Stuff

This week has been all about stuff. Packing stuff. Selling stuff. Giving stuff away. Wrapping stuff up in tissue paper and then stuffing the stuff in a box of other stuff.  This process of purging everything we don’t need or really love has been an eye-opening experience. How did we accumulate all of this?!  It’s a little shocking, and quite frankly embarrassing, when you put everything you have that you don’t really need in one place and stare at it. Our garage looked like the grand opening of a brand new thrift store before our sale yesterday morning. Afterwards, it looked like just a typical, well-stocked thrift store. The experience has made us really think about how we should spend, save and share our hard-earned money in the future.

The reason this move has been different from others we’ve done in the past is the fact that we aren’t moving immediately into another home. I can’t look at something we had hanging on the wall and rationalize “Even though I’m not in love with this metal circle sculpture thing it will probably look okay in the living room of the new house.” Instead, I have to look at the metal circle sculpture thing and ask, “Do I love this so much that I will find a place for it no matter where we wind up living?” There’s a big difference between the two mentalities and the result is evident now that most of what we’re keeping is in the storage container and yet it’s only half full.

We’re almost done dealing with all of the stuff at this point. We will finish loading the container today. On Monday morning Northside Neighborhood House, a great local organization offering assistance and education, will pick up a garage full of items ranging from dishes to dvd players. We’ll turn in our leased electric car, but we’ll hold on to the 150,000-mile road warrior minivan for a few weeks and sell it when we’re winding down our domestic travel.

Soon it will be our family, 4 suitcases and 5 backpacks. I think we’re ready for this change.

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