Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Learning to be Nomad

This does not come naturally to me.  I am afraid, if I didn't work at it, I would wind up on one of those hoarder shows.  No, for real.  I am a nostalgic person.  And I taught history.  Those two things lead me to keep things.  I really think I would be one of those places where people come to "pick" really cool old stuff.

I hate throwing things away, or getting rid of the old simply to buy new.  If I have the space for it, doesn't it make sense to keep the single double stroller for the day when we won't need the double?  Yes...yes it does.  Everyone tells me it feels so good to get rid of stuff you don't need.  I couldn't agree less.  I really hate that feeling.  I always second guess my decision, wondering, "what if next week we need that?  Then I will have to go buy that same thing I just got rid of."  This is ok if not taken to the extreme i.e. those people on the hoarder shows (yes, it's a slippery slope).   Except if you moving across the world. 

Newsflash for Liz...you are moving across the world.  You aren't really being in one place for long periods of time.  You have to condense and edit.  You will only be able to bring what can fit on the airplane.  Get rid of some of this stuff.  NOW! 

Last week we bought a 20 foot storage trailer, one that we can pull behind a pickup.  It is parked next to my parents' barn right now, just waiting for this 4 bedroom house plus garage to be condensed down to fit.  Do you know what a challenge that is for me?  Yikes...

But here is where those hoarder shows come in handy.  Sunday night, one was on, and I just kept looking at our bookshelves. You have to understand.  My books are my friends.  And we have a lot of them.  But, they aren't all going to be able to make the trip.  And it was time to part with some.  So, over the next two hours, I went through ever book, and managed to weed out 3 big boxes worth.  There is actually empty space on all the bookcases now.  Tempting to fill up, because full bookcases look so very nice.  But I must resist.

And then, yesterday, oh, this was a biggy!  We spend the whole day in the garage.  I wish I had taken a photo of the before.  Oh. my. Basically, we moved here 3 years ago, put stuff in there, and called it good.  Didn't really touch it, except to shove some stuff this way or that.

But yesterday, we got ruthless.  I found that it's best if I don't stop to think of the time we took Forrest to the Meijer Gardens in that stroller, or how pretty our wedding decorations were (yes, I still have most of them). If we haven't used it since we've moved, if the box is still taped up from the move, we probably don't need it. And since overweight and extra baggage costs so much these days (who are we kidding extra baggage!  When was it optional to bring luggage with you on a trip!  These airlines, I tell you what!) we probably can't take the tent with us.  At least not the first time around.

We also went through 6 tubbies of keepsake stuff and weeded those down to 3.  I just kept repeating "20 feet, that's all we have, just 20 feet of space."

So, it's a start.  We thought the garage would be the best place to begin because then we can move packed boxes and tubbies out there as we work on the stuff in the house.  Look at all that extra space and empty tubs.  And now that we have a place to store stuff, we will work little by little by little.  Like eating an elephant.


  1. I agree with you! Occasionally I get the warm-fuzzies from purging stuff, but mostly only because I briefly feel like I've broken the bond it had on me. More often I wonder if I really should have gotten rid of it, or if I could have sold it instead or re-purposed it, or if I'll need again soon.
    Great work in the garage! Looks like you have lots of space to do more sorting/packing. :)

  2. good work friend! it's so hard getting rid of stuff. we have a wedding memoirabilia tote that i can't bear to get rid of either... here's an idea for you.. april bought a shadow box and put one thing each of her decorations, an invitation, a favor, a couple flowers from her bouquet etc, and then tossed everything else...
    we've been purging a lot with moving so much it seems. it's no fun, and let me tell you, many a time in this move, i've said "where on earth did _______ go?!?!? and i think i threw it out in a purge moment, and now wish i had it... argh! :) love you!!

  3. Liz, I really can't imagine trying to pack up my LIFE and move it across the world. :) Especially with kids. But, just remember, you'll gather new items and make a new "home" there with new memories. Besides, who needs STUFF to remember anyways?

  4. Thanks for the encouragement guys! So often I hear, "It's so good to get rid of stuff" that I start to feel alone in my semi hoarding:) You're good blogie/real life friends!:)


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