I’ve written before that I feel weighed down by the stuff that I own because I feel responsible for it. We’re not talking buyer’s remorse about gadgets, smartphones etc. now since I don’t have anything like that (just a three-year-old e-reader, a four-year-old laptop and a six-year-old computer), but simply the worry that I have to take care of loads and loads of possessions. So this summer I’m attempting a massive clear out. Also good since I’m off to Korea for a year and don’t want to leave my parents with loads of stuff.

The main part of this clearing out, that takes the time, is scanning in paper, with my new flatbed scanner that I bought for the clear-out, before recycling it. I’ve gone through probably two thousand sheets by now, hour after hour sat at my desk. For the first two days or so this was fine but now I’m finding it more and more boring because it’s not been clear where the end was: each time I finished some scanning I would find another box of paper waiting for me to get through. So this afternoon I’ve gathered together all remaining paper, and hopefully I can get through most of it by the end of today. Then the throwing out (including some photographing…) of all the other stuff I want to get rid of can begin; substantially easier and more fun.

I haven’t explained why the scanning. The point is that I’m massively attached to all this paper: I kept it as a record of the interesting things I have done in my life in the past ten years (that’s about how far it stretches back though some goes even further back) and I’m attached to that. Scanning is my way of breaking the attachment with minimal suffering: I can then be attached to keeping the file, which is a whole lot easier for me. Still I think I’m scanning more than I need to and I am dogged by the feeling that very little of this will ever be looked at again.

The ultimate goal is to have very few things. I’m pleased to have organised my educational certificates and legal documents into folders, with scanned copies to refer to if required. I’m going to get there and thanks to my having better habits now, I’m not going to get into this situation ever again. Though there are still all my video games, CDs etc. which I’m not making any attempt to clear out this summer…