Six months later:
It was not for certain, but came to pass that a lot of things, almost everything of mine, had to go. It had to go either into storage, or to our “second” home in Florida, or simply go away. Why? Well, we decided to move from our 4,000 square foot home in Greensboro, NC, to a 1,000 square foot apartment in Jersey City, NJ. Now you might ask and rightfully so, “what were you thinking?” Don’t, but let it suffice to say that the door to Opportunity opened just a little too wide.
Along with Opportunity came the sudden realization that offsite storage and open space in our Florida second home would not be a complete solution to the huge amount of things I’d accumulated, and that lots of stuff had to go. Several things then came to mind that helped with my minimalist mental decision making challenge; what to get rid of.
Foremost was realizing that so much of what I’d accumulated was idle and/or unused most of the time; probably 99.9% of the time. For example, in 2019 I used my table saw approximately 3 hours. Do the math and for the year that equals 99.95% of waking hours the saw sat idle. I used the drill press for an hour last year; the chain saw, never used in 7 years. Many of my tools and all the other things that I’d accumulated to use “one day” sat for way longer, some for ten or more years. So the idea that I could probably find another solution to not having all those things in case I ever needed them seemed to outweigh any reason to keep them.
Then came another key question to consider regarding my need to have so many things that I would likely never again use: had I gotten my “money’s worth” from them, or would I ever get my money’s worth? Considering that question made giving away a number of things so much easier because for many things, yes, I had gotten my money’s worth out of them. And how did I just get rid of them? Well, if you are not a member of the Nextdoor neighborhood social media app, you are missing something; what, for me, is a great way to get rid of things.
Some things I sold, like the table saw, the chainsaw, and other things guys like to have in their garages or sheds. Many other things, like all my house plants, some old speakers, a PA system, etc., I gave away; all using the Nextdoor system’s sell or free to good home section. What makes that outlet a successful distribution channel is that (I’ve found) Nextdoor members actually want to know about stuff in their neighborhoods, and they pay attention to their messages from that app, and it’s all local, nearby… Within days, gone were all the things that I could part with, meaning of course that there were things I could not part with, yet.
There is a storage unit in Richmond, VA, that is holding what things I have that need to go to Florida, and things that I felt I needed a better price for than I could get on such short notice (a month from listing to selling the house), and we still have a few things on consignment in Greensboro, but with our two bulldogs we are now happily living in a high-rise apartment just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, in 25% of the livable space of the home we sold in Greensboro.
There is still more to do to get where I want to be as a minimal minimalist, and I will tell more of this story as it unfolds (just threw away a pair of trousers I’ve not worn in a year but somehow ended up here in Jersey City), and in closing this part will say that even doing this minimalist thing minimally is difficult, but rewarding in many ways, to include knowing that many of the things I use to have are now being used by others that have much more need or want for them than I, though I do miss my pineapple plants…
PS: Hope you have a great Super Bowl Sunday!