I enjoyed looking at this series of photos of Swedish students showing their modest amounts of possessions. I know that I’m no longer a student, and I do have children who have their own collections of things, but I do aspire to have a more portable existence. If I were to move to a small space, the most obvious problem is that I have thousands of paper books, many of them with my hand-written notes inside. If only there were an efficient way to scan all of those pages, to shrink all of them to the size of an external hard drive.
Another problem is that I have a workshop full of tools. Last night, I reached into some spare parts and fixed the furnace, so I’m weary of giving away even the boxes of odds and ends, much less the tools that I use to repair things at the house. And what would I do with my musical instruments? I have several guitars, as well as a PA and (once again) boxes of music.
Then again, I sometimes imagine the house being destroyed by fire–we all escape with nothing at all, but I do have backup hard drives off-site with all of my writings, photos, movies, financial paperwork. It would be a disaster, of course, but in this thought experiment it would also be an opportunity to rebuild my collection of possession leaner and meaner.