Pre-Purging

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After a long, heartfelt discussion over the last couple of weeks about our current wants, needs, and future goals; and a careful weighing of pros and cons, we have made the decision to find a new home when our lease ends next year. It was not an easy decision to make, nor will it be a pain or stress free transition after just having packed up and moved this past May to our current home, but it is definitely the smart thing for us to do, given what we want to do in the (hopefully) not too distant future and what we need to do to get there. The needs we had when we rented this place are not the same needs we have now, and it is cost prohibitive for us to remain beyond the current lease.

The plus side of making this decision now is that we have a lot of time to prepare for the move. We started a massive purging process prior to moving to this place and we have decided to keep going. I have reached a point in my life that getting rid of “stuff” is far more gratifying than adding to our possessions, so we are taking inventory of what we still have and what we can do without. Although we have 6 months before we will have to move, I am a “no time like the present” kind of guy so I decided we should get to it.

First to go were 4 pieces of furniture that were too big and too heavy for transitional apartment dwelling and were entirely unnecessary for us to keep. Thanks to Freecycle, 3 pieces are gone and the fourth will be picked up this evening. Next, we are uploading all of our music from our CD collection to our iTunes so we can finally be rid of the 400+ CDs we have and the shelves they are stacked on. We had started this process a few years back but never finished. It is going quickly and I anticipate we will be done by this weekend and the CDs and racks will be gone before Monday.

We will then begin weeding through clothes, toiletries, linens, dishes, books, games, tools, hardware, software and what remains of our tchotchke. With each item we dispose of, I grow more enthusiastic about the process. I am experiencing a sort of anti-materialism. Not only do I want to see us pare down to the smallest amount of possessions we can get by with and still be content, I am enjoying the act of giving our stuff away to people who want and need it, friends and strangers alike. Not only will this make our next move easier, it is making me feel good about giving perfectly good possessions to people who might not otherwise be able to have them.

I have spent 40 years cluttering my life with unnecessary possessions, people, problems and pressures. My life changed drastically this year and I have felt a major shift in what I want, need and expect out of life and the things and people in it. If what I am going through is what is classically known as a mid-life crisis, I am bucking the norm by doing the opposite of what might be expected of me: instead of the fancy new car, hair plugs, divorce and trophy boyfriend, I am finding a new found comfort with who and what I am, who I’m married to, what people I have in my life and the things I surround myself with. I am shedding the clutter and narrowing my focus on those things that really matter to me. Things I really want and need. The rest can go, and I am disposing of it with great satisfaction and glee.

It is my hope that, come May 2012, the only things we will bring with us to our new home will fit in the current collection of plastic binswe invested in during our last move. When I have trouble conceiving of
that, I consider the world around me and how little some people are forced to survive on and live with and, sadly, do without. There is no amount of purging I can do that would realistically put me on or anywhere near an even keel with the worst off of us. Armed with that knowledge and awareness, it grows easier with each passing day to pay it forward, pass it on and purge it out of my home and life.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to the move but, with each item we dispose of, I dread it less.

And less dread is never a bad thing.

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8 Responses to Pre-Purging

  1. BosGuy Blog says:

    Moves are always disruptive, but like you note, they can provide a lot of opportunity. Enjoy the purge and good luck with the move next year.

    BosGuy

  2. Urspo says:

    this all sounds good! I am glad for the both of you,
    Less is better.

  3. tornwordo says:

    Cool! I can’t believe that 11 years ago we came to Canada, after having sold all our possessions, with two suitcases and a computer, that our garage and storage space are FILLED as is our domicile. I’m jealous.

  4. Victor says:

    When you’re done purging your possessions could you come over to Sydney and purge mine too? Thanks.

    🙂

  5. Raybeard says:

    That attitude of taking decisive action to clear out what is impractical to keep is so enviable. Wish there was someone here to make me do the same – always hanging onto any and everything ‘just in case…..’. Result – total clutter!
    Looking forward in coming months to reading about your hunting for and moving to an eventual ‘better’ domicile.

  6. anne marie in philly says:

    interesting…in this house, spouse is the pack rat and I am the minimalist. I don’t need much to make me happy. hopefully you are not divesting yourself of your comic book collection!

  7. Jay says:

    Sean, I read this post and thought I would comment…it has been a while since I have looked at a blog. As you know, I deleted all the posts from my blog and basically gave up on trying to “connect” with people via that medium. The people I want to be friends with I am outside of the blogger community and those are the ones who really know me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that you use the blog world as a way to connect and communicate with people, but, you also know it is equally important to connect with people in your proper or real life. Living online is such a sad state of how too many people actually live. I would hate to hit a major milestone in my life and have to look to my online persona for validation of my existence.

    I am happy to see you are in the process of purging the clutter from your life. I too have spent the last few months purging a lot of crap from my life…both literally and figuratively. I know exactly where you are coming from when you talk about evaluating all the stuff in your life…that stuff can be material possessions or thoughts or people you know. I have done work on getting rid of the things in my life that don’t bring me joy. By doing this, I have opened up my life to a new world of possibilities and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been!

    I value you as a person and I know that I will still be able to connect with you here, on Facebook, via text, phone or email. An interesting book you may want to read is the 100 Thing Challenge [http://guynameddave.com/the-book/]. Although it is a bit drastic on the reduction of clutter, it is something to think about…of course, once you read it, you will have to “get rid of it”…you can’t have that as one of your 100 things!

    Hope your Tuesday is going great and I look forward to talking to you soon! I will keep my schedule updated and if there is an opportunity for a spring trip through Albany, NY…you know I am there. Another weekend of hanging out at the Hamlet and having a good time with you and Jeffrey is just what my soul will need and deserve!

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