Monday, April 21, 2014
How do I get rid of all this stuff?!
The thought of paring down our possessions for life on the road has been overwhelming. I figured I'd start in the guest room and work my way through that first. But every time I walk into the room and take a look around, my eyes roll back in my head and I just walk right back out. It's going to be a lot of work.
In trying to mentally prepare, I've been doing some reading and have found several bright, interesting people out there who are devoted to minimalism and living a simple, meaningful life. And they’ve given me some terrific ideas.
For sentimental items that I can’t keep with me, I can take a picture to remember it, then sell it or give it away. Genius! And luckily for me, my husband is a very talented photographer.
I’ll be attempting to sell my collections of snow domes, salt and pepper shakers and other souvenirs. It will be painful to give up these beloved little things, but the joy of them really just resides in my mind. The things themselves are ready to go to a new home.
A good place for books to go is the local jail or prison. Who knows? It could mean the difference between a human life staying stuck in misery, and actually breaking good. I have a friend who is a social worker at a large county jail. Their library cart used to contain one spider and one Spanish-English dictionary. She and I can help change that. The Prison Library Project in Claremont, California is doing admirable work in the area of literacy. And just down the street Gloria Killian is doing imaginative, beautiful work on behalf of women prisoners and their children. Check out her Greeting Card Project – it’s incredible. Also, the kids could use toys for Christmas. No time like the present to start filling up Gloria’s garage….
For the rest of the books that I’ll never read (or re-read), Bookcrossings is fun a way to set them free. The website generates a unique identifying number for each book, you jot it down on the book along with simple instructions, then leave it at a coffee shop, bus bench, anywhere. It could even be part of a geocache. Then you get to watch the book’s progress as it moves around the world, being read and released, over and over!
I’ll give a lot of stuff to the Out of the Closet thrift stores, which raise funds for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. My local rescue mission also accepts donations both directly and at their own thrift store.
If I can get excited about where my stuff is going, it helps motivate me to start the process. Come on, fists. Unclench…. You can do it!
I'll let you know how it goes. -Cait