Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Stuff is like lobster

Labor Day just passed us by. When I spoke with friends about what they did, I got a little jealous. They were at the lake or the beach, kicking back, relaxing (you get the picture). What was I doing on Labor Day? I was laboring. Ryan and I spent the day sorting through all of our stuff. Categories included: Recycle, Throw Away (stuff that can't be recycled and no one in the world would want it), Sell, Give Away and Keep. So much stuff!

One of my projects was going through boxes of photos that I've been carrying around with me for years. Thank goodness for digital cameras! I can't believe how many pictures I used to have developed in the olden days. My mission: to make choices about which photos to keep and scan and which to toss.

It went something like this:
  • Pictures of friend's babies from five years ago: out.
  • Christmas photos of friends and their families: out (sorry guys!).
  • Any picture taken during my fat years (1999-2001): out.
  • Endless photos of scenery with no people: out.
  • Misc photos of friends in misc poses (all extremely tasteful, of course): out.
  • The best current photos of friends and family: in.
  • Older photos of friends and family: in.
  • The best photos of me: in.
You really have to be ruthless. Ryan and I decided we would be with everything. We want to take as little as possible with us when we move. Even sentimental stuff is going bye-bye. I like this idea -- if you want to remember something, take a pictures (digital). Something I read once challenged the idea that memories have to be attached to things. You always have your memories with or without things (until you get dimentia, that is).

Moving beyond photos, we went through almost every closet, every draw, and the garage. In the end, we have a garage full of stuff that we are shedding. Our yard sale will be the week before the move. We are selling the items that can fetch $2 (big money at a yard sale) and up and the rest we are giving away.

I'm envisioning the sign, "Hundreds of items for free!" I'm sure this will result in tons of traffic, but will it be quality? The big question you ask when putting on a yard sale (right).The problem with the "free" strategy is that people will come with the cheapest mindset possible and will expect to get a lawn mower for $.50. Hmmm...I need to think about this one a little more.

Our yard sale will be the magnitude of a two or three family one because we are getting rid of half our stuff. Ladders, TVs, couches, tables, chairs, weights, ice cream maker, toaster, volleyball net, dress up clothes (don't ask), photo albums, snowblower, lawnmower, Ryan's "my little pony collection" (just seeing if you are still paying attention), I mean, Ryan's diver gear...the list is endless. (If you are interested in any of our stuff, just let me know. You will get the generous friends and family discount ; )

It's a very cool feeling to shed stuff. It really is similar to losing weight. Your like, "I can see my feet again!"
Some our stuff, we bought just five years ago when we moved into the house, but I'm okay with that. Sometimes you have to experience one thing to figure out that you want something different.

Bye bye, stuff! You've been great, but really you are a little like lobster, overrated. I'm just as happy with a tuna melt.


  1. Not the volleyball net! As long as you keep 1 volleyball :)

  2. where you moving to?
    not that I need more stuff....but what kind of lawnmower and snowblower do you have?
    mine are both close to 15 years old and not very cooperative sometimes.

  3. Jack (hailium), I am keeping TWO volleyballs! As for the net, I've found that there are so many people with sand courts in their backyards these days, I don't need a net. : )

    Jsp, we are moving to Lowell. I can get specifics on both from my husband if you want them. There aren't anything special. In fact, the snowblower might be 100 years old. The mower is decent.

  4. Love the lobster comparison. Glad to get a chance to read your blog (just got in from Colorado last night, as you know). Look forward to following your progress. A great lesson for all of us!