This past week our BIG, little move started to get real. Partly because I announced it to y’all and partly because we have four more weeks before we move, minus one whole week (weekend included) where we’ll be traveling.
In the past month or so I’ve slowly been chipping away in various zones: first the vases then the sideboard, my closet – twice so far – and the books once. In doing this I’ve realized that some areas – ahem, my closet – will take at least four passes to downsize. Minimum. If this move weren’t forcing us to downsize so extensively, I’m not sure that I’d be so aggressive with the purge. I probably would give my closet the passive pass through of “cleaning it out” that I do every six months or so. You know, that closet organization pseudo purge where you tell yourself you’re going to get rid of everything you haven’t worn in the last year but it really just moves to a pile that sits in the corner and then finds its way back into your closet because a few weeks after looking at it on the floor you decide that it really does belong in your closet. You know, that kind of passive purge?
This past week I switched from passive to aggressive (not to be mistaken with passive aggressive, because it is anything but). We got real aggressive. Like S U P E R aggressive. The week started off with an email to our neighbors stating all the things we are giving away for free and the things we are selling. You should have seen the response. It was amazing. We were able to get rid of a lot on the list, so it worked out great. We only have a few items left (as far as I can tell now) that are unspoken for.
This weekend we started to do some actual packing. Mr. M and I agreed that we would only keep things we both love. So the more questionable items end up being a conversation that goes a little something like this:
“Where did we get it?”
“Costa Rica, I think.”
“Who gave it to us?”
“I bought it for you.”
“Do you even like it?”
“I hate it…” or, “I really don’t care for it.”
“Honey, why do we even have these? We’ve not used these 16 cups and saucers. Like ever.”
“But they match our dishes! And what if we have a dinner party where people actually want coffee or tea after dinner instead of more alcohol?”
“That is never going to happen. They’re gone.” (The dishes, not the friends).
And off they went. All 16 wonderfully white and perfectly matched, brand new cups and saucers. Someone will find them at our local Salvation Army and they will be a steal.
While we’re at it, since our little house won’t really have room for us to throw the dinner parties that I love to throw for the Whiskey Town Whores (don’t ask…) or our Magnolia friends, we’re putting much of our kitchen into long-term storage. This means all of our fancy wine, beer and martini glasses, a good number of our every day glasses and the majority of our daily dishes and serving bowls and platters will be safely tucked away for the next few years. This was an easy compromise for the both of us because it doesn’t make sense to repurchase all these items that we know we’ll need again in the future. What’s also good is that through this process of packing things up for the long-term storage pile, we’re being extremely thoughtful of what we end up putting there. So things that don’t meet the “brings us joy” criteria immediately get put into the donation pile for one of our weekly trips.
Admittedly I’ve felt myself become a little overwhelmed during parts of this. Part of me is overwhelmed because I can’t believe the stuff I’m finding after living here for the past 4.5 years. Stuff I haven’t seen since before we moved in. Stuff that I don’t even care for. The other half of me is overwhelmed because I look around and think of all the things we still have to go through! I feel as though we live fairly minimally, but then sometimes I don’t. Perhaps we just hide it well.
For example, when we started to go through our limited CD collection, I gave my dad a good chunk of our collection and Mr. M was like, “You’re giving him Grateful Dead? Skeletons in the closet!? I love that album!” Oh really? Then why has it been sitting in this crate in the basement since we moved in? We don’t even have a real CD player. You see, we use Sonos and stream everything.
I guess some things will take a few passes before we realize that items that sit in our cupboards or basement for the past four years without us even realizing it, probably need to get the boot. And that’s fine. I’d rather take the time to think about some pieces than to just throw them out because of the possibility that we’ll actually drink coffee after a dinner party… when we’re in our sixties. By then I’ll probably want cute mismatched ones or will have inherited my great grandmother’s wonderfully vintage and mismatched collection anyways.