I can’t believe it… I’m done!

It’s been almost a 8 year journey.

I started to simplify my clutter and stuff over 8 years ago. We had a huge 3,000 square foot house and I had so much stuff, it was unbelievable. My mother is a bit of a collector/hoarder, and I learned from the best on how to store and pack and hoard a ton of stuff. When I was newly married and we contracted with a moving company to take all my worldly processions across the country, the estimator bragged about being on the estimate mark within 100 pounds all the time. Well, when we actually arrived in San Diego, the truck was over by a ton. 2,000 pounds off the mark. I tell you, I was very good at stuff acquisition.

When we moved back from San Diego to the Detroit area, we actually had to hire a U-Haul truck to take our library to the post office to mail it back… media-mail! We had over 50 big boxes full of books… and they had to use a special truck to deliver them all! I can’t remember how much it cost, but still, when I think back, I’m slightly appalled at the whole ordeal. At the time, I thought those books were so important, yet in hindsight most of them were just junky books we got all over the place… impulse bought and I suspect that MANY were never read. Both my husband and I thought we were so in love with books and reading, but I think we were really just in love with HAVING the books around. Like some sort of badge of honor.

So, about 8 years ago, I started to think that this stuff was swallowing me alive. It was. I started to sell things on Ebay, and had a big garage sale or two. Just started to sort through it all. Slowly, slowly, slowly.

Definitely, the divorce and loss of my home through foreclosure 5 years ago certainly pushed me to get serious on the level of stuff I had. I pitched a lot of excess stuff and then stuffed a small storage unit, but I still had a lot of stuff. Moved to a 1200 square foot rental house and still had some boxes that hadn’t been opened for years! Crazy. But it’s hard to really make a ton of changes when your going through tough, emotional times. But still, I did my best to keep sorting and distilling down all the clutter in my life.

Last spring, we went and culled out our shed and got that ship-shape and stripped. It’s stayed really nice and it will be easy to stash our yard stuff for the winter.

And over the summer, we went through our small storage unit and ditched a lot of stuff and re-organized it very nicely. We actually brought it down by almost half the space. Everything in there we know and we want.

And just a month ago, I went through all my craft and media shelves and pantry and got that down to just exactly what I want to keep.

And then this weekend, I went through the last of my home storage and closet and I am officially done. Yep, gone through everything and it’s all what I want and need to keep. And I think it would all fit into a small U-Haul truck. Feels simply amazing.

I think that I would be very hard pressed to find a grocery bag of things for a Goodwill drive. And very difficult to find anything for a garage sale. My books are down to less than 50. All my media is stashed in just three Ikea storage boxes. Clothing down to less than 50 items (not counting undies and socks… just outer shirts, etc) (No one seems to ever count undies and socks in those 100 items or less things….) And I have all my pictures and wall things and knicknacks down to just what I really love.

I think the hardest area to deal with was my crafts. I love doing crafts, but I rarely seem to have much time of late to do them. I did reduce and stash a few of my crafts for awhile… beading, and wool rug hooking… knitting and crochet. And the things here at the Moby are sewing, scrapboooking and a bit of knitting. Oh yes, watercolor and silk painting as well. Haven’t done those in forever but been thinking I might try and get back into it. Always enjoyed it.

I just can’t tell you how wonderful it feels. It really does.

The last few months I’ve been very careful about what I bring into the Moby… buying very little because of a lack of funds and just really not wanting much. Too busy working and trying to get back on track over this poor sales summer. I think we’re getting back on track so that really is good. It feels so cool! 8 years in the making… and everything is finally done, sorted, stripped down, condensed and organized!

I suppose one of the nice things about foreclosure and divorce and all is that no one will give me credit, so that means I don’t have the ability to get very deep in debt ever again! Of course, eventually I might be offered some, but by then, I’ll have been on a cash only basis for so long, I really doubt I’ll consider taking any up on it. It’s just not good. It’s way too easy to get into trouble with it. No thanks, Chase!

Throughout this adventure, I have read numerous blogs, books and articles about downsizing and the simple life. And so many think that you need to strip down to just about nothing… I considered that, but in the end, I just couldn’t do that. Something about living with only 100 items or something like that, just seemed to be a little too Spartan for me. I do like things… I love a nice candle or some craft tool, a big of geeky computer gear, etc. Books… that was a tough one for sure. But you know, I have one nice little glass door bookshelf and it pleases me to no end when I look at the books I simply adore and reference all the time. It’s so much more rewarding and special. I like that fact that if I needed to up and move, I could do so very easily and without the need of a bunch of friends or burley movers.

I’m very proud of my daughters as well. They do have a lot of things in their room, but it’s just one room and they have really been careful as well, to just keep the things that they adore and enjoy. Considering that the two share a 14 by 14 foot room and you can see the floor and all, I think that’s a pretty good thing for two teenagers!

Since we don’t have a garage or a basement, it’s really nice to know that we don’t have these clutter points that most folks have. Just a little 8 x 8 shed and a 5 x 10 storage unit. That’s it.

Well, hope this encourages some folk… simplifying is not something that has to be in just a few weeks or a month. It can be a many month or even year journey. It’s the path you want and need to consider. It might take you eight long years and a lot of ups and downs on the pathway!

But, you’ll get there if you just keep at it. I know you can do it!!! I did!!!

Sigh…. time to knit!!! Yah!!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


I can’t believe it… I’m done! — 2 Comments

  1. I am trying the downsizing thing. We are going to have a yard sale in about 3 weeks. I need to start getting rid of the stuff I don’t use or don’t even know I have… LOL
    I know you are glad to be where you are at with downsizing!!

  2. Congratulations! I’m on a similar path and I couldn’t agree more when you say how great it feels. LOVE your blog entries; thank you.