Saturday, January 02, 2010

A New Year with Less Stuff

I should have allowed George and I to have a relaxing day today but I didn’t. I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of us. The amount of research needed, packing needed, busy work, and so on is just a lot to take in and find time for. It takes a lot of planning to turn your lifestyle upside-down in such a profound way. So many things have to be done and planned for if you want to go from living a standard lifestyle to living in an RV, touring the US and doing it so you are not bankrupted.

Yesterday, we worked at finalizing the RV deal we hope will happen. As I wrote before, we are looking at a 1996 National Dolphin with a slide. The sellers are a nice family who had some hard luck and ended up living in their RV – but not by choice. Now things are looking up for them and they wish to move into an apartment and start over—thus, they are selling the RV. The husband and wife are super nice people and I was happy to meet them. Regardless, because of their working schedule, we were trying to find a RV inspection company that could do the inspection on a Saturday. This was an impossible task. George spent over two hours on the phone trying to locate a garage to do the work, but mechanics apparently mostly work Monday through Friday! At the last minute, the sellers found they could make a Wednesday appointment and so we will do it then!

Next, we are trying to coordinate with our credit union for what we need to do to get the small loan. But that was hard since our representative at the bank is super, crazy busy and it’s hard to get him on the phone. I swear that poor man works non-stop. Anyway, that was yesterday, 2009, today is 01/01/10 (I love the symmetry and tomorrow’s date will be a palindrome! 01/02/2010).

Today I looked around at all our stuff and had a heart attack (well not really, just minor panic in the form of my heart pounding out of my chest cavity). We have so much stuff. I mean a lot of crap. What will we do with it all? I can’t simply sell EVERYTHING because what if this experiment of our goes south and we hate the life style of fulltiming in an RV? In that case, I will want some of my stuff! Then there is the fact that I am in possession of many sentimental items from my family: photos, pictures, figurines, pop’s pray shawls, mom’s journals and writings among other things. We cannot simply sell this stuff. Hell, what do I do with my wedding dress? We have decided on a small (about 10x 5) storage unit. At 60 dollars a month (approximately) it is not that bad.

Well, freaking out, I made George help me go through our stuff. First we tackled the Christmas and Hanukah decorations. We got it all down to a single box! Most of the rest (about 4 boxes of “stuff”) will be given away. We also started going through my books (that’s a task and a half) and George’s sports stuff. The last task of the night was our movies. I suspect that we will not be watching too much TV while we are on the road, and so I want our movies. We tackled the challenge of taking all the DVDs out of their packaging, dividing the whole mess into genre, and then putting the films and TV series into two large DVD holders. The process of dividing recyclable material from non-recyclables was daunting. We now have three bags full of empty DVD covers we hope we can give away.

People I talk to about our planned adventure tell me that getting rid of your belongings is a liberating experience and you feel lighter for the effort. This may be true, but I have found that I place a lot of emotional value on several things. Mostly, I believe, these emotions are linked back to items that belonged to my mom or pop and now that they have died, I feel like getting rid of the item in question is like dismissing my folks and their memory. I know this is not true intellectually, I mean keeping a hat from the 60s will not bring my mom back, but emotionally it is a whole different ballgame! I keep trying to tell myself to be strong and that it is ok to keep the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Series and get rid of the hat I have never worn. Well, needless to say this will be a continuing daunting task! Here is to New Year’s Resolutions and the realization that “stuff” is not love!


  1. I empathize with you in going through your "stuff." So many memories! Since you'll have a storage shed, keep things like the hat that you feel attachment to. Do you have friends or relatives you could get to store some of the things that aren't as easily boxed? Would photographing them capture their memory?

    If you do keep them, come back and go through the items you have in storage once a year or so. You may find you can let go at a later date more easily than now.

    Good luck in getting your loan and the RV. I hope it passes inspection.

    Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

  2. Greetings Jaimie,

    Many thanks for stopping by and reading. Your suggestions are wonderful and I thank you. I am hoping we can keep some of the more treasured things, family books and such, at a relative's house but I do not want to count on it. I figure we will store stuff for a year as a fail safe (in-case we do not like the lifestyle). Put a photograph is a good idea as well.

    I love your blog by the way and I also your book! It has been a great asset.



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