Thinking You Need a Steamer Trunk (But a Carry-on Will Do...)
I started the difficult task of cleaning out my house and greenhouse about a week ago; it's amazing the amount of stuff that I've managed to accumulate. It's been interesting sifting through things trying to decide what I want to keep, what is going to ebay, what's going off to friends or off to the thrift shop or simply off to the curb. I'm sort of amazed at some of the things that I own in quantity; I'm not sure if I couldn't remember buying the first one of something and then encountered it on sale and thought that I must buy another...and another--or if the second, third or fourth were a gift or hand-me-down. Some of the things in question? Aquariums (I'm pretty sure I could start a tropical fish store in my basement if I were going to be around), Western Shirts (I won't deny that I love them, what with the trim cut, long tuck-in-able tails and pearl buttons, but I'm pretty sure I could outfit the local high school's cast of Oklahoma...just with the ones that I won't keep), Wine Glasses (I long ago ran out of cupboard space for them, they now also occupy the top of my fridge and the counter next to my stove; I think I can have a dinner party for 12 friends and serve reds, whites, champagne & a cordial and still have glassware to spare), ditto silverware, bath towels, chopsticks and potting soil....and that's just at home. The greenhouse, that's another beast--if it's green, tropical and has blooms, there's probably one to three of them hiding out just waiting to grace a counter or credenza or windowsill. Luckily ebay likes orchids and cacti and other weirdly wonderful things; I just wish shipping were more reasonable. A friend of mine told me that the important thing to remember when clearing house is to just box things up and send them off--try not to remember the story that goes with each thing, the thing that was going through your mind when you bought the item, the look on the friend's face when they gifted it to you. "Remain detached," I imagine he was saying in a round-about way. This is much easier accomplished with some things than others, though it's remarkably easy to compartmentalize when you put your mind to it. There are exceptions of course; like the dog--I still need to find a great home for him; the fish--a good friend needs some life in her new apartment; pottery & art--luckily I have a ton of friends that are artists or collectors of eclectica. I'm determined to pack the important stuff in the back of the 'ru and head out. There's a few things that I'll have shipped out, my skis for example, or my down comforter and featherbed, but the vast array of other stuff (and merely stuff it is) is off on an adventure of its own. I hope that in the future I can relegate the important things to smaller and smaller spaces; there are always things that I will want, but as time passes I realize there are fewer and fewer things that I truly need.