Preparing for full time travel. What do we keep and let go?
Donetta and I are now only two months away from selling everything to pursue our dream.
It's surreal to think we are that close to leaving Oklahoma to begin a new adventure. While there's a sense of excitement, I admit there's also a bit of sadness creeping in.
Last weekend we pulled a dozen buckets down from our attic that contained 49 years of wonderful memories. It was a sobering reminder of how life truly passes by in the blink of an eye! It was also an eye opener of just how much stuff we can accumulate and keep over our lifetime.
Unfortunately preparing for full time travel requires us to evaluate a LOT of choices including what must be kept and what must be let go.
It's only stuff right?
While I do believe there is great benefit in letting go and moving on, it's not that simple either.
Both of us have "collectibles" we've owned since birth. We have items from our grandparents and parents that mean the world to us. And there are the priceless buckets of toys and clothes from our own children. All with a story we never want to forget.
As important as each item is, there's also the realization that 90% of it hasn't been seen in at least 14 years or more. We might say we can't live without "that" but in reality we have because it's been a forgotten treasure placed in a plastic tomb for decades.
It's interesting to think about the stuff we keep in the hopes of using it, displaying it, or passing it onto the kids or grandchildren someday. It seems silly in many ways. Besides, why not enjoy it now if it's that important? That's a damn good question.
The struggle IS real.
I remember reading a journal from my dad where he talked about the stuff he collected over the years. He worried about losing it all in a tornado or whether his kids would even want it some day -- thoughts I can relate to.
Perhaps everything could be lost in a disaster or the kids toss it in a dumpster after we die. We don't really know what will happen. What we should probably be asking is whether it's worth the stress to save every piece of tangible memory we've inherited over a lifetime.
It's not an easy decision.
My decision making process so far.
Without the help of Oprah or Dr. Phil .. and a little help from a few good IPA beers, I've been able to come up with a plan that works for me and hope it will be a good one in the end.
Non-sentimental belongings will go away.
All of us have so much junk we don't need or use that gets stored. Why not sell it or give it to someone in need? That's what we're doing with the exception of a few items. Furniture, house decorations, housewares all must go. Perhaps you can own it. LOL!
Sentimental family keepsakes will stay.
These are the family heirlooms and collectibles I could never let go of, even if they were worth money. Sentimentally they are priceless and can't be replaced. Some items will go to my kids now to enjoy it before I'm dead, but the others will be stored for when we settle down again.
Sentimental personal keepsakes are evaluated.
Baby toys. Star Wars collection. Comic books. Edged weapons. All are being evaluated for their fate. Some stuff has been donated, thrown away, or liberated by the kids. Other collectibles I will keep or give to people who would appreciate them.
Only time will tell the complete story.
Preparing for full time travel definitely comes with its ups and downs. While the process of agonizing over what to keep has been a challenging exercise, it's also been good.
As our house becomes less cluttered and open, I also feel a huge sense of relief. There are less things to worry about and stress over. Minimalism as a lifestyle feels right -- like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Maybe Donetta and I will feel different once all we "own" is packed into a few buckets and bags in the back of our Ford Explorer, but I don't think so.
Investing our attention and money into life experiences will be more rewarding than owning a houseful of shit that someone else will rummage through once we've crossed the rainbow bridge. But maybe I'll leave a bucket full of shocking items just to embarrass my kids. Who knows! :)
How would you decide what goes and what stays?