The Time has Come to Face our Stuff

Let’s talk about stuff – the physical kind. The kind that Other Half and I curated out of our life back in 2014. Or so we thought. For the last three years we’ve been living with minimal stuff, at least minimal within our living space. We still had stuff tucked away in a 10×10 storage facility in Ohio. The stuff in storage is what “made the cut.”

On our summer trips back to Ohio we would occasionally visit our stuff. Sometimes we’d even add to it. We’d stop by, take a peak, toss in whatever we didn’t feel like dealing with, lock it up and leave.

We knew that one day we’d have to face our stuff again.

Well, that day has arrived.

Our stuff got here last week in a Zippy Shell container. Zippy Shell is a version of a moving pod. The driver offered to help us unload. Thank God for strong young men. In no time our garage was filled with plastic totes. The only furniture we had stored was a coffee table my Dad built in the 70’s, a small bench and a disassembled bookcase. All three are now displaying considerably more “character” than before the Ohio to California jaunt.

Happy to see our bookcaseI’m excited all of our stuff is in one place. I’m excited to have our bookcase again. I’m excited to see things I haven’t seen in three years.  I’m excited to stop paying for storage.

So why am I crabby?

Half of the totes filling our garageIt took me a couple days to realize what was wrong. We’ve lived l-e-a-n for some time now. We haven’t needed or missed ANY of the stuff that arrived in plastic totes and is stacked in our garage.

So why do we need or want it now?

When we embarked on our Big Rig adventure we lived in a BIG house with lots and lots of stuff. We spent 9 months putting everything we owned through the Curate-the-Crap decision process. The options were: keep, take, sell, gift, donate or pitch. We sold most of the furniture with the bulk of the remaining stuff hitting the gift, donate and pitch category.

The keep category is what’s in the totes in our garage. All I can say about A LOT of the stuff we stored is WHAT WAS I THINKING?

A few too many basketsI like baskets as much as the next person – but really???

When I unpacked the office/craft room stuff we’ve been paying to store – I completely filled our recycle bin.  So far we’ve made three trips to Goodwill with more to come. In our defense, when we loaded our 10×10 climate controlled unit we were suffering from decision fatigue.

What can I say?Is there any other possible reason to have stored this for three years?

So here we are on the other side of curating-our-crap. From what I can tell so far – we’ve still got a lot of crap left to curate.

11 Comments

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11 Responses to The Time has Come to Face our Stuff

  1. Meg Cypher

    I’ve been downsizing for years and am now at the point of putting things in plastic bins for an easier future move. The issue I have is that I and my family are collectors. In addition to my own collections, I will soon be dealing with my mom’s and aunt’s very large households of stuff. I know their collections were precious to them and that they wanted to have some of their things passed down in the family. I want that too as a way to honor them. Having three kids who have little sense of family history, or like most in their generation no stacks of physical letters or diaries, nor antique furniture, fine china, porcelain figurines, war mementos etc, I feel compelled to hold on to a great deal of it. Yet the only thing my kids have expressed interest in is the neon sign that hung in my parents’ restaurant for 40 years that says “hot dogs, coffee”. It’s going to be a tough curating process for me.

  2. I think it was easier to not have a storage unit and take only what we wanted and needed on the road – either it fit in the rig or it didn’t. To be honest, there were some things that were hard to part with (mostly original art) and I still think of it fondly. But after four years of living the RV life, I am content with what I have and fully expect that I’ll remain ever a minimalist. My motto is “Question Everything!”

    • ksdowney@gmail.com

      I think you’re right about not storing to begin with. Even with storage I felt the pain of letting go of certain things. I’m happy to be done with storage. I’m also happy to be letting go of so much of what we stored. Love your motto!

  3. Kathy crabtree

    Been there- just did that! Took us a week to move from what we thought was a small apt to a little house- we were on step three of downsizing- still too much kitchenware, shoes and memory holders! Sigh!

    • ksdowney@gmail.com

      Like always, you and I are on a parallel track – except for the shoes LOL! Can’t wait to see your new small house and have you see ours! Hugs

  4. Oh boy! Let the fun begin…again! I bet it seems like you just went through all this! Good luck the second time around. I hope enough of it finds a place in your new home to have been worth keeping!

    • ksdowney@gmail.com

      Thanks Lisa. So far it’s been hit and miss – some totes I open up and smile – others I open up and laugh. Happy to be done with storage!

  5. Linda Stanford-Wortman

    I know what you mean about the storage unit. When I moved from my apartment into Paul’s I put most of my stuff in storage. I don’t even know what is in there anymore. I am sure I will go through it soon and get rid of most of the stuff.

    • ksdowney@gmail.com

      Storage is a weird thing – you think you need to keep your stuff and then end up not wanting the stuff after all. That’s definitely how we feel. Thanks for reading Linda. I appreciate your support.

  6. Louise Kahle

    I loved reading this post. We are on a waiting list to move to a villa at Swan Creek Retirement Village. So excited! I have been downsizing over the last few years, but nothing like I need to do now. It will be a year or two before we get a place. I don’t want a bunch of STUFF! Things may have meant something to us at one point in our lives, but not now! Take a picture of the things that you want to remember, but you don’t have to have the hard copy. When I move into the villa, I will want new things to reflect where I am at this point in my life, but it will be a minimalist lifestyle!

    • ksdowney@gmail.com

      Thank you for reading my post Louise. You are so right, the stuff means less and less as we go through life. Excited for you to move into Swan Creek Retirement Village. It’ll be fun to start fresh and reflect who you are right now. All the best.

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