Preparing to Leave

Preparing to leave

All of our stuff into a storage locker and a vehicle . . . everything?

We as Americans tend to define ourselves at least partly by our stuff. Most of us think – “Oh not me! Certainly I’m above all of those materialistic things”. But when you come face to face with ALL of your possessions you realize – man, I’ve got a lot of stuff.

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In spite of spending the last few years paring down our possessions to our favorites we still have a storage locker that’s almost full and a house full of furniture etc. Well it’s the “etc.” that is more voluminous than you can imagine. Tools ( garden, mechanical, carpentry, plumbing, electric etc.) , extra materials left over from finished projects, extra materials from projects that never got off the ground – I can’t throw out these perfectly good light fixtures, even though I’ve carried them from house to house in the last 3 moves over 17 years. Where do you draw the line? Sometimes I almost think it would be better if the house burned in a great conflagration and we just got a check from the insurance company. That’s paring it down alright!

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Putting all of your stuff in storage is a monumental task. We purchased and installed some industrial shelving to hold all of our furniture and big heavy boxes.

Ann measured furniture and art and created a detailed space plan to scale. Things were really squeezed in. The movers were trying to get a big chair on a shelf and declared “It won’t fit.” Ann said “It’ll fit, keep rotating it until it does.” Of course when positioned properly it slipped in like a tight glove.

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We wondered why we didn’t sell everything and be done with it. Oh well, we made the decision to keep some of our special mid- century pieces which we couldn’t yet let go

It took three months to get the packing, moving and preparation done and this was simultaneous with the five months it took to get our business into a position where we could essentially leave it in the rear view mirror, literally speaking. This included selling some real estate assets including our residence, coordinating the management of remaining real estate and setting up all paperless autopay bills on line. When you eliminate house and car payments, utility bills, credit card bills, and payments for phone, cable, high speed internet etc. it is not only extraordinarily liberating but it opens the door to possibilities that you probably never even considered before. In the book How to retire wild happy and free there is a quote that has stuck with me. “Retirement isn’t so much how much you have but how much you spend.”

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