At age 40 when we bought our first house, pretty much everything we owned fit into our car. We had been on the road traveling for fifteen years and had a very small storage unit for bikes and some other sports equipment, a few pots and pans and probably a bed frame.
We were not about “stuff” we were about experiences. We have always preferred doing over having. And while that remains true, once we had the nest, we kind of….well…unknowingly filled it.
After circling the globe for almost two decades, we had become tired of searching through the storage locker looking for that blue shirt or the bicycle pump. We wanted to have a place to hang our heads even for the few days a year we were not on the road. We had no plans to slow down just a plan to get our “stuff” out of boxes.
And then it happened…..
We bought, furnished, and FILLED UP a house. I’m not quite sure how it happened but “stuff” began to accumulate. We started receiving gifts like monogrammed bathrobes for Christmas instead of the usual books we could read and simply pass on. We bought furniture and pillows and more sports gear. We didn’t mean to…really.
Then one day we looked up and realized how much “stuff” we had accumulated. But more importantly how much was simply sitting on shelves. Old camera lenses and underwater housings and old printers and laminating machines and dive gear. Things that we didn’t use but still held on to, sound familiar?
Then it hit us! We realized just how many AIRLINE TICKETS were here, sitting on these shelves. The next dive trip was wrapped up in old dive gear. The next mountain summit was buried beneath old climbing gear. The next photo safari was just out of shutter’s reach behind the lenses.
We spent the day, and I mean the ENTIRE day sorting gear. We made piles of “stuff” to go to Goodwill, donations to the library and local schools. Then we made piles of stuff we could sell. Things that were still in great shape but were just collecting dust. It was time to turn our trash into another man’s treasure and then into travel!
What’s in your basement, garage or back closet? Are you starting to get the picture here? Are you seeing the transformation of the closet in your back bedroom into a romantic beach getaway??
And so we began listing the old dive fins and the camera lenses. We sold a photo printer and a slide scanner. We found a new home for our telescope. The Ebay account started to rise.
It definitely took time and effort to do this but Sharkman diligently posted each week and I diligently boxed and taped and drove to town and shipped.
And a few things happened.
First, we emptied the garage of boxes and packing material that had accumulated through a few holiday seasons. Our state doesn’t recycle so we try to reuse all old packing material. And since we live rural everyone mails us things, no one “drops by” to drop off a package. So unexpectedly, the garage got a face lift!
Second, we found the back of our closets! And as our closets became uncluttered, so did our minds. No really….we found clarity in thought through clarity of space. It felt so liberating to be free of what was in the closet!
Third, we banked. By the end of two months of selling the trash in the closet, we had accumulated……what do you think? $3000 or $4000 worth of “stuff”?
Nope, we had bankrolled over $22,000!!!
Is your jaw on the floor? So was mine. I had absolutely no idea the extent of what we had. For granted, we had a lot of sports equipment but we are not unusual in respect to what we accumulated in just a few short years.
It’s summer, time for some summer cleaning and time to beef up that bank account. Give yourself an adventure incentive! Set up a separate bank account for your next Bucket List dream trip. Then put all proceeds from the sale of your “stuff” into that account.