own myself? I estimated around 3.500. So I decided, first I will sit down and count all my belongings and then I´ll try to bring this number down to 1.000 pieces until the end of 2012. I was thinking about doing a blog for a while and some friends of mine, Andrea and Ralf encouraged me to write about the 1000 things.
But the whole shebang already started around 1998 when I read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for the first time. The novel impressed me a lot. I remember myself, reading it over and over again, marking some of its most memorable lines, it was an eye opener.
The whole story stuck in my head for the next few months and when the movie came out, the story started to affect me again and even more deeply.
I remember me thinking, okay Miss Geibel, what the frak are you doing with all this stuff ? Tons of shoes, perfumes, books, DVD´s, CD´s, jewelry. A preposterous amount of things, a lot of them just laying there, not even used once.
And those lines from the book/movie wouldn´t stop banging on the doors of my head again:
You’re not your job.
You’re not how much money you have in the bank.
You’re not the car you drive.
You’re not the contents of your wallet.
You’re not your fucking khakis.
And so it began.
During that time I got a job offer that required me moving from Frankfurt to Berlin – the timing could not have been better to divide my belongings in half. Over the next 7 years, I sold my vinyl collection, my CD collection, half of my shoes, during this time I had around 400 pairs (yep, you heard right, 400), I gave away lots of clothes, furniture and household belongings.
And it felt good.
During that time, my job quickly became more and more intense, required a lot of travelling, late office hours, not much time for myself. And I started buying again. From my travels, I brought back the most beautiful pillows, statues, paintings, shoes (of course), perfumes and loads of other goodies. But since I had a new apartment to decorate I didn’t mind.
In 2006 I left my job, almost burned out and travelled for 6 months to clear my head. And I started reading again, Chuck Palahniuk´s Fight Club http://www.amazon.com/Fight-Club-Novel-Chuck-Palahniuk/dp/0805062971, Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead http://www.amazon.com/Ayn-Rand-Box-Set-Fountainhead/dp/0451947673/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326392398&sr=1-2, Prentice Mulford´s Thoughts are things http://thoughtsarethings.pan100.net/?e=, Katherine Gibsons´s Un-clutter your life http://www.clutterbook.com/ .
When I came back refreshed, not only physically but more importantly mentally, I started to rethink my consumer behaviour and started getting rid of things again. And since 2006 I havent stopped.
So, when I read the article in december of 2011, that the average European owns 10.000 things, I smirked and thought, that number doesn’t work for me anymore and I estimated I own around 3.500 things, which I still thought was a lot.
And now I wanna see if I can bring this number down to 1.000 till the end of 2012.
I will update this blog every other day to show you some of my victories, falling back to old habits, my thoughts, share my experiences, reactions and feedback are very welcome.
Wish me luck