Wednesday, January 16, 2013


My family is going to be moving more than 2,500 miles from a small town in Idaho to Orlando, Florida. We moved from Washington to Idaho just last year. And from Oregon to Washington a year and a half before that. Every time we move, we get rid of stuff that we don't use often and really don't need anymore. And yet with every move there's more stuff accumulated or more stuff that we thought we still needed and moved the last time. How do we have so much stuff? Seven years of marriage and two kids does that to you.

There are a few factors that make this move different than our others.

1) It's a lot farther. Our farthest move previous to this one was from Utah to Oregon. It seemed far at the time, but this time we are literally moving across the country. If we really don't need it or use it, why schlep it that far just to throw it away or donate it in a new state?

2) We're going for a complete climate change. We've been living in the dry areas of UT/ID or the cool rainy areas of OR/WA. Now we'll be going to the year round sun, heat, and humidity of Florida. Winter coats and flannel sheets will never be needed.

3) We'll likely be living in a lot smaller space, at least at first. Rent is significantly more there, so we'll be moving to the smallest space we can manage in while we rent.

It honestly feels good to get rid of a lot of stuff we never use. VHS and our VCR? Gone. When was the last time we used them? Sad to see some movies go, but if we care enough, we'll replace them with a DVD or BluRay.

Clothes are an interesting thing. We're getting rid of winter stuff--but we have to get through this last bit of winter before we do it. I went through my girls' clothes. Even though I have no current plans to have more children, I couldn't quite bring myself to get rid of stuff that my baby grew out of. But with this move I did it. I allotted myself one small bin per child for baby outfits that I wanted to keep for the sake of the memory. Then everything too small for my baby and everything of any size that they're not currently wearing that is for winter got either donated to a thrift store, put in bags to take to my sister-in-law for her little girl, or put aside to see if a consignment store will take them to get us credit for all the summer clothes we'll need to buy. At the end of the cold weather here, we'll get rid of all the winter stuff they're wearing right now

Books are my passion and I have a large collection. I never quite made it to 1000 books and now I never will. I'm keeping almost all of the children's books we have, but even though I have more than 200 they all fit on one small bookshelf because they're so small themselves. All of my other books I am going through and only keeping if they fit two or more of these criteria: 1) all time favorite, 2) will definitely read again, 3) are a nice copy (even if I love the book, if it's a cheap mass market paperback, getting rid of it will encourage me to get a nicer copy if I still care later on--much like going from VHS to BluRay), or 4) have sentimental value.

It's a bittersweet process to part with books. The best ones that I'm getting rid of are going to be sold at a used bookstore. Others will either be sold at a yard sale if we're able to have one or donated to a school, library, or thrift store. My husband will be grateful to not have to move so many boxes of books to move from house to house. Though he bragged about how many books I owned more than I did. He's talked about getting me a Kindle on and off. And now he definitely has to get me one for my birthday this year to replace all the books I'm purging. But the best books still deserve a spot on my shelf as a real paper book.

I don't love moving. But I do love the excuse to clean and organize and dejunk our lives. To evaluate the things we really need and use and what is just taking up space.

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