Shedding Stuff

I took several more boxes to Goodwill this past weekend. In the last two years, I have given away three-quarters of my stuff. Including furniture, clothing, household goods, jewelry, pet paraphernalia, Christmas decorations, etc. I am getting down to the difficult stuff to let go of. (ie: Knick knacks that have sentimental value and designer clothing that has been hardly or never worn). For the most part, it has been easy to let go of the stuff I have accumulated over the years. However, shedding stuff is work and work that I do not enjoy even though I do enjoy the space it leaves behind. The space in my home and the space in my head.

I am determined to shed everything I do not need or love so I can travel and live as lightly and simply as possible. I have been procrastinating with the items I have left. I keep using the excuse that I am still several years away from hitting the road due to the upside-down mortgage and business contract that has four years left on it. Ugh. I am ready to go now and will explore every route available that will get me on the road sooner.

I sometimes read a blog called Be More With Less by Courtney Carver. She provides wonderful suggestions regarding shedding stuff. For instance, regarding sentimental items, she suggests photographing an item before letting it go. I have done this with several things and it works quite well. But there are several items I may end up storing. I refuse to rent storage and I would prefer to burden my family with as few boxes as possible. So I will keep shedding. The more stuff I let go the more liberated I feel and the easier it is to let go. A side benefit of all of this purging is that it is easier to clean my home, plus it does feel good to envision someone else getting used from items that I no longer used.

I have also begun to scan and store photographs and paperwork in Dropbox. A very convenient cloud-based software. I have thrown away so many duplicate photos and bad shots. In the old days of having film developed, I kept all photos from a roll of film regardless of quality and therefore ending up with a lot of unnecessary quantity. After sorting through all my photographs I have only about a quarter of the images I started with. Much less to scan and store. This has been a tedious, time consuming, sometimes emotional but gratifying process.

I find that thinking about the downsizing process as one bag or box at a time or one closet or drawer at a time is less overwhelming and more manageable than considering all of the stuff that must go. When I first began downsizing I could easily amass six or seven boxes/bags full of stuff in a month. I would then arrange to have one of the organizations that regularly request more stuff, (ie: Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Lupus, Veterans of America) come to pick them up. But now that I am down to doing a box/bag here and there I will put it in my car and drop it off at the local Goodwill store during my errands. For any large or heavy items, I cannot lift I have Freecycled. This has worked very well and satisfies my desire to throw out as little as humanly possible.

Thank you for reading. Comments and/or suggestions are welcomed.

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