My weight in luggage

30 Jul

Part of the coming home process is unpacking.

I took more than my fair share of things home. I sent my mother and sister each home with an additional 20 kilos of baggage. I brought two suitcases at 23 kilos each. And that was 80% clothes/shoes, 15% books, and only 5% other stuff.

Back in the USA, things are so inexpensive compared to in Slovenia, that whenever a new event was coming up, I’d go shopping to buy a new outfit (or two) plus maybe shoes to go with it. This has resulted in: shoes that were inexpensive but make my feet bleed every time I wear them; clothing piles up the wazoo; and a handful of things I’ve bought and only worn once–or never worn at all.

If you include the weight of my carry-ons, I literally brought my weight in luggage home. Then I had to contend with unpacking and organizing that–in addition to dealing with my old clothes.

To be clear: I’m not rich by any means. I’m on a student budget. Nothing I bought was more than $15 or $20, for the most part. It’s been accumulated since I started spending my own money on clothes, back during freshman year of college, with the generous help of my mother buying me things I actually needed, like jeans and decent shirts/shoes.

But it became all too clear as I began to unpack: this was not all going to fit in my room back home. It was definitely not going to fit in my new room in Connecticut, when I move to attend UConn for my PhD in a few weeks. Nope, not possible.

What to do?

A giant cleaning splurge.

In the hallway to donate:

– 1 trashbag of shoes that it is impossible to wear without seriously injuring myself

– three trashbags of still-decent clothing to donate (perhaps four when I more pack things so they’re not so overflowing that I can carry them to the donation bin)

– one giant hamper of clothes that, as a result of me dropping a few dress sizes while in Ljubljana, are too big right now but are so nice that I should save them for when I inevitably gain that weight back

– a small pile of books that I’ll never reread, like college biology texts which are uninteresting to me and too easy for my med school-bound sister and already-passed-the-AP-exam-with-a-perfect-score-even-though-he’s-only-a-sophomore-brother

And–I’m only three quarters of the way through with the room cleaning.

So here’s a new challenge to myself: can I go six months without buying a single item of clothing–or shoes? Even after I’ve cleaned up shop, my closet and drawers are still full. Even though it seems like I brought a ton of luggage home, I lived in Ljubljana for 10 months on a few suitcases worth of clothes, with four pairs of shoes. For me, that was a big discovery: I didn’t need all the stuff I had back home. OK, still, I realize I had a lot, but when you think of the few suitcases, realize that I had two winter jackets, snow boots, etc., in there as well.

Anyway, I know I need to buy a new pair of running shoes soon, so that will be my only concession for my six month challenge. If someone gives me something, I won’t turn it away. But no more spending on clothing or shoes for myself.

Can I do it?

I better be able to!

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One Response to “My weight in luggage”

  1. zgodbo August 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Shooooooot, I know what you mean. I gave away a ton of stuff before I left and I still have four bags with me in Italy. So, the shedding of things will continue. All for the best though, the more stuff you own, the more it owns you, right?!

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