Thursday, August 30, 2012

Excess baggage

One of my PG-mates in Mumbai came to the city with three suitcases.  She got the last available accommodation in our PG place, but that room didn't come with much storage space.  So, she transfered her essential items into one of her suitcases, and left the other two in her father's friends house, to collect "when she got more space."  She stayed in the city for 1.5 years, and managed very well with the things she had in her one suitcase.  She did occasionally mention something or the other that was in one of "those suitcases" but it was clear she did not need them.  When she left Mumbai, I went with her to drop her at the railway station.  We took a taxi, went to the friend's house, picked up "those suitcases" and went to the station.  So in the end, those two suitcases with their contents just ended up having a ride to and from Mumbai, and a good hibernation in someone's loft.

Ok, what I am getting at is this - my friend could make do with the essential things in that one suitcase for 18 months.  Yet, she dragged two times more baggage with her when she came.

I have been remembering this ever since our move.  Comparatively, we don't have too much stuff in our house.  Both S and I are very careful to buy just what we need and nothing more.  In fact, the bulk of the stuff is Puttachi's, since I don't know where to draw the line, sometimes.  Yet, her things are much less compared to what I see in other kids' houses.

When we moved here, two of my friends laughed when they saw so many full-length built in cupboards in our new house.  "All the clothes of all three of you will fit into just one of these cupboards," they said.  "What do you need the others for?"

And yet, in spite of having such less stuff, I realize how many things we have that we can make do without.

The weekend before the move, I packed and sent across all the non-essential things, and managed for more than a week without them, and didn't miss them either.  And then when we moved, we took the essentials with us.  And naturally, when we started to set up house, we  unpacked the essentials first, and due to various reasons (not the least of which is lack of motivation and laziness) I am yet to unpack the non-essentials.

Yes, I do remember something from those things, sometimes - saying, oh I wish I had this handy, but the point is, I can make do without them.

How much we accumulate, without even realizing it, when in reality, all we need are just a few things!


hAAthi said...

Oh I so relate to this! I am not half the hoarder I used to be, because having and maintaning your own home I think automatically trains you to work within a limit, for your own sanity!

But this post reminded me of how each time I had to move home (once after I got married and once again when I moved to Goa) were the two massive reality checks about how much excess baggage we tend to accumulate. I used both these opportunities to give away non essentials and take only the essentials with me and it was almost cathartic!

Raj said...

Once on a trip to Finland, the airline failed to deliver my luggage. And I managed to cope pretty well for 3 days. Since then I've tried to carry fewer stuff.

M. D. Ramteke said...

Normally dont carry much of baggage. But i have many baggage carrying friends.


Radhika said...

True true. Even while on long trips I've noticed we carry more than what's required but that doesn't stop us from repeating it :-) Some news paper article said if you haven't used something for more than an year, you don't need it.

austere said...

My biggest hoarding is - excuse me-- newspapers. I have OCD when it comes to them. So I have stacks...


nagrajrao said...

Some of your excess baggage is hibernating at our place :).

Brinda said...

There is a saying `travel light' -which applies to life also. I try to strictly follow that. We can really do without so many things that we possess. you know that I am notorious for disposing things recklessly.

There are two things I would like to mention here. I was planning to do some shopping tomorrow here in the US to get something interesting for you. Anyway you have been living without those things which I had planned to get for you. I am sure you will and can continue to do without them ;)

Secondly many of the gifts you got for your wedding, 7 years back, are in our `aTTa' looking forward to unite with their owners in their new apartment. Please dont disappoint them ;)(I hope Poorvi too is listening)!

Regretting about what you have posted? Hahhaaaa........

~nm said...

Oh and hubby are guilty of over accumulating ..its hard for both of us to throw/discard things. Since 1 year I've been changing this habit of mine but I know its long way to go. More so because when I'm confused whether to keep a thing or not, I keep it saying I will decide over time and that time never comes. But I'm trying :)

parijata said...

My problem is not buying unnecessary things, but that of not throwing out/giving away old and unused stuff. Many of these were gifted, and it does not feel good to give them away. Unfortunately, my husband and in-laws are also like that, and the kids are learning from us fast.
As a result, we have a thousand things that we keep out of sentiment - like brass lamps that cannot be lit, coffee grinder that does not grind, more steel plates than we know what to do with... The list goes on and on.
Now my son refuses to throw out cars that have lost all wheels. :(

Wanderer said...

Oh I guess you've seen a program called Hoarders or something on american TV. I got shocked the first time I saw it. People actually hoard everything and don't think once if they need them. They won't throw out a thing and then their house gets converted to a godown. Its my nightmare. Yes I know we all buy a little more than what is actually required but as long as it is convenience based or even luxury and not a disorder, I guess it is fine. I for one don't hoard. If I see that I havent used something since a year it is rare I will use it in future so I'll give it away. I also pack minimal stuff when I go on trips, because lighter the luggage I'll have on my back, nicer the view around me :) It is knowing where to draw the line. You know it very well :)

techtechie said...

I can very much relate to it. I live in hostel. Every semester I have to pack the bags and throw them in a store room that we get for our vacations. So after my first semester break, when I came back, I opened only the essentials and other bags are packed and now in final year, those bags are just transferred from room to store and store room to my room

praneshachar said...

yes very true we end up in accumulating so much and when u want to disposeoff again u feel ( one in house wants xyz other wants abc..... so on and agains it gets packed to sajja. LOL I am happy for u Shruthi u are able to manage with less. less luggage more comfort make travel a plesure (slogan of Indian Railways came across my mind) very true

BestOffersIndia said...

Nice Post. thankyou for sharing this.

Chatty Wren said...

Yes, totally agree! This post just reminded me that spring cleaning is long due at my place:)

Shruthi said...

hAAthi, moving is the best time to give things away. But honestly, it requires you to use your brains quite a bit, and that can be exhausting!

Raj, wow, that's a great way to be taught a lesson!

MDRamteke, emotional baggage>?

Radhika, another thing I read somewhere - junk is what you keep for ten years without using, and then need it the week after you throw it away.

Austere, ha ha!! Got to see this :)

Nagrajrao - I've sorted all those out in your absence :)

Brinda, All is clear now - I now leave you to do the honours - give away all that is left in the loft :)

nm,I know! so difficult!

Parijata, I'm sure you know that you must simply let go of sentiments at times - it can overwhelm you! All the best in finding the right balance :)

Wanderer, good for you - don't change!

Techtechie - that's interesting!

Praneshachar, ha ha, yes!

Chatty wren, the best with that!

Robert Stillwell said...

Excess luggage in New Zealand airport is easy to retrieve but I always avoid bringing too much of my things especially those that I can buy at the store when I arrive in a country. Your friend seems to be a high maintenance person but yet she just left those suitcases and already ignored the things that she left in those suitcases.

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