DAY 7 – KABOOM! – Taking Inventory

Nothing is as sobering or interesting as pawing through one’s belongings, while packing up for a physical move. Not enough time to sit on the floor with photographs and letters to feel the qualities of the memories, to consider why and how relatives came to acquire the pieces lovingly passed down, to taste the dishes made with the odd kitchen tool rediscovered in the bottom cabinet on the far left in the back behind the moldy potato, or recollect precisely why that bag or pair of shoes seemed like a good idea.

Instead, it happens in a blur, like a near death experience. Or what you hear about that moment, when snippets of life dash up to snatch balance and equilibrium. Not exactly making sense in the moment but recognizable as the facts of one’s life. The caffeine-propelled life review makes sound sleep impossible. Too many thoughts awakened – forgotten ideas, new “must dos” before it’s too late, the stories that surround every item – to relax or let go.

And, then the whiplash of despair and panic. “Am I really moving this again?” Immediately followed by, “How will I find this on the other side among all my junk?”

Our stuff defines us. I might want to claim minimalism or sophistication, but my belongings tell the truth. I am an eclectic nightmare, a hodgepodge of influences and motivations. But all the acquisitions fascinate me. How did I ever manage to acquire so many BELONGINGS! Though I am glad and grateful for them mostly, I do briefly regret each thing as it demands my superficial attention as handled – dusted, wrapped, packed, lifted and stacked.

I admire people who can clear house when they start a new chapter. I intended a massive purge these past few weeks. Actually, I did sell a few things, gave away others, and put others out on the street. [Astounding that broken resin Adirondack chairs would be appealing. Happy to not take them to the dump.] I could have let a hundred other things leave my existence. Or maybe not just yet.

However, I found jewels among the detritus. Literally, the jade earrings from my mother that need updated posts. My passions documented in my book selections: cooking, autobiographies, geography, travel, photography, coaching, business, intuition, writing. And, suspended in the nightmare of paper piles, my ideas, dreams and plans. I see some of them now in motion, and suddenly resurrected (or rather stuffed in one of ten boxes marked “Important!) is the very next element needed to spice up my current project.

And repeats. I discovered duplicate purchases (or close enough) in areas I wanted to look good, appear smart, or become expert. The money spent underscores a lack of confidence; I can reconsider now as I see the patterns.

So, for good and/or bad, a lot of stuff is drifting over the border with me tomorrow. Maybe I will reconsider much of it, as I unpack (maybe not all) the many boxes. Next week, I’ll explore possibly letting go more thoroughly. Or, do I mean letting more go thoroughly? Test whether the belongings still belong in this new life.


  1. Great ‘stuff’ post, Andrea. Your journey is akin to many in transition, and all good. Feels AMAZING to purge, and to find the GEMS! I love helping people with this!

  2. The other side is ready to greet you.
    It will feel so good ~ once you catch up on sleep.
    Wishing you a perfectly choreographed Thursday move.
    You have planned, set your intention and double crossed the “t”s.
    Now go with the flow, accept what unfolds and enjoy the day.

  3. The move we did after anchoring ourselves in one spot for twelve years was wrenching…and wonderfully refreshing! Like a pond turning over for renewal, I think these moves (after a year or a decade) serve to rejuvenate. After the sleep of the dead that comes with the exhausting labor, that is! For those of us who are serial creatives, I suspect we will never quite have the fabled clean, organized move. And that’s just fine by me. I love the comment: the other side is ready to greet you. Onward!

  4. today flew by, so comments are late. this is the second time around, as my initial comments just blew into cyberspace!!!

    my Mother always said that we are ‘possessed by our possessions’…..maybe she was right. she was very attached to her possessions, and even though she regularly had ‘clear-outs’, it was clothes, shoes, etc. that went, and not the possessions that held for her the feelings, regrets, memories of her life. at the end of her life, when she was old and lonely, she lived again parts of her life through her possessions. maybe we all do this, as so many of our possessions have a ‘promise’ of good things to come, and others have a past that can give us a sense of belonging, feeling connected… many things.

    like you dear Andrea, i am trying to sort out my possessions, and even though there is no physical move to do, there is the desire to reach a ‘ state of order ‘, esp. concerning the floating paper and files that contain all sorts of ‘useful’ bits of information.

    one wonders why there seems to be the need to collect ‘possessions’ ? is there some primordial urge to collect incase times of scarcity befall us ? is there a need to impress, to appear powerful ??

    it is fascinating to contemplate why we collect possessions, or are given possessions.

    maybe possessions give us a sense of being connected to others, to experiences….to the rhymn of life?

    N.B. my intial comments, i feel, were superior to the above…..but can remember them!

  5. George Carlin on Stuff
    Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all, a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? …Everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time.
    A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you’re taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you’re saving. All they want is the
    shiny stuff. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff!
    Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore…
    All material written and owned by George Carlin

    Want a laugh? Watch the video on YouTube

    Be thankful you have no attic or basement – horrible inventions. The offer is still good if you would like an extra hand with moving all that stuff. :-)

    Contemplating the word “possess” – does it really need four s’s? More than half of all the letters in the
    word? Was this by design? Take out two and you have “poses” or “posse”….wow, I gotta get some sleep.

  6. My two favorite passages:
    “Our stuff defines us. I might want to claim minimalism or sophistication, but my belongings tell the truth. I am an eclectic nightmare, a hodgepodge of influences and motivations. But all the acquisitions fascinate me.”
    “I discovered duplicate purchases (or close enough) in areas I wanted to look good, appear smart, or become expert. The money spent underscores a lack of confidence, I can reconsider now as I see the patterns.”

    I am a big believer in meaning. In context. These 2 passages make meaning of stuff, and reveal truths.

    George Carlin and Robyn did, too. The yogini who trained me arrived at and left from the program in a van with her boyfriend. Why have a job, she said, if it’s just to buy more stuff to keep in a house you never get to spend time in anyway because you’re at work?

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