A few months ago I had to get rid of the majority of my earthly belongings as we tried to accomplish a major move from Alaska to Texas. During this time I managed to have 3 garage sales and countless Facebook sales. At the end of this six-month process my brain literally stopped making decisions. The final day before we drove out of town I found myself surrounded by large priority mail boxes – working at filling them like someone (I imagine) works at putting together a 1,000 piece 3D puzzle; which is of course with crazy eyes, loudly complaining with tears streaming down their face.
Rewind to a few months prior right after I wrote my first “Hoarder” post. At that point I had to make a purposeful decision that hiding in my closet for the next few months until we moved was not going to produce my desired outcome, even if I really wanted it too. I actually wanted my method to work so badly that I waited a great deal more than an appropriate amount of time hoping for my procrastination strategy to work. Four days, copious amounts of coffee, and endless hours of scrolling Facebook just proved that my closet trick was not going to get the job done. The cold harsh wind of reality rushed into my secret hideaway and made things crystal clear.
I actually had to deal with my stuff.
The time had come. I couldn’t just shove stuff to back of the drawer or make another pile. Although, I actually consider “Piling” to be a form of my own cultural art. It is a time-tested trick that runs through my family line. Kind of like the way you would pass down a cookie recipe. Why change an effective and generational strategy? Piling is not only a heritage but also an immediate low energy solution, and I am all about quick low energy solutions. The first year of my marriage, my new (and idealistic) husband was insistent that I properly file paperwork and important documents. I quickly complied and “Lacey’s file of fun” was born. A multi-purpose “file system” that basically consisted of my paperwork pile now enclosed within a manila folder.
My husband was not impressed.
This piling habit also happens with my digital files as well. My desktop can be reminiscent of the inside of my brain. A crazy collection of interesting pictures, ideas and recipes I plan on making someday. The desktop also includes specific files I want to keep easily accessible along with information that is probably no longer pertinent.
I generally end up organizing my desktop when my computer crashes or I have to switch computers and have no choice but to rearrange my files.
I think this move to Texas was the equivalent of my computer crashing.
I actually found myself wondering if I should keep a pair of oddly shaped specially tinted glasses that my daughter had used in the past for a short-lived vision therapy treatment.
It was that bad. Seriously. It might have a name in a health journal.
So, refocusing. Priority puzzle boxes in hand, I still find myself the night before the move surrounded by stuff that would not fit in my car and stuff that would not fit in my small priority shipping boxes. So what did I do? I did what anyone does in a major move with nearby family: I stored it in my sister’s crawlspace.
But I did it. WE MOVED!!! Eleven days and over 5,000 miles later traveling in a car together we finally made it to Texas.
I was relatively surprised at how easy it was to replace many of my belongings.
However, a normal phrase in our house is now “We don’t actually have that anymore because it was gotten rid of/sold/lost in the move”. I actually get bitter whenever I have to re-buy something that we got rid of. Vocally bitter enough so that my husband has to say, “ Yes! We have to re-buy that. Get over it. This is part of moving.”
But we are here.
We have a lovely home. We have warm beds. And, I also managed to find a way to get all my awesome kitchen stuff down here. So I am happy.
I would like to say that this move has taught me a lesson. And, that I am now more of a thoughtful minimalist.
But did you know that they actually have garage sales down here year-round?
As well as antiques. REAL ANTIQUES. Not some Alaskan “antique” which is actually just something someone kept out back in a shed for a few years.
Endless thrifting can now be my new reality.
So. No. I am not a minimalist. But I like to think I am thoughtful and I hope that is enough.