The Longest Road Paved With Too Much Stuff

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We only moved about 200 miles away, but one would think we were moving to the opposite side of the country. It’s been a long haul and seemingly never ending. It’s been a huge burden, but one I’ve carried willingly because the goal outweighs the process.

I’ve moved too many people and belongings over the last two years. This last move, however, has been the most eye opening. I thought my mom had a lot of stuff. I knew my daughter had a lot of stuff. The real eye opener was learning that *I* had a lot of stuff. Too much stuff.

How does this happen? The collection of stuff… My friend and I were discussing this yesterday. It happens slowly and gradually, and no one ever goes out and consciously says, “I’m going to accumulate way more than my house can hold or than I truly need.” We gather belongings because they’re pretty, they may be priced cheaply, or they make us feel good in some way.

IMG_7073At some point, however, all those things become a burden. A huge heavy burden and an expensive one when it comes time to move. The expense of all the stuff that my daughter and I have accumulated now exceeds the cost of purchasing all those items – particularly all the stuff purchased because it was “on sale”. 

The original plan for our move was to rent one truck, pack our belongings, and tow her car, tow a cargo trailer behind my car for my large potted plants and fragile items, and move everything on down the road. However, during the loading process, we realized we had way more stuff than a single 26’ U-haul truck could accommodate. So we took the essentials and moved. We left behind the excess stuff contained in half a garage (hers), two storage lockers (mine but includes some of hers and excess furniture I haven’t yet sold), and some items at my old home (garden stuff, patio chairs, beautiful potted flowers).

The first trip went fairly smoothly, although it took forever (10+ hours to load, 6+ hours to unload), and some of the hardware to furniture got lost. We had to hire helpers at quite a cost because all those “friends” who said they would help suddenly disappeared. (Yes, I have a resentment about that but whatever… I digress…) We finally moved into our respective homes, but the burden of how to get the rest of our stuff has still landed squarely on my shoulders.

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The result is that we have to do the whole trip a second time. The difference is that this time everything goes straight to storage where we can then start a serious attack of purging stuff. Do we really need 10 bins of Halloween decorations? Do we have room for that cute little pink desk that I got for free from a friend? Yes, we need to keep the memorabilia, but I surely don’t need half the crap I stored.

Today, my daughter has headed north to gather up all this stuff while I stay behind and secure a storage unit and watch (play) with little Laila. Again, we are hiring muscle to load and unload our stuff, and she is driving the truck and towing her car. The burden is about to be lifted, or eased at least. Once I have all our crap stuff here, I can exhale and start releasing the burden and the stuff. It’s time to downsize not only my physical surroundings but everything I pack into those surroundings. This will free up my soul and my mind for more lightweight and fun activities and experiences. Much needed!

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