23 January 2011. Filed under category Nomad.
Never let it get this bad!

Never let it get this bad!

It is time to scrub myself clean of all my stuff! In the Minimalism post, I wrote about the importance of only owning what is essential. Now is the time to turn the theory into practice. The aim is to keep no more stuff than will fit into a backpack. Everything else must either be stored somewhere or disposed.

To get me started, I created an inventory of all my stuff. I mean all my stuff. There wasn’t a nook or cranny through which I did not rummage. I emptied every drawer and searched every shelf. I defeated legions of dust bunnies to recover forgotten items underneath my bed. I reached behind the bookcase for the DVDs that had fallen behind it. I earned myself a pretty penny by looking under the sofa cushions. My search was so thorough that not even the most inventive of squirrels could have hidden as much as a nut from me.

I recorded everything as simply as I could by taking quick photos of them with a digital camera. This thorough walkthrough of my flat took a fair bit of time, but it would have taken longer still had I needed to write everything down on paper. Instead, I could dump the content of a drawer on a table, take a snapshot, put it all back again and move on. I recorded all my books and DVDs, nicely lined up in their shelves, with a quick photograph. Snap snap snap! — I whirled my way through the flat in a flurry of flashes.

Next, I made myself a well-deserved Cosmopolitan and sat down by my computer. I sipped my cocktail and went through the photos, adding each item to a spreadsheet. I categorized each item by what I needed to do with it: throw/recycle, send home to Sweden, give to friends, sell or pack to take with me on the road. Yes, this took some time — about three cocktails’ worth of time — but once I was done, I had a clear idea of what I owned and what I was going to do with it. I also had an easy way of tracking both my progress and to whom I have given stuff.

Are you still with me? Wonderful! I bet that how I made an inventory wasn’t the most riveting of reads, so let me make it up to you. On a first come, first serve basis, you can go through the inventory spreadsheet (via Excel or  Google Docs) and ask for anything that I have labelled ‘Give Away’. It is yours if you want it. I rather prefer you to get some use out of my stuff than that it sits in storage somewhere, doing nobody any good.

I hereby declare the Gustav Give-Away open! Pick the bones clean and shut the door on your way out!


The featured image is courtesy of vlasta2.


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  1. Doug Burns says:

    I’ll blog about this later but, for those who don’t use Excel, maybe you could stick this on Google Spreadsheets or whatever the thing’s called?

    1. Gustav (The Modern Nomad) says:

      Thank you for the tip, Doug. I have updated the post so you can view this in both Excel and Google Docs.

  2. Ika says:

    That is so very cool. And very scary. And right now, when all our ‘year of 81’- friends think of little but houses and families and mortgages – very refreshing! Me and Ola still have no idea what we are doing. but to feel a little better, we bought a Volvo last week.
    Thanks for your email and we _have_ to meet up before you go! I’m off to China again next week but when I’m back first week of May?
    and “German Grammar – Give Away”?! What’s up with that!

  3. oh – och sjukt snygg blogg!!

  4. Sister says:

    Well, sorry for being a pain in the ass, but doing an inventory of your apartment in London is not the same as doing an inventory of all your stuff. I bet you have tons of junk at our parents home 🙂 Just like me! I tend to do a big clearing out every now and then, but what I actually do is moving the stuff to a basement in our parents house. I get rid of the stuff without having to get rid of it for good…

  5. Craig Brown says:

    Well, I’m too late for the giveaway, but no matter, I have most of this and I’m not a fan of Christmas. What’s very funny is that just last week I bought a book called “Snoop”. How to evaluate someone by their STUFF. I’m sure there is a meaning for your love of masks. Alter egos. Becoming new people. And you PACKED your TANGO shoes?! Extremely interesting. Actually, you didn’t really have all that much. But I bet your sister is right.What is also extremely interesting is just making such an inventory. Is “extremely organized nomad” an oxymoron? Cheers to Greece! (Commenting here was a piece of piss)

    1. Gustav (The Modern Nomad) says:

      Ok, the tango shoe thing is clearly insane. They will remain at home.

      (And I’m glad to see that I can assist in expanding your vocabulary. Just don’t take the piss.)

  6. Doug Burns says:

    Leave the Tango shoes? Are you mad?

  7. PDragon says:

    I call dibs on everything, now everyone has to go through me as a broker. Muhahaha!
    I am the gatekeeper to your minimalistic life. The Power, THE INFINITE POWER!

  8. Doug Burns says:

    I never even made it through the list properly. Oh, well 🙁

  9. L says:

    Hi! Nice nomad journey, how do you survive? From savings?

    Are you still giving away your stuff?

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