Monday, August 1, 2011

The material, it rips and tears apart

I sold my house in November of 2010. The housing bubble had burst, and home values were falling fast. I listed about 8% lower than the comparable homes in the neighborhood, and sold in 3 days. The selling price was right at my minimum that I needed. I feel very lucky. There are homes in that neighborhood that are still for sale, and now they are at a significantly lower asking price.
Downsizing from a 3 bed/ 2 bath ranch on 1/3 of an acre was no easy task. Every item was a memento that weighed 20 tons on my shoulders. How could I possibly get rid of that chipped coffee cup that held 50 different ink pens? That huge table top kitchen appliance we only used once? There were memories attached to every material object in the house.
And that was my answer. Material Objects.  I wasn't getting rid of the memories, just the physical items.
I moved myself into a small 1 bedroom basement apartment and slowly started moving over the items I thought I really needed to survive. It was surprisingly a very few items.  Family members came and took their needed mementos, then close friends, and then friendly acquaintances. There  was a disturbing amount of stuff left over. And it was all useless “stuff”. I contemplated a garage sale, but spending an entire weekend pawning my junk to strangers in hopes of receiving a couple hundred dollars was not my idea of a positive experience.
I settled on Craigslist.
The Free Section.
I hauled EVERYTHING into the driveway. I posted the ad with my address. In 20 minutes I had 20 cars blocking the street hauling everything away.  In 4 hours all that was left would fit into one trip to the Thrift Store donation center.
I considered myself downsized.

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