Moving is an extremely painful process. Just saying…
Once my wife and I decided to sell our house so that we might finally reside in the same town seven days a week instead of only on the weekends, the process of de-cluttering began—otherwise known as getting rid of sh$@.
In all fairness, some of the stuff we own is truly crap that needed cleaning out ten years ago when we first moved from our respective houses to this one. At one point between the two of us we owned three houses (almost four, but we sold that one before moving into our new house). I have no idea what I was thinking when I lugged some of that crap from our other houses ten years ago because we haven’t touched those boxes since we moved and none of it serves a useful purpose now or in our new clutterless life.
Now here’s where it starts to get interesting…there are numerous items that are painful to part with and that has been an evolving process for both of us. The art of negotiation and reasonableness goes right out the window as we both jockey for the essential stuff we wish to bring to our tiny 1,000 foot condo that by the way is already fully furnished. Admittedly most of those items are not your run of the mill crap, but very expensive artwork, electronics, and other sentimental items that both of us have a hard time letting go of.
I know I can’t take my Disney collection with me, but I snuck all the lithographs still in their Disney shopping bags into my car and plan on stuffing them into a corner of the storage unit. I have no logical reason for doing this, but sentiment and logic have nothing in common with one another. Yes, we’re getting a storage unit for all that stuff we simply cannot part with yet, but will not fit in the condo.
I’m not proud of myself as I confess that I wasn’t using any of the communication skills learned from my crucial conversations classes as I pushed my wife to let go of a fair number of her albums (vinyl) that I know for a fact she hasn’t touched in ten years. I may have used profanity…hanging my head in shame. Here is the after clutter picture, but note the vinyl that is clustered at the bottom (a spill over from the cabinet below).
Finally, we came to an amiable place and I texted her on Monday as the guilt from my Catholic upbringing overwhelmed me. I asked her to send me the dimensions of the cabinet she wants to bring to the condo. My initial reaction was horror, disbelief, and an adamant, “no way – not an option.” She quickly tossed out that my bronze statue (how could I possibly get rid of that) sitting on the stone pedestal shouldn’t come either if her cabinet wouldn’t fit. Good point, but at the time I didn’t necessarily see it that way. I was in a much more objective mood on Monday.
I’ve moved one of the trikes sitting in the condo’s second bedroom to storage and low and behold there is plenty of room for her cabinet and my statue!
Ultimately, we have the same important goal—to live together and enjoy life because after all everyone knows that life is too short. As we move through this painful process, keeping that goal in the forefront will be what saves our sanity.
By the way, we got rid of every single book with the exception of the signed books I purchased at last year’s GCLS from fellow authors and some of my wife’s helpful naturopathic books. I shed a few tears as I parted with some of my treasured books, including some first edition classics, but everything I let go of allows us to get closer to our goal. The picture below was before we packed up all our books.
Late breaking news….below is the stack of vinyl that my wife is getting rid of. There is compromise at work after all!
Thank goodness for e-books because they don’t take up much space at all. For those of you who have had to go through this process, just know that every one of my books comes in a space saving e-book!