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Mar 30, 2009

Purge

Because I was not already exhausted enough, we decided to make a flyby of Indy this weekend and spend a few hours looking at houses. It went well, thankfully. We love the realtor we were assigned to, we saw some interesting houses that could work, but nothing that we couldn’t live without (perfect since we aren’t in a position to buy yet). Overall, the visit accomplished exactly what we had hoped for and now we are focusing on selling our Lex house.

Here’s the overarching theme though: We’re going to have to downsize. A lot. Like, by at least half.

So far, my strategy has been to go through every box, every closet, every cupboard and make piles of things that we haven’t used or had forgotten existed. Then I attempt to skirt all of these things into a box or a bag or container and get them into the car and to the Goodwill before Patrick can spot them and moan about his beloved yellow and neon green fleece that he wore when he was in the fourth grade (but not since) and how could I even think of getting rid of it? We have recently been having a passive-aggressive fight over a water-damaged talking picture frame. I put it in the donation piles, he “rescues” it and hides it somewhere in the house, where I find it and put it in the donation pile. This happened three times, each time with me saying, “Why do we have so many of these stupid talking picture frames?” before I caught on to his antics.

But, as much as I argue that they are just THINGS and things are TRANSIENT and that it is ridiculous to be so attached to random, dusty, useless JUNK, I kind of feel his pain. I mean, I love organization and order, but I also still have every card, note, letter, or postcard ever sent to me. I’m kind of a hypocrite like that.

So, again, I ask your help. I have taken your advice on creating master lists of boxes and am planning a moving party soon and have been ruthless when it comes to purging (but not sentimental stuff). Now, I ask you how to get rid of half of your earthly possessions? Some things will be easy to part with. Particle board bookshelf from college? Gone. Thrice inherited dresser with more layers of paint than a clown? Outta here. Wobbly, creaky chairs in which I dare not sit for fear of imminent demise? Already on the curb. I am working on the 35 stacks of “Archived” Car and Driver magazines.

But the spare table from my grandmother’s first house? The 1940s patio furniture gifted to us by family friends for our wedding? The wicker chest Colin inherited from his Nana’s cousin? The cards from wedding and baby showers? Programs from when Patrick and I used to perform? Nothing we need, exactly, but it doesn’t feel right to get rid of it either.

How do you make the break? How do you choose which pieces make the cut and which pieces are voted off the island? Especially when you don’t even know where you’re moving yet!

4 Readers rock!:

doctorpitch said...

I'm on to your game, Wipp. don't touch my magazines.

barrie said...

You all are hilarious! You could do that thing they do on that TLC show where they put everything you own outside on a tarp and make you divide it into piles of keep/trash/donate/sell then when you are exhausted from all that they make you whittle everything down to a tarp 1/2 the size of the first tarp.

But realistically can't you do everyone gets X number of random 'saves' and everything else is a possible trash/donate/sell?

Small Fish said...

Downsizing is hard, but I'm pretty sure once you're in your new, cozier house, you'll be happy and won't miss the things you weren't able to bring. That said, you may want to hold off just a tad before throwing out the heirloom furniture and that nice picture frame... You may just find a house that's bigger than half of your current home.

Just in case you haven't gone through your wardrobe... if you haven't worn it in two years, you don't need it. I have about twice as many clothes in boxes than I do in my closet, and I have a feeling a lot of other women do too!

I moved across international borders a few times, and I actually figured out that moving my furniture would have been more expensive than buying new furniture (can you say press-board modular furniture?), so I had me a good time at the local furniture store once I arrived at my new home. I also figured out that my set of wrenches would cost more to ship than to buy new (I was paying by the pound), so I threw them out, and it's been about 3 years and I have yet to buy new wrenches...

Katie said...

This isn't a solution, but you could always rent storage space. :) I hope you are coming to the humanities fest on Friday!!