When we decided to do this extended trip, we also decided to clear house, sell whatever did not have significance and use a small storage unit to house everything we owned. All this in 21 days!
It was a chaotic 3 weeks, needless to say, helped along by 2 of our kids getting married. I had 10+ items on Craigslist at any given time, frantically responding to emails, calls and texts. And clear house we did. I am not a hoarder, in fact, I hate seeing a full fridge, full closet, full pantry (comes from growing up in 450sqft). Tom, on the other hand, has a tendency to hang onto things which means the three weeks was harder on him than on me.
To make a long (and crazy) experience short, we now fit into the Subaru and a half-full 7×10 storage unit.
And the process made me wonder…why do we hang on to stuff? What is it that makes us identify with what we own? If we could loosen the grip our belongings have on us, would we feel lighter?
Some practical things to clear your (physical) mess – ask a friend to help you if you feel buried in crap; stop shopping for more stuff; stop watching the ads on TV or reading them in magazines; get outside more (and to the mall doesn’t count!). There are a few things everyone can do to change habits they want to change … become better acquainted with your body and your needs by using yoga, Tai Chi, walking, running, whatever movement allows you to truly get to know your body and find the “zone”. Perhaps using meditation, spiritual reading, music will allow your mind to clear and heart to open. Give it time and be kind to yourself.
It has been asked a thousand times but it bears another go-round… what would you want to save if your house were on fire? I don’t mean you can grab one small bag of photos. I mean, if you had 3 weeks to clear out your life, what would you pay to put in storage?
Good luck with the journey; let me know how it goes.