I have had the misfortune to move myself and family many times throughout my life.  Sometimes across town, and sometimes across the country.  Each time there was the agonizing issue of going through our STUFF and deciding what things just could not be taken with us.  The task-important things like clothing; kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and dishes; laundry soap, and basket; oh, and tools, broom and mop were easy to agree on by all.  Certain furniture like beds, dressers, and of course, the tv just HAD to go.  But then with those necessities on the truck, the rest of the stuff loomed huge.

Hmmm.  There were photo albums, journals, old favorite shoes, and shirts.  There was the hockey stick and baseball bat … from third grade.  And G-G-Grandma’s sewing machine, and the exercise machine that nobody ever used.  There were trophys, awards, notebooks and binders!  And ALL THOSE STUFFED ANIMALS, O-M-G!!

On the up side, my children are grown and on their own, and I’ve been divorced for some time now, so the STUFF has diminished somewhat.  But I had large projects … like the 60 computers on racks in the garage I was working on.  The load of aquaponics systems on the side of the house – each in a different stage of completion or failure.  Something had to give, and give BIG!

Well.  I had to start somewhere, so I had heard somewhere that anything not used in six months was qualified to go.  That didn’t necessarily mean the trash, but could mean donated, handed-down, gifted, or sold.  And while accepting this, I still was no where near understanding where to begin.

Several evenings, I would go out to the tiny home, and go inside, close the door, and sit.  Just sit, … and look around at the space I had.  It was efficient, but nearly full already.  So I had to start soon.

So I started a mind based inventory.  Starting with something I’d wanted to do for a while. I had been using a laptop as my primary computer, with an iPad as secondary web access for some time.  Retiring the desktop became easy.  The box, monitor, keyboard and mouse were heavy and bulky.  So I pulled the hard drive, and donated the rest to a local electronics recycler.  GAWD it felt good to take that first step!!  The sense of weight lifting from my shoulders was palpable …. till I got home and looked around.  That lump fell into my stomach like a ton of bricks.

So I pushed on.  I worked to transfer music, movies, cd’s, and discs onto the backup hard-drive for use by the laptop.  And actually started a digital library for all the books I wanted to keep.  If I found a digital copy, the physical book was donated.  If not, it sat on the shelf a little while longer.

Text books from school were a bit more challenging.  Even heavy tech manuals from my programming days were screaming at me to keep them.  Funny thing is, most of them are for software that isn’t even available any more.

Guess they can go.  But I will keep the memories!

Ah, the memories.  Photos are scanned then passed on to the family members who want them.  Course … I just found two more huge boxes of photos.  gulp.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.  See you next time.