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Purging-Part of the Downsizing Process

February 16, 2016

When you move, it’s the perfect time to get rid of extra stuff.

I’m used to moving. I moved a lot as a kid and even more in the military. In fact, our time in the desert was probably the only time I lasted more than 5 years somewhere. There is something so satisfying about letting go and starting again.

Still, in comparison…this feels like the most extreme thing we’ve ever done.

We sold “almost” all of our stuff. The stuff we take to the apartment is even sold. By the time we get to the condo we will just have a few odds and ends and our kitchen stuff.

Why? When we’ve spent the last three years buying just the right furniture and accessories for our current home? In one of those moments of pure serendipity…our buyer wanted all of our living area furniture. Everything that I had so carefully chosen really does belong in the house–and it gives us the opportunity to buy what is right for our new home.

After that, we were stuck with all the things that we didn’t want to move. Our realtor was a rockstar–she found buyers for EVERYTHING. Now, we are so free that we don’t even own a table to eat on in the apartment.

What’s left? Art that we love, books…so many books, and toys. We are going to have a fun house this summer. A mish mash of stuff not unlike college living and a breath of fresh air that there is not one single thing to worry about damaging or destroying.

Today, I donated blankets and clothing to a local shelter. We are trying to find homes for and/or recycle everything. We’ve cleaned out our closets, kitchen, baths, and storage. I’m glad that I have this month to deliver everything. It has been hard letting go of the  kid’s baby stuff. I am working on the difficult task of editing the most important memories for each of them. Storage will be limited…but some things can never be replaced. I won’t be the parent who saves EVERYTHING…but each child will keep the things that matter.

I sorted through 20 years of my own personal  photos and keepsakes in about two hours. I enjoyed remembering  all of the different people and places I’ve known. I lamented the fact that I don’t have a single photo of the silver VW Cabrio that  I bought during my dietetic internship in DC. I loved that little car so much!

Whenever I get stressed…I go on Pinterest and Houzz to collect ideas for the condo. It won’t be our home for several more months…but the planning process  seems to soothe me when I’m feeling like an untethered balloon floating off into the sky.

The changes feel right. They feel exciting and worth it. I haven’t read the book-The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up…but I’m there in spirit. I am thankful for the beautiful house that has been our home for three years. I am thankful for the opportunity to let go of something complicated in favor of something that removes a lot of stress and excess from our lives. I feel like a small space will give us back our time…something so precious and so limited in this life.

As long as I’ve got these guys…all is well.

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