Strange title, but yes, our “house” is shrinking. We rented a storage unit, about the size of a single car garage, but the ceiling is not as high – about 6.5 ft (just over 2 meters). All the shelves we stored stuff on in the basement have been moved out to the unit and set up to receive our goodies. We purchased a bunch of plastic tubs to protect the stuff from rodents while we are gone, and the real work has now begun.
We pared down our clothing – TWICE – packed that up and took it out to the unit. Most of our kitchen supplies except for a few pots, pans, plates and glasses now reside in the storage unit. All the clothes we are not taking with us, most of our furniture and books, workout equipment, skis, the wall unit I made and a few other nostalgic items are now gone from the house.
The downside of all this is we have a HUGE pile of stuff in the living room – things we are selling at our garage sale – its hard to believe that we, who consider ourselves somewhat minimalist, have so much stuff we don’t need. Its sobering to realize how much you accumulate over a lifetime and it feels so good to let go of it and get rid of things. We always go through a clothing purge – once in the spring and once in the fall. Then we would go thrifting to get our “new” clothes. We have purges twice in the last month and we both keep wondering whether or not we have TOO MANY clothes – funny how your perspective changes when you are forced to pick and live with only absolute neccessities.
The other thing we have noticed is that the more we pack, the more stuff seems to show up – its almost like its breeding in a dark closet somewhere! We take out 5 or 6 tubs of stuff and we have still not made an apparent dent in what remains. It gets discouraging, but in actuality we really have made progress – the basement and 3 of the 4 bedrooms are pretty much empty. Some of the better furniture is now up on Craigs List – that will pare things down even more, so at some point we will actually see the fruits of our endeavors and feel like we have made significant progress.
As of March 31, we will have an active virtual mailing address. It is located in Tallahassee Florida, and it will allow us to “open” our mail from anywhere in the world. They scan the front of the envelope and put it into our inbox. I then indicate a disposition; open, shred or forward to a physical location. When you request them to open it, they do so and scan the contents and you then are able to view the contents online. There are a number of companies that offer these services to sailors and RVers – we took the least expensive option in a state with no state tax. Best thing about it is no more junk mail! Contact me privately and I will share the mailing address with you.