Moving on: Declutter!

I can't believe the first month of 2008 is almost over. While I've honestly worked toward some of my goals for 2008, there is so much more that needs to be done—particularly in the particulars of preparing to leave D.C. for good.

I don't intend to renew my lease this summer because I want to spend few months living downtown before I head home. Ideally, by then, I'll also have a low-paying Hill job that won't support my current rent.

I'll be looking for a shared space in NW that costs much less than $1000 (let me know if you have any leads!). Trust me, I know this whole undertaking won't be easy. I've moved a lot during my time in D.C.--not only between dormitories (6 in all!) but also between my own two apartments. And, of course, I've helped Floyd apartment search and move about four times. I think all those experiences have made me realistic about searching for housing in D.C. and knowledgeable about the expected cost and hassle of moving.

Moving will be especially stressful since I've amassed so much stuff. I came to D.C. in 1999 with a few suitcases and a box, and I'll leave D.C. 9 years later with a small truckload of stuff. I hope to remedy that by reducing what I have during the next five months. I've already started thinking about what I will sell, donate, recycle, trash, and bring to ATL. I've always wanted to minimize my possessions and live simply and this will be my opportunity to do so.

Hopefully, after this process, I will only have a small corner of stuff left. I will move about 80 percent of it home to Atlanta in June (no more than enough to fill an SUV) and move the remaining 20 percent to my new place in D.C. in July (no more than the stuff I deem necessary—i.e. clothes, toiletries, linen, kitchen stuff, and whatever else I can fit in my 3 oversized duffle bags + a bed and dressing table). Those three duffle bags are all that I want to bring home in December. Wish me luck!

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