On Shipping And Simplicity

2014 August 8

I’ve been packing. Rather, I’ve been thinking about packing. I bought boxes. I put one of them together. I put my printer in it and then promptly forgot about it for a week. I’m in the process of moving (gonna give the west coast a try) and while I don’t have much stuff, I have too much to fit in a suitcase and a carry on. I’ve pared back as much as I can, but I still have enough (extra towels and sheets, my air mattress, a sock monkey) to fill approximately three of the aforementioned boxes. These three boxes have been driving me crazy. I’m leaving my current address two weeks before moving to my new one, so where is my stuff going to live in the interim? Should I send them to my SO’s parents’ house and he’d fetch them over Thanksgiving break? Should I mail the stuff back to my own parents and live without a printer for the interim? Should I find a way to pack a yoga mat and my drying rack in a suitcase? Should I leave money with a friend to ship them to me once I’ve landed? I’ve cycled through multiple complicated options and devoted more thought than any sane person should to what to do with some discount linens from Marshalls.

The only option I hadn’t considered was the simplest. I could ask the person I was renting from if I could send the boxes now and have her put them in a corner of the living room for me. Instead, I was losing sleep and acting like I was trying to import $2M worth of cocaine from Bogota with the DEA watching my every move.

In layman’s terms, Occam’s Razor states that, in the absence of certainty, the simplest explanation should rule.  It’s a pretty good approach to solving life problems, too. What’s the easiest solution to your current woes that meets your needs? Start with that option before working your way up to more elaborate fixes.  Get headaches when you drink red wine? Instead of testing every varietal on the shelf to see how headache-y each makes you, opt for white instead. Problem solved. Want to lose a few lbs? Instead of joining a $100/month gym or going raw vegan right off the bat, spend a week logging your calories to gauge where you might be able to cut back. In my case, in lieu of stewing over what to do with my stuff, I should simply have sent a four-sentence email to try to solve my problem the easiest way possible.  When I finally sacked up and did it, the tenant replied ten minutes later to tell me to go ahead and mail as many boxes as I wanted.


Save time and energy. Start with simple first.


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