Friday, January 28, 2011

Binge Over, Time to Purge

A few weeks ago, the last of our worldly possessions arrived on our doorstep.  For the last 7 years we've been in flux when it comes to keeping track of our stuff.   We've had things in storage, with both sets of parents, in the garages and basements of VERY GENEROUS friends, in transit and with us in our various domiciles.  And, now, with the exception of one box of ceramic angel figurines (don't ask) and another of pez dispensers, every single thing we own has been handled by us in the last 2 months.  A few things, like our crib, mementos from my and Kenny's childhoods and a patio table we had made in Caracas are being housed elsewhere because we know we'll want them in the future, but just don't need and can't store them now.  Otherwise everything else is crammed into our lovely, yet not as capacious as we would like, 1262 square foot condo.

Living overseas for the last 4 years has affected my storage habits in two significant ways.  1) We have weight limits for shipping and storage, so there is a maximum amount of things we can accumulate and keep.  2) Outside the US of A, if I need something specific and don't have it, acquiring it will be next to impossible so I have to plan ahead.  I am not a pack rat.  But, I am sentimental, perhaps overly so, and I like to be prepared, for every contingency.  And, I am.  Even the most unlikely of contingencies such as googly eye emergencies or pipe cleaner crises.  You know the kind I mean?

The thing is, though, we really do have too much stuff.  More than a family of 4 needs or could ever use.  I refuse to toss my memories, the real ones anyway, or the things I plan to need in the future (like baby stuff), but a lot of our possessions don't fall into either of those categories.  Like that lemon juicer I bought in Peru?  It reminds me of Lima, sure, but I don't have any fond recollections of a particularly good glass of lemonade it produced.  And, I haven't used it in entirely too long.  Or those suits from my former life as a lobbyist?  They're beautiful and fit well and were expensive.  But, I haven't needed them in years and probably won't anytime soon.  Or my collection of random fabric?  I do not have time to sew right now and won't again until we move to China.  And then...then I can go to the world famous fabric markets and buy anything I want or can even conceive of.

So, here's the deal.  I'm purging.  I'm going from Eagle Scout to Cub Scout on the preparedness spectrum and hardening my overly sentimental heart just a little.  We have approximately 500 days until we move to Beijing.  Every day between now and then I am going to get rid of something.  And, trash doesn't count.  This is not going to be one of those, if I buy something I have to toss something propositions, however.  I reserve the right to acquire more things, within reason and budget.  But, overall, I suspect I'll come out ahead, or rather behind.  I am determined to toss, give away or pass along something every single day until mid-summer 2012.  It has to be done, and I'm going to do it.  It's just one more facet of the improved, though not new 'cause I really am still the same person I was last month, me.  The me who drinks green smoothies and plays tourist in her own home town and performs random acts of kindness just because.

One more thing, I'll be keeping a list of the items purged.  Maybe I'll even post about it now and again just to keep myself honest and because I know you're overcome with curiosity.  And, just to get the ball rolling, today I got rid of the juicer.  1 item down 499 to go.  I'm feeling lighter already.  Oh, the fun we're going to have!
 

7 comments:

Caroline said...

I am an EXCELLENT thrower outer... you know, in case you need help.

Nicol said...

For most people January brings on a desire to eat healthy and workout, not me. January brought on the need to purge my house too. I'm going through every drawer, shelf, and box in every room of my house. I will deep clean everything and get rid of anything we don't need or like anymore. I'm actually having fun with it. I understand having too much including the pipe cleaners. My craft box is overflowing and really needs to go.

Good Luck to you!

Christie said...

I am the queen of tossing things in the trash. It makes me so happy. Wish I could come purge with you.

Lauren in GA said...

Ceramic angel figurines, huh? Oh, wait...you said not to ask.

Good luck with the other 499 things! I used to be a pack rat...but I have gotten better. It really is kind of liberating to purge.

Becky said...

We're in the middle of a purge too. Getting ready to leave post in 6 months. Love it!

Good luck!

laqne said...

You might want to keep in mind your professional sister who would could use suits etc, and would be happy to "keep" them for you till you may need them again. Just a thought...

Anne said...

Wait, what juicer?? Was it the lever kind? We bought one of those in Israel that I use daily. And I know someone that wants one like it. Just saying...

Sorry. Yeah! I love purging. I just wish my kids were on board with the purging of corn syrup and food dyes, etc. And plastic toys. Good luck! I am going to steal your 1 thing a day rule. At least 1. We can do it.

And sad about the ceramic angels and Pez dispensers. Maybe they will magically turn up. My impressive collection of OPI nail polish never did, but we move on eventually.

And I totally know about googly eye and pipe cleaner emergencies. They always arrive when you least expect them.

 

Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations