It’s ridiculous how much stuff one house can accumulate. I’m blaming the house, it’s easier than admitting that 12+ years of 2 packrats and 2 kids living in the same place have expanded to fill every bit of the available space. New furniture comes in and the old never seems to go out. It just makes its way into less and less visible areas of the house. Hobbies are started, grow, and we’re sure will one day be returned to. Projects are completed and leftovers are saved “just in case.” One way or another, things pile up.
Challenge one of starting our adventure is emptying the house. Not just cleaning or yard sale or reducing but full out emptying. Goblin doesn’t need furniture. She doesn’t have a place for all the books. She can’t hold a basement full of tool or spare wood. She won’t look well upon all the clutter producing hobbies we have taken up over the years.
Some decisions are easy. The falling apart couch and chair upstairs? Pitch them. The sailing books? On the boat. The sewing machine? Stored until we return. But now picture looking around your house and knowing that you have to touch each and every item there and decide, take on the boat, get rid of, store for when we return. Every book, every spoon, blanket, picture on the wall, scrapbook, pair of headphones, lego, block, bottle of shampoo, cat toy…
We got good advice and it’s helping us limit the stress. Sort everything into three piles. Definitely keep, definitely get rid of, and decide later. Once everything is in a pile, walk away. A week later, go back to the decide later pile and sort it again. And again. And again.
We’re looking through the keep list and finding good babysitters for some things. The Kitchenaide mixer would be lonely in a storage unit so we found a willing kitchen counter and a friend who promises to keep it in good use. Same with the sewing machine. Other keepers will end up in storage somewhere, out of print books by favorite authors, some artwork, a limited few pieces of furniture. There are shelves in the basement filling with those items that are going to Goblin, radios, charts, tools.
The get rid of list is making us a little crazy. How do you get rid of beat up old chairs that no one in their right mind would want? Should we list the old hiking packs on Craigslist? Ebay? Facebook? Do we sell or Freecycle the old board games? Wait for a spring yardsale?
How do I help Owen sort? How many Legos can we fit on Goblin before she starts to sink? How many books are enough but not too many? Once the money from selling old toys started to trickle in Owen became more on board with letting go so that helps.
If you know of anyone who’s looking for some good fiction/fantastic books, or lots of plates, or a house, let us know!
- Joy Weiss