April 25, 2014, Friday. If you have read any of the early entries you have encountered my mentioning our process of "de-stuff-ing". It is the process of getting rid of all the "non-essential" things that we have accumulated over the years and how we have had to become emotionally un-attached to the stuff. And believe me (if you have never had to subject yourself to this process), when I say that you do indeed get attached. Once you have inventoried and evaluated all your stuff, you can then make the list of what you are going to keep and know that you have to get rid of all the rest. When you see how little you can take with you in an RV, you will realize how short your list of "essential" stuff will be.
Here are the different things we have "inventoried" and what we have done to "de-stuff":
1. There are those things you keep because they were gifts from people you love. These are usually some of the easiest to get rid of by explaining your full-time situation to the person who gave you the item and telling them how there is no room in your new lifestyle for the item. Most people usually understand (it may take more than one occasion of describing the size of your new world) and will accept the return of the item.
2. There are things you have told yourself over the years that will fit you once again when you have lost the weight or they will come back in style. Come on! Get real! It ain't gonna happen. Now send those to Good Will, National Kidney Foundation, Rescue Mission, Crisis Ministry or Lions Club or other local organizations that will make better use of it than you are right now.
3. There are those things in your garage, work shed or junk drawer (and check your sock drawer, too) that you have been keeping for a "I could use this to fix something" creatively. The leftover plumbing parts, paint, used tools, broken or used appliances. Take those to Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.
4. Have a yard sale.
5. Check out Free-Cycle. Years ago when we discovered Free-Cycle we had a lot of used lumber from a deck re-build and instead of renting a trailer to haul it all to the land-fill, we offered it up on Free-Cycle. With-in a day or two someone came and picked it all up and today there are chickens being housed with our old deck lumber. Pots, pans, cookware, dishes and furniture that you could not unload at your yard sale can go onto Free-Cycle.
6. Estate sales and liquidation companies can help you move a lot of stuff quickly with little effort on your part.
7. It is surprising how much we have given away to just our neighbors. We asked them if they wanted any of stuff and they have taken quite a bit.
As of this writing only some of the rooms are empty. The people who are buying the house are young and have been renting and have very little. Certainly they can't fill this big house. We have asked if they want some of the stuff we still have left. We may leave behind some things for them.