What it’s like selling, donating and trashing 95% of your belongings.

Clearly part of this process has been getting rid of our stuff. While some would not call a 2400 square foot house big, we considered it huge. Our boys have shared a room for years meaning we had 2 extra, unused bedrooms. We had a living room and family room but we only need one room for couch surfing making the family room a furnished hallway. It was just big. But it was also BEAUTIFUL. We spent the last 13 years blowing out walls, enlarging rooms, gutting bathrooms, completely remodeling the kitchen and other spaces. No room went unpainted (several times) or untouched by major DIY. Our home was gorgeous…and very “us”. We will certainly miss it. We will miss our wonderful neighbors. We will not miss the work that a big house and 3.5 manicured acres entailed.

I’m a purger by nature, making the process not-too-painful. But paring down from 2400 sq. ft. to 200-ish sq. ft. is daunting. Between Craigslist, the local Facebook yardsale group and my friends, I killed it. Surprisingly, Quinn and Cal did an amazing job purging as well. Shan and I had decided that if they weren’t willing to get rid of any of their things, that was OK and we’d put whatever didn’t go in the Airstream in storage—this adventure is change enough. But they purged with gusto!

We’re probably down to 20% of our old wardrobes. We only have 4 plates, 2 coffee mugs, 4 cups, 2 pots, 2 pans etc. Every time we prepare a meal we wash all the dishes, dry them and put them away, so we only need the bare minimum. I own 2 nail polishes. We have 6 towels (and I’m realizing we only need 4, but they’re expensive Turkish towels!). The boys went from rooms overflowing with toys that never/rarely  got touched to a few bins of their most cherished toys/books. From a basement full of Every. Tool. They. Make. to a couple small bins of travel tools. From an emotional standpoint, this endeavor was easy. The stuff that we cherish the most isn’t stuff. From a physical standpoint, it was a TON OF WORK. I still don’t know how I did it all while nervously starting homeschooling for the first time. The last couple months have been a BLUR.

Our 7.5′ x 10′ storage unit contains irreplaceable furniture pieces from my grandmother, some of Shan’s best tools and his old-man recliner, bins of special pictures/items and some bins of the boys’ toys/books. That’s ALL WE OWN. And damn, it feels good!!!

After this adventure is over, I think I have a new career in organization ahead of me.


2 thoughts on “What it’s like selling, donating and trashing 95% of your belongings.

  1. We have been going through this exact process while you all have. It sounds exactly like our story except we have 4 acres, a 10×10′ storage room & hired an estate sales team because I’m disabled and just couldn’t do it ourselves. I’m writing this from the RV, while the sale’s still going on. That and closing on the house and we are done. I can’t wait! Homeschooling break officially over, time to maneuver our new reality.


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