Too much stuff

How do you pack up your life in a month? Where do you start? I hear about people picking up and moving, it all sounds so exhilarating, so quick and clean.

Things started out that way.  I made the decision, quit my job, found renters.  The big important things were easy.

But what about all of my stuff?  So. Much. Stuff.  What do I do with it all? Year’s worth of careful collecting and curating. Vintage dishes and clothes and furniture and SHOES!

My little apartment is so full of stuff I don’t know where to start: ice buckets with penguins dancing in between the Bakelite handles, my multiplying collection of creamers in all shapes and colors and sizes, the budding collection of designer mid century furniture, (did I mention I like to collect things) Pyrex bowls, Fiesta ware pitchers, and oh so many SHOES.

I keep having little pangs of despair. Thoughts like: “I can’t give up that gorgeous little white creamer” pop into my head and for a second I am convinced I can’t go, I can’t be separated from some adorable little dish, or expertly molded bentwood chair.

NO!  Am I seriously going to forgo the dream of packing it all in and moving to the South of France and live out the rest of my days in Washington DC – over a creamer?

I decided to have a moving sale right away before I lost my nerve.

I counted 40 pairs of size 6.5 shoes lined up waiting to be adopted. Along with retro tea sets, a Cuisinart, spring form cake pans and endless summer dresses, winter coats, and handbags. The more cupboards and closets I opened, the bigger the piles of things to sell became.

Starting bright and early at 9 am the faithful began to appear ringing my buzzer, riding the elevator up to the third floor, perusing my possessions and carting them away.

As the day wore on, I watched the varied demographics of DC traipse through my door, inspect my wine glasses, and rummage though my books and baking pans. By 6 pm I’d made $1300 and called it quits.

The remainder is destined for donation and the sentimental portion of the packing process (I hope) has reached its end.

My new mantra: stuff is the enemy.  The more stuff, the harder it is to go anywhere.  Each cast iron pan, book, and mug, is another invisible little string tying me down and making it harder to leave.

And the problem of stuff is only one thing on my daunting list of things that needs to be done. For every one thing I check off my do to list three more blossom, like an invasive plant.

With romantic ideas of flitting off to paradise with nothing but a stylish carry on in tow now fully demolished, I realize its only going get worse from here.

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