We really saw our move to Spain as a reset button. An opportunity to get out of our small condo, a opportunity to reconnect as a family, an opportunity to get our condo rent and sell ready, an opportunity to travel abroad and an opportunity to reduce the amount of stuff we have.
We have packed what we need or is important to us in a storage unit that is 15ft x 10ft x 8ft for the year. This included sofas, beds, dressers, tables, bikes, etc. And I really hope that all is well and safe. To get to this point though we sold our stuff, we gave away stuff, we tossed stuff and we donated a large amount of stuff. It’s quite amazing the hold that our stuff holds on us. We move it. We store it. We cherish it. We pay for it. We use our hard earned money to save stuff that we may not even remember we have! Yet, the very thought of letting it go can induce anxiety. I tried to embrace the philosophy of reducing our stuff will reduce my stress. If I didn’t remember it was in storage it must not be that important to begin with. Before we began to purge our on-going storage unit I tried to think what exactly was so important in there that I would pay a monthly fee to keep. I tired to embrace the idea that if I couldn’t answer that question without seeing the object than it really wasn’t important. I purged based on this ideal. I saved based on this ideal. I sold and donated based on this ideal. Is this item worth $X.xx per month to keep? Is it that important?? In reality, I am choosing my time (and the dollars that it earns me) to keep this item. Some items were things we no longer needed while other items were ones that could easily be replaced. Think board games like “Battleship” or “Twister” or modular shelving from Target. Things we can easily and cheaply replace if we want but not worth the storage space it requires. These are seemingly, insignificant items but when you picture an entire house full of small items it would quickly become a rather large storage space.
It’s been months now since we held our garage sale. Which I’m going to say was more difficult and time consuming than just donating it…albeit I have yet to do our taxes and see if donation was more worth my time and energy. I’ve had time to reflect on what I tossed and donated. There are a few regrets I have already. A couple were mere hours after they were sold or donated. The original doll clothes for my cabbage patch kid (accidentally sold) or my old college day planners (tossed). Others, I wonder if I will regret and maybe I shouldn’t have sold them. An old pair of overalls that were easily 50 years old, a hodge-podge mini-Christmas tree or the few albums and turn-table we owned. Most of which had been in storage or not used for the last ten years. Others I wish I had gotten more money for. I have to remember I am choosing more space, less stress and less stuff. All of which I hope will mean more time, more space, and more money. It still doesn’t keep me from awakening with anxiety on what I no longer have.