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26 November 2014

Getting Rid of Stuff

With our impending move to Scotland, we're going through everything we own and starting to get rid of things. Downsizing in a big way. It's turning out to be a much bigger deal than I ever could have imagined, so I thought I'd document it.
      Stuff. Who knew I had so much of it? Collections from a lifetime. Some which I inherited from others, some from our own fancies and general journey through life. It's all got to go. Stan and I are streamlining, making ourselves more mobile. But some of these things are difficult to part with. So, we have a new hobby...
     Each weekend we choose another drawer, closet, nook or cranny to filter through and disseminate. Options: Trash, Consignment, eBay, Craigslist, future garage sale, donation. I'm already on a first name basis with the manager of my local consignment shop. Why? This past week was Christmas decorations. We have some lovely things - truly. But they don't ship well, and they take up a lot of storage space. So the big question has become, "Would you rather have this stuff, or take a weekend trip to (insert country name here)?" Guess what wins.
     Sometimes I can take a picture to remember the items that hurt to part with. Sometimes I can keep one small thing out of three if its symbolic of a set. The point being, I don't have to keep all of it for it to make me happy.
     Last night's project was a box of photographs. I went through three boxes and got them down to one. It wasn't as hard as I thought. There were a lot of duplicates, candids, photos of people I don't remember. Outta there! And I'm doing it in stages. I still have too many photos, but that was round one. Get rid of the obvious ones that don't need to stick around. Round two will be harder, I'm guessing. But that's where scanning will come in. My online photo albums will become much more thorough.
     I like the advice given at Houzz: 10 Steps for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Objects. It says to never keep something that dredges up bad memories. I like that.
     And the big advice I use for all of this is a joke by Stephen Wright... He said something along the lines of "I have a very vast seashell collection. Perhaps you've seen it. I keep it scattered across the beaches around the world." The point being, I don't have to own something to make it special. Sometimes it's good enough that the thing just simply exists in the world.

2 comments :

Diane Dawson Hearn said...

I can so relate to what you are going through, though our reasons aren't as fun as yours. We're getting older, and seeing how loaded down my parents are with stuff that I'll probably have to sift through fairly soon, my husband and I have decided to start downsizing. It IS hard.

The hardest is knowing what to do with all the artwork for the many books I've illustrated over the years. I'm don't think I'm famous enough for any museum to want it and kind of doubt I'd find much of a market for it for selling. So, what to do? Once I give to my kids what they want, I'm thinking a big bonfire might be just the thing!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

No bonfires!!! Gads... I'm emailing you. I know where your artwork should go... :) e

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