Jun 29, 2014

Getting Rid of Things.

So the third week of July I am having a garage sale. I have never had a garage sale in my life unless you count all the times my sisters and I played "garage sale" when we were kids. And actually I must stop right here and tell you before I get too far into this story that since I live in New England we actually have to call this selling of my items in my driveway a TAG sale not a garage sale. True story, garage sales are tag sales in New England.

I have never needed to have a tag sale before. I totally know how to not hang on to stuff. I could practically write the book about not hanging onto stuff. I am not into clutter in any little, teeny, tiny way. But my life is changing and Natalie, Tatiana and I are moving to Oregon the first part of August. And as awkward as it feels to have strangers looking at my stuff in my driveway, deciding if any of it is worth anything to them, this tag sale thing has to happen. I am cutting back and simplifying in an extreme way and the need for a tag sale has finally found a spot in my life .

This is hard my friends. I have to look at every single thing in my house and wonder is this going to the;

Tag sale pile?
Or the Goodwill pile?
Or the, "some good friend will want this" pile?
Or the, "this means so much to me that it is worth moving clear across the United States of America" pile? Oh wait, I almost forgot the Craigslist pile.

Some stuff is just worth more than you can ask at a tag sale. Not much stuff in my case...but some stuff. I am excited about this simplifying process but we are talking about twenty five and a half years worth of stuff for a family of seven. Yard stuff. House stuff. Canning stuff. Outside stuff. Toys stuff. Expired medicine stuff....(oops) Book stuff. Craft stuff. Food storage stuff. 

I kept telling myself that this process would not start until after my son Zach and his wife and my grandbaby ended their visit with us on June 23rd. This date felt so far away every time I said it and then boom, it was June 24th and I instantly felt very smooshed with the reality of what I had to accomplish in a mere five weeks. I have been looking around objectively at things in my house for quite awhile making mental lists but nothing prepared me for the reality.

For example, I knew that my brown Ikea corner hutch had all my cd's and cassettes in it but when I actually sat down and started looking through it and sorting I was overwhelmed. I had always been sure that everything in this cupboard was important and necessary but there I was sitting on my hardwood floor staring at a Selena cassette wondering when was the last time I listened to that? The Go-Go's were there too. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack anyone? I had two boxes of cassettes and now.....I have none....but Goodwill has lots. I was ruthless. Taking deep breaths and reminding myself that the next time I felt the need to listen to the Out of Africa soundtrack that I bought while I was at BYU in the Eighties I could surely find it on youtube. And I called myself a "throw away things" girl??

The first day I started this enormous, overwhelming, going to kill me, project I was ALL over the place. I started in my closet and wandered to the basement and the kitchen and had to finally had to force myself to focus. So my closet is done and my cupboard in the bathroom is done.

I am getting rid of pretty much everything in my house. And let me tell you that is so weird. I have spent some considerable time thinking about what I am attached to and why. I have determined that I only have two furniture items that mean anything to me. My white Crate and Barrel hutch is one of them. I worked so hard for that hutch because it was discontinued and the remaining ones were scattered across the country at various outlet stores. I found the top half in Boston and the bottom half in Michigan and when they arrived a little important part on one of the feet was missing and I found that at an outlet store in California. It was epic and I love this hutch and what it reminds me I can do when I put my mind to it. Besides it is the only piece of real, not Ikea, not given to me furniture that I own. I am worried it may not be able to come with me. The other furniture item I love is two wicker chairs that my children hate but I love. I got them from a darling older lady in my ward at church that I used to go visit and help. They remind me of her front porch, sitting there, and chatting. I like things around me that have a story or a memory and the hutch and wicker chairs do that but the rest of the house just reminds me of Ikea :) I do love my kitchen table and it has a great story but it is too big and I no longer need it so I am doing the next best thing and give it to a dear friend who I know will love it, entertain with it like I did, have good conversation around it like I tried to have, and carry on the story.

I need to find the perfect home for my house plants. I am so sad these can not come with me but I am not taking a car and they will not survive a week in a moving van so they must stay. I have a teeny tiny jade plant that my dear friend Gail gave me from her jade plant and I really want to keep it. I also have this spider plant that a lady at work gave me when she heard my silly story about how I had a spider plant that I unknowingly watered with a glass of Dr. Pepper while thinking it was a cup of water...yes, Dr Pepper kills plants :) I love that this sweet lady not only listened to my story but took action and took some of her spider plant and re-potted it for me. There are other plants but these two have stories and you know how I feel about stories.

I am sure this is all going to work out splendidly in the end but I would be lying if I did not mention that there are some days I long for some support as I manage this all in between working and keeping up the house and the yard and meeting the emotional needs of everyone in the house and on missions. Not someone to fix anything because even though it may not appear that I am fixing to you I actually am....no I just long for someone to share with...... Everyone loves to share packing and moving and tag sales right? :)


Kristy said...

I am also having a tag sale -- on July 12! We can pretend we're doing it together. :)

Kelleen said...

I really need to have a tag sale but I hate them really really bad so instead I have way too much junk. I wish you were my neighbor dear sweet Jennifer and I would come right over and visit with you and help you tag things. Best of luck dear friend.

Joan said...

This post gave me a pit in my stomach. I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this process. I wish I were there to help. I still miss some of the things I left behind. Speaking of "Out of Africa," did you know that is my favorite movie? Let's watch it together sometime :)

Anonymous said...

Sister Baird, I've been quietly following your blog posts here and there and this one is one that I really understand. Not too long ago I had to go through the same process of getting rid of everything; not just my stuff but the stuff that belongs to my family, and I couldn't believe the sentimental value attached to some of the things I hadn't picked up in forever. For the things you absolutely love, don't rationalize them away and get rid of them. Even though I felt light leaving with just a few boxes and a few suitcases and headed straight for my new life, there are things I wish I hadn't gotten rid of. As for the seemingly ridiculous things I lugged across the country, I find them even more precious now that we made the journey together. People said that the little Japanese vases (and other items) that I decided to keep would not really be useful in my new life, but they are a surprising piece of comfort and joy in my heart.

Good luck with your move! And take many deep breaths! <3

Unknown said...

I love reading your posts on facebook and on this blog! They always interest me and usually make me laugh. YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK!
You are strong and courageous and I'm glad that our paths crossed in Lawrence and again on facebook. You inspire me to be more courageous and see humor everywhere! I'm so happy that you have found peace! Keep writing - I will keep reading. I can't wait to hear about the cross country train trip! Love you! Beth