I spent most of the day today emptying boxes, arranging furniture, and putting away belongings in our new home.  I also went out to run some errands and eat lunch at a local Korean restaurant, a welcome respite from unpacking.  I didn’t realize how much stuff we own until I started going through all those boxes.  I repeatedly asked myself questions such as, "Why did I ship that?" and "Why did I ever buy this?"  For example, I found out that I accidentally shipped a miter saw that I have no intention of using while I’m overseas.  Somehow, I ended up shipping just about all the boxes previously stored in my garage, and now I have just about every home improvement tool available to me in a home that I do not need to maintain or improve.  If our place has a problem, I just need to call someone in maintenance.  I don’t need to be a handyman like I was when I lived in my own home.  I have all the tools I don’t need, and I’m missing some that I need.  I don’t even have a hammer yet.  My rusty ol’ hammer will come in a later shipment.  In the meantime, I’ll have to hammer nails to hang photos and prints using a heavy-duty wrench. 

I almost bought a new hammer at the store today, but I decided against it.  I already own one; why do I need two?  At first I justified the purchase by telling myself that my own hammer is rusty (accidentally left out in the rain), but I managed to convince myself not to buy it.  I’m glad I said no.  My family has become rather minimalist, partly out of necessity and partly out of desire.  When you live and work overseas, you don’t need as much as you need as a suburban American homeowner.  Too much stuff can be overbearing, and our life has been much too cluttered over the past few years.  We are planning to get rid of as much "junk" as possible as soon as possible to help unclutter our lives.  We want to keep only what we need or really want and avoid becoming transient packrats.  It will take some time.  We have to use up much of what we have bought–like those multiple bottles of laundry detergent–and sell or give away what we cannot consume.  We will still store some items away for our eventual return to the U.S. and for special occasions such as camping and Christmas.  We don’t have much storage room here, but we’ll find creative ways to put it all away.

 

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Jing and son Alex. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

© 2017 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

1 Comment

  1. eva's Gravatar eva
    February 26, 2005    

    oh?your are a overseas in korea?just say hello!

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