further lessons in simplifying

Last summer I spent many weeks sorting through my accumulated junk and deciding what to take to New Jersey, what to store in my friend's basement, and what to give away. I gave away literally car loads worth of my possessions, but ended up putting some stuff in storage and shipping some boxes to the Novitiate House in New Jersey. After the ordeal of project sort, purge & pack I asked the question:
Do I really need this stuff?
I find myself asking the same question as I prepare to head to London for three months. I'm only checking one bigger suitcase and one smaller duffle and carrying on my laptop backback with a few assorted odds and ends stuffed in. I'm not shipping anything. And yet, it still feels like I'm taking too much stuff. It's really just clothing, shoes and few books and toiletries. Last night I made some choices on things to take out of the big suitcase to make it a little lighter. Do I really need three pairs of jeans? How many sweaters can one wear? Etc.... I just want to be prepared! Then again, I was a girl scout. :)

Luckily I don't have to empty out my room here at the Novitiate while I'm gone. Although as I look at my 3-months worth of stuff packed in the bags in the corner of my room and then a room that is still full of stuff (mostly books and framed photos and nick-nacks and PAPER which seems to have a life of its own) I wonder ... Do I really need this stuff?

I leave Friday. In the meantime, I going to try to sort through a years worth of accumulated papers and see what I really want/need to keep.

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