One of the biggest issues with purging is the emotional attachment we feel for our “stuff”. It was acquired at a time that we wanted it, needed it, loved something about it or had a plan for it. The “stuff” we save has or did have a reason behind it. That makes it hard to part with.
For us, the paring down begins now as we prepare to sell the house. The suggestions are that we have one decorative item per room. No personal items (family photos, mementos, etc). And each cabinet and closet needs to be nearly bare- so the new owners can envision their items inside.
We gave away nearly all the dishes. Now there are 4 dinner plates, 4 plastic cups, 4 coffee mugs and just 2 bowls. I have to let go of the fact that a group of 10 might show up for dinner- they won’t. We gave away the matching silverware, and decided to use the small mismatched collection from the camper. We gave away the nice steak knives and will use the oddballs from the camper. We even gave away the entire set of copper bottom, Wearever, pots and pans with lids and steamers. After much discussion, we decided that we only needed to keep the ones that we would eventually use in the camper. Then Mike woke up early and went out to test the theory. He used the “keepers” and cooked a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict in the driveway!
The cutting board that will be housed in the camper worked fine. The small frying pan held 4 eggs perfectly. The odd knife did the job. The old-school toaster that we wired in to the cabinet worked just fine (good thing, because we gave our house toaster away on Saturday!) Breakfast was delicious. This downsizing process is working!
After breakfast we started on clothes. This was a little trickier. While we hope to sell the house in the next month or two- we will still be living in the area for another 11 months. That means all 4 seasons of weather that we will need clothing for. Sweaters, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts and jackets were culled and then neatly packed away in labeled storage bins. (BTW- we are done with winter here!) Other seasonal attire (swimwear, sundresses, short sleeve shirts, professional attire) was also culled, weeded out, purged and donated. Someone on Craigslist was seeking old cotton t-shirts to use as rags; he promptly responded for a trash bag full! Friends had children needing gently used socks, mittens and shorts. And a “free items” posting on Craigslist is garnering much response in the multiple pairs of mens shoes.
Now, that leads me to the women’s shoes. Here is my confession. I have over 100 pairs of size 9.5 and 10 shoes. All types, styles, colors, genres and eras. None of them are terribly fashionable, all purchased with comfort in mind. Most were second-hand or even free. All fill a niche. They are a shade, or style that I think “works” with an outfit or two. The shoe-thing is only paralleled by the clothing “thing”. It is excessive and will require more days of my attention than I could give it today. But know this- three bags left today! And for that, I feel good. More to go…..
As the clean-out progresses we realize that prepping the house for sale has allowed us to let go of much STUFF. We still have basic needs to be met, and the means to meet them. We know we are moving closer to the exit, but the house is still home. Just as we selected the pans, silverware and such that will live in the camper for the road, we will need to select the clothes and shoes that will accompany us. Big decisions, not ready to make. For now I will tackle it in small battles- as I continue giving away our stuff.