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Friday, November 13, 2009


Moving intercontinentally makes you realize that whoever said "You can't take it with you" was either talking about death, or airline baggage restrictions.

Back in the autumn of 2001, I started out on a three-month journey through Japan, mostly on foot.

As I was getting ready to go, I was also closing up my apartment, because I was going to return to the U.S. after the trip. That meant getting rid of over four years of accumulated stuff, and shipping the most precious things back to the states.

Still, the morning I set out, I was carrying 60 pounds (over 27 kilos) on my back.

The second day of walking (still not out of Tokyo), I contacted a friend, "Mr. K.," and asked him to come pick up some of the extraneous stuff. The third night, I slept at my friends Tom and Yuka's house, and left more things with them.

And so it went, down the road, like the pioneers crossing the prairies and dumping their unnecessary household goods--sideboards, armoires, pianos--along the way.

And you know what? The less stuff I had, the better, freer, I felt.

I think next summer I'll go to L.A. and clean out that storage unit I pay for every month...

So, think about it. At rummage sale time, one of my ministers used to say, "If you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it."

Take some time, sort through your stuff, and unclutter.

You'll be happier.

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