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Clearing the Junk

My husband’s job occasionally requires us to move and this summer will be one of those occasions.  I know it’s too soon to be looking for a house…but I am and I know exactly what I’m looking for this time, so it should be easy, right?  I thought I knew where we wanted to live, but after doing research, I thought I had found another area that would be a better fit.  Then I realized that area was too expensive, so I looked for someplace even better, which I found, but it’s so good people never leave, meaning there are no houses available.  I found one, hubby loved it, they had an open house three days later, sold by the end of the day.

It doesn’t help that we don’t live there and don’t know the area.  It’s also an enormous metro area, so the options are only limited by how far we want to commute and cost.  We don’t do houses built within our lifetimes, so older neighborhoods are a little more affordable, but some of those houses have been trashed and would be cost-prohibitive to rehab.  I’m also trying to avoid flips; I want a house someone actually upgraded for their own use, not just a subway tile backsplash and gray paint.  I also want a fairly large property so we have room for a garden, beehives, compost…  Tall order, but I suppose something will come along.

What I can do is downsize here and now.  I have been “purging” possessions for several months now, but it’s like once I started I can’t stop.  I keep finding other little boxes that need to be sorted and discarded, or looking at stuff I already assessed and deciding something worth saving last month has got to go this month.  It’s good to get rid of stuff, but it’s also good to just go through your belongings and see what you’ve been carrying around for years with no real reason.

Last month I was especially brutal and we took three carloads to Goodwill!  I also listed a few items on Poshmark, but that hasn’t been as fruitful as I had hoped.  Mind you, we went through everything together last summer and thought we’d done a good job of clearing stuff out.  Upon further consideration, however, I have destroyed storage tub after storage tub.  We’re lucky to have the amount of storage space we have–two under-the-eve closets in our guestrooms in addition to the normal closets, a storage shed/shop, and a basement that stays the same temperature all year.  But I like to see that storage space empty.

These two closets used to be packed to the brim with tubs.  I would have to pull out two or three just to get to any others.  Now, even with the baby and saving all of her stuff for future daughters, we have fewer things.  I’m pretty proud of that.  There are things out in the garage like camping gear, ski/snowboard stuff, holiday decor, but way less than there was a year ago.

I hadn’t heard of minimalism until recently and I wasn’t going for that trend, but I have felt lighter, less intrusive since unloading some goods.  So once I heard about minimalism, I realized why the idea is so appealing.  And like I said, seeing what you have can also make you want some of your stuff again.  I bet everyone has clothes, decor, heirlooms that they have forgotten about, but would still use if they just had them within reach.

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I found my old stuffed bunny that I slept with until I was a teenager and refilled it for my daughter.  It’s older than me, having been my brother’s first, so it’s kind of an heirloom.  The embroidered pieces were made by my mother and grandmother and I hope I have a place to display them at our next house.  I’d like to try needlepoint/embroidery, so maybe that will be the next adventure!

I will talk more about minimalism or whatever in the future.  For now, I encourage you to take a look at your stuff and just consider value versus sentiment.  Not that holding onto some things for sentimental reasons is wrong, it’s just got to stop somewhere and we should all find that place.

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