Once again, I’m sitting in a room I’m about to leave. My belongings are strewn every which way across the floor, bed, desk, windowsills, doorknobs. Empty tupperware sit at odd angles on top of clothes piles and to the outside eye, there’s no sense in any of this mess. To me, it’s delightful.

I’m one of those weird people that loves to pack. It’s almost as exciting as deciding to embark on a move. Typically, I get so excited about packing that I start the process a week before I go, just to ensure I am as thorough and thoughtful as possible.

It begins with my clothes: I sort and discard at least every six months, which is my approximate relocation schedule. Clothes are easy to be ruthless with. I inevitably find pieces I haven’t worn for a year or so, pieces I told my self I should get rid of last time I packed, or just really hideous numbers I picked up at a thrift store last time I attempted to update my closet. A grey and white striped boatneck sweatshirt with a bow on the back–really?! Discard.

Then comes paperwork, piles of it that surround my desk. How do they grow so quickly? I wonder as I start shredding, feeling increasingly weightless as the machine whines.

Books, magazines. I am continually torn between which pages to keep and which I’ll never peruse again. This time, my copy of Backcountry Skier with the picture of neon adorned skiers on the front that clearly dates back to my birth year gets tossed in the reject pile. Outdated copies of National Geographic, however? Timeless.

Room decorations. Do I really need the sugar pine cones from California that are as long as my forearm? I decide to gift them to the lawn. But my pony bell from Nepal? It’ll keep traveling with me till the day I die.

The process goes on, each day more of my relatively few belongings are let go. And I feel lighter, free-er, increasingly excited to trade discarded things for new experiences.

The act of simplification never fails to satisfy, especially when it opens space for the next life adventure. Soon I’ll stash my reduced belongings in the basement of a house where I once lived. In three months I’ll stuff them in my Subaru, drive to Wyoming, open them up and once more begin the process of accumulation. In the time between, I’ll board a plane with only a bag on my back and pair of ski boots as carry on. What could be more wonderfully simple than that?

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