Letting Go: The Art of Minimizing

It has been big year for minimizing and downsizing our material world to prepare ourselves for retiring to Italy.

In July 2011, Tracy and I put our house up for sale.  After living in the same home for the last 12 years, it was a big commitment minimize our possessions to move into a one bedroom apartment in preparation for moving into what will probably be an even smaller living space in Florence.

We went through the contents of the house and donated, recycled, sold, and trashed, trashed, trashed. We disposed of everything that would not be going to Italy with us and we would not be using through 2012.  We delivered surplus household items to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Committee to Aid Abused Women, Truckee Meadows Community College, Silver State Law Enforcement Museum, in-laws, children, friends, and Disposal Services.  The adult kids in town helped too with hauling things away.  Guess how quickly two college aged sons respond to the text message of, “Would you two want a bar for your apartment?”  I didn’t realize how much furniture sons Casey and Adam could fit in back of a Subaru hatchback.

Absolutely amazing the sheer volume of  material that can accumulate over the decades from two adults with eight children.  (Seriously, who still needs three bulletproof vests after being out of police work for a decade?) Even with trying to repurpose every item possible in the house, we filled one 14 cubic yard dumpster, two additional 6 cubic yard dumpters, and a 14 foot U-Haul truck with debris.  We mistakenly thought that the adult children had taken all their things with them when they moved out into the world.  No exactly true. Incredible how much is actually in what we thought was an “empty” house.

It’s incredibly liberating to free yourself from “stuff.”  Comedian George Carlin had a whole stage routine about “stuff” overtaking lives.  Tracy and my plan is to move to Italy with two large suitcases each.  We are passing keepsakes on to the adult children now and starting to live a minimalist life.

Moving from house to apartment was a huge step, next up is selling Tracy’s car over the summer and my car come November.  After years of used cars, minivans, station wagons, SUVs, Tracy and I love driving our two-seater convertibles, but they are not going to Italy with us so it’s time for the next major step in minimizing.

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3 thoughts on “Letting Go: The Art of Minimizing

    1. Believe it or not, reducing clutter and minimizing even a little feels pretty good, like making healthy lifestyle choices feels good. It gets easier the more you practice, we’re becoming experts!!

    2. It really is liberating. Amazing the stuff you carry from apartment to apartment, house to house, because you never had time to sort through it all.

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