One of the biggest leaps of faith that I ever took was when I left journalism and started my life down here in Rochester. And even though this involved one of the most idiotic tracks of thinking I’ve ever possessed (i.e. – I moved down here and didn’t have a job set up. I was unemployed for five weeks before I secured my current job), I also tried to be “smart” about it. I had enough money in savings to float for about two to three months, but I wouldn’t be living in the lap of luxury. So I found this apartment for $400 a month in rent, but while it actually did have three rooms (a bedroom, a bathroom and a main living area), it was roughly about the size of my home’s living room and maybe half of the kitchen. It was cheap, it was in a dubious neighborhood, the heater broke the first week that I lived there (At the end of November. In Minnesota – brrr!) and it was officially the smallest place I had lived in since my dorm life in college. But it forced me to do something very important – I had to pick and choose what I wanted in this apartment – there was no way that I could bring every book I had amassed, every movie or every CD in my collection. Several things were donated to charity and several plastic totes of “stuff” went into my grandma’s garage for storage.
I made a visit to my hometown yesterday and considering that I now live in a permanent residence and that my grandma’s garage is prone to flooding, I decided to reclaim some of said stuff and it’s now residing in the backseat of my car.
It’s kind of funny – I remember how much it sucked to pack up my CDs and my movies. How I thought at the time that these things wouldn’t be in storage for too long and that I’d be surrounded by all of my stuff again sooner or later.
Well, three years later – I’m more concerned that my poor husband is going to have a heart attack when he sees how much crap I have than about the actual stuff itself. I totally understand that philosophy I’ve heard that people have – if you have it in a box and haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.
But since I’m not donating four tubs of CDs, random VHS tapes and my senior year prom dress to the Goodwill (prom dress … maybe.), I’m seriously considering trying my luck on eBay or Craiglist. If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear your advice!
Speaking of stuff and speaking of my grandma – she actually passed on in February and my family is finally getting around to holding a garage sale to sell her clothing. When my grandpa passed on, we actually donated a majority of his clothes – he didn’t have a lot and what he had was in really great shape. His death also coincided with a really bad flood that occurred north of my hometown, so my family decided to donate his clothing towards the flood relief effort.
My grandma was a different story and going through the closet that she had in the back of my mother’s office, I saw that maybe some of my spendthrift ways have been hereditary. Coats? I tried on at least five of them and took two. Sweaters? DOZENS! Polyester slacks? I came across about five pair of black ones. And those were just black slacks.
I ended up revamping a portion of my wardrobe with some shirts and blouses I found from “shopping” grandma’s closet. I took at least one shirt because it still smelled like her and there were a couple that I remembered her wearing when I was a child. I also scored a raincoat, a winter coat and a Columbia jacket that I’m probably going to give my husband.
The key to acquiring more stuff? It’s time to go through my closet and get rid of some of my other clothes.
As much as I love the memory of my grandma and as much as her being a stylish person is seared into my memory as being one of her key characteristics, I’m trying to negate my heredity and to NOT be a pack rat. 🙂
I’ll let you know how it goes.
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