Moving On and Letting Go

Stack of empty boxes needed for moving. Photo by SHVETS production: https://www.pexels.com/photo/stack-of-empty-cardboard-boxes-prepared-for-relocation-from-home-7203699/
Lots of Boxes Needed for Moving

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I’ve always tied physical objects to memories of people and pleasant events. So, the end result is that I collect “stuff.” Lots of “stuff.” Odd small “stuff” like pamphlets, letters, and greeting cards. Then, there’s bigger “stuff” like books, small furnishings, and collectibles.

With my collecting “stuff” quirk, which can easily border on obsessive, moving is hard. One of the things I’m having to do in this latest and last move I plan on making, is letting go.

Moving On

For this move Winnie and I opted for a mostly do-it-yourself approach. We’ve already made two trips down to our new home. Each trip included two vehicles loaded up and pulling at least one trailer. But there’s no way we could move all our belongings this way. We know this because of our cross-town move just a couple of years ago.

So, for the main event we’ve opted for a storage unit to move the bulk of our belonging. The process is to bring in a Pods® unit, load it up, and have it transported down to our new house. Once there we unload it and have the Pods® removed by the company. We’ve leased the Pod for a full 30 days which gives us plenty of time to load, transport, and unload. An eight foot by eight foot by sixteen-foot Pod should provide us with plenty of space for moving our stuff.

A PODS container sitting in a driveway
Totally Not An Advertisement for PODS

However, there’s a lot of stuff I have that’s just not worth moving, even though we probably do have the moving space.

Letting Go

As Winnie and pack up our household goods, we’re looking at what we don’t have to haul down to our retirement home. This puts me into challenging decisions for letting go of physical objects I really don’t need to keep.

Tax Records

One large batch of old files includes my financial records dating back to 1975, the first year I actually paid income taxes. These records filled three large file boxes of papers that I’ve hauled around over various moves. They survived Hurricane Katrina flooding because I had the then-smaller boxes of files stored in my garage attic. I hauled these files up from Mississippi even though I did discard a lot of other archival papers. To my now-regret.

However, since 2006 I’ve added an additional eighteen years’ worth of income tax records, and the purchase and sale of two homes. As we hauled the file boxes out of storage Winnie asked, “do we really need all these records?” I looked at the boxes, thought hard about hauling them, once again, to a new home and answered, “probably not.” So, we spent a few hours meticulously tearing up and throwing away old papers. It was a serious trip down memory lane.

Travel Papers

Another large batch of papers includes stuff from my various travels. I used to collect a souvenir booklet from various towns and major tourist sites I visited. By our last move three years ago, these booklets took up a full shelf on one of my large bookcases. I managed to let them go – to the thrift store – on that move, after Winnie fussed about moving them.

Along with souvenir booklets I’ve also collected travel papers. These include ticket stubs from museums and tourist sites. Maps, flyers, and leaflet handouts. All important papers that mark my particular travel adventure. I now have two full file boxes of these travel papers. After much discussion with Winnie, I did go through and thin out this collection. A little bit.

Collectables

Then, there’s my numerous small collectibles. These range from small gifts I’ve received over the years, hobby equipment, and more souvenir items from my various travel adventures. Each even seemingly minor item has an attached memory. Each item taking up some amount of space, many tucked away in boxes or hidden in closets because there’s nowhere to display them.

Yard Sale items in a driveway.
Yard Sale Day – Sending Old Stuff to New Owners

So, for this move, I’ve decided to let many of these items go, selling them to new owners. Not because I need the money, but so I know the item is going to someone else who’ll value it. What we can’t sell goes to the thrift store. Each item gone leaves me a sense of freeness combined with loss over leaving a particular memory behind.

But maybe this is the good part of moving. Starting fresh somewhere else. Having the ability to reinvent yourself, moving past old memories, freeing yourself up to create new memories. Maybe.

I just know I’ll be relieved to have this move completed.

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