We thought that we had done a pretty good job sorting things when we moved into the 3 bedroom ranch on James Island. Almost two years later, however, it became clear that we had WAY too much stuff.
In May 2010 we decided to start moving in the direction of getting a live aboard sailboat and begin downsizing our lives. It started small, just some clothing here and there that could go to Goodwill. Then we started eBay and yard sale boxes and Goodwill piles.
The key to making this transition has been time. We had five months of planning, packing, selling, donating, and working to making this happen.
I also have to give props to my brother. He has the uncanny ability to let things go. Well...that's what they ultimately are, things.
Mike and I walked around the house with three trash bags: trash, give away, and keep. Let's just say the keep bag did not get very full. Every item I tried to put something in there, Mike would say, "What is this?! You don't need this." Or, "This isn't expensive to replace, you'll probably find you don't need it anyway."
After we finished, he had me take the trash bags outside, and then drag the can to the street so I wouldn't be tempted to take anything back.
Ransom and I had two yard sales as well. I suspect a few of them were hoarders (I'm obsessed with reality TV, a habit I'm looking forward to dropping on the boat). The first (Saturday) yeilded $80 and a suburban full of leftovers to Goodwill. The second (Sunday) only got us $13 and more donations. (I think Charleston just doesn't like to do anything but mimosas on Sunday).
When moving day came, it was pretty easy.
Still, we had too much stuff; another Suburban full at least.
We moved that load to Florida and then returned to Charleston for Jake and Shannon's wedding. (P.S. SUPER FUN)
When second moving day came, it was clear that not everything would fit in the Suburban. We made more choices, threw more away, gave more, and stored some things with a friend until we could recalim it.
Ultimately it feels good to shed these things that have tied us down for so long. Each step beings us closer to our ultimate goal of sailing freedom.