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Selling, Giving Away and Packing up your LIFE

This process is both incredibly liberating but also sobering how the things that inevitably weigh one down, that you just “had to have” suddenly become part of a fire sale or even worse, part of a growing pile at the side of the curb.

Why did we keep all of this???

You keep asking yourselves the same question over and over again. Why did we keep all of this? Why did we buy any of this? What the heck is this thing for? Was this a gift? Is this even ours? And when did we ever use that?

The strange thing about having to move across the world is you stop seeing your things through the lens of “what if I need this” and start asking “why would I ever need this?” It’s like turning a magnifying glass over and seeing everything up close. You could finally see that so much of it was unnecessary.

The big toss out begins

So began my purge. If I couldn’t come up with extremely plausible reasons to wrap, pack, ship, unwrap and make use of the item, it was out.

Suddenly I morphed into a judge on America’s Got Talent (and not one of the nice ones). I was ready to toss it all! This is all rubbish! Next!! What was even better is that suddenly my husband, who LOVES to save everything, was right there next to me tossing things into the “not taking” pile with wild abandon. Who was this man? Where had he been for the last 16 years of our relationship? Pre-move, I couldn’t get him to throw away receipts for things we didn’t even own anymore. And I was no better. My family likes to hold onto things with the thought that there is always someone who could use it, but that philosophy leads to more clutter.

Now we were leading the charge. I could get used to this paired back way of life. We were Marie Condo-ing our way through the house.

The ony problem is that after weeks of deciding, packing, sorting, tossing, selling and giving away, there was always more. How can this be? We used to live in 600 sq feet in Manhattan. How did we manage to collect so much? The subarbs had given us a chance to expand. But more rooms just equaled more places to hide our stuff.

What’s it worth to you?

Selling our things that just wouldn‘t fit into an apartment was actually more fun than I thought. For instance, that side chair was great, but what was it really worth? Would I let it go for $200? $100? How about $80? Once we detached a bit it became easier.

Suddenly, my sales hat took over and I was weaving these intricate stories about each item as if they were my childhood friends that needed a new home. People must understand that they aren’t simply buying our furniture, but all of the possible future happiness that it will undoubtably bring with it! My husband found this to be quite silly until he saw how fast the peices started selling.

Even with all of the selling, it seemed like there was always more to figure out. In the end, we gave away a lot, sold some things, had some put in storage and threw away the rest. The process was eye opening and I’m hoping we don’t backslide (I’m talking to you junk drawer)

8 things I learned after going through this process

  1. Decide what are your absolute must haves

  2. Don’t bring any appliances with you to Asia (voltage in the different countries will make most of them useless!)

  3. You need a hell of a lot less than you think you do and the things that really make you happy are just a small fraction of what you actually own

  4. The most important items for the kids are sentimental (take as much of that as you possibly can- you can’t replace someone’s childhood stuffy)

  5. Clear plastic boxes are your friend

  6. You can’t get specific enough in your labeling (trust me)

  7. Unpack as much as you can on moving day. You’ll never feel more motivated than day 1.

  8. There will always be that one last thing that you didn’t bring but most cities today will have what you need or you can order

In all, the moving experience was taxing and emotional. But in the end, it’s all just stuff. Most of what we brought with us, made it unscathed, we forgot a few things that we wish we hadn’t and the rest we lived without. With our lighter footprint, we made room for a different part of life in our new home.

Now, it was off to our grand 15 day stay at the quarrantine hotel (ugh!)

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