A Whole Lot Of Stuff





I heard the truck before I saw it, a deep rumbling behind my neighbor’s forested lot. Chris was attempting to organize our storage shed and I’d gone inside to find a towel to wipe off spare flooring pieces that were covered in dirt and various insect bits. I saw the red of the delivery truck first, then the white of the POD storage unit. Immediately a deep sense of wariness came forth and then tears. I would have sobbed if I’d been able to.

Our ‘stuff’ was returning to us. On Feburary 13, 2010 we haphazardly threw in the last remaining bits of stuff we wanted to keep, rolled the door down and locked it up. You can tell we finished up by cleaning as the Swiffer Duster and Mop were part of the last bits tossed in. We left a huge pile of items we didn’t keep for the trash or local trash-pickers to go through at our old place in Florida. In the backyard were stacks of terra cotta pots we deemed not worth taking along. I kind of wish we had some of them now but I’m not terribly heartbroken.

I was mostly sad because it seemed that our official vagabond lifestyle was over, though it hasn’t been all vagabond-y in nearly a year anyway. I think it was the freedom of having a minute amount of ‘stuff’ that let me continue feeling as if we could still easily move wherever we wanted. And, we still can. Yes, it might take a bit more effort now that we bought a house, but a house can be sold, stuff can be sold/given away/donated/packed up, and a vagabond life can happen again. I had to remind myself of this. Despite my interest in putting down some roots, hopefully having a kid or two and establishing a flourishing garden, I really miss backpacking.

Chris easily unlocked the container but it took two of us to jangle the door around enough to get it to roll up. Items had been pushed against the door and we became concerned we’d be unable to even get inside. Up the door rolled and then our eyes widened and Chris exclaimed “Oh Yeah, the terrarium!” Yep, and reusable grocery bags, and flower pot hangers, and, and, and…..

We unloaded most of the POD that day with the help of Chris’ brother and his girlfriend. I turned my nose up at a few of the boxes, labeled in Sharpie with a general idea of what was inside, still wondering why I kept some of it. A few boxes left me excited and while I did go 2.5 years without them, I was happy to have them back: books, Alias (and a few other DVDs), purses, art supplies, seeds. A few items I thought we had kept I never saw, so I guess we didn’t keep them.

It’s definitely a strange feeling to put the majority of you contents into storage for 2.5 years and then get it all back. I’m not the same person I was then, my style and wants have changed. Right now I’m unpacking the kitchen items and am completely overwhelmed at the amount of pots, pans, ‘tupperware’, and kitchen gadgets we have in addition to what we had been using this past year. It’s too much. I don’t want a lot of the kitchen gadgets because we barely used them in Florida and I know we’ll barely use some of them now and I’m not interested in items taking up space for the sake of it. Our china, while I love it, I wish we hadn’t even registered for when we got married. There is hand-me-down china from at least my side of the family that I know we could have used and if I could tell myself 10 years ago to not register for china I would. Nice, but not necessary.

And so I will continue weeding through things, making piles of items to donate and Chris will go through them when he returns home during a break. Now it seems our dishwasher is on the fritz, the one that came with the house. Buttons don’t want to work and a quick Google search revealed that the panel on this model has problems often. Great, guess I’ll be replacing a panel or a dishwasher. This doesn’t help when I have loads of items to run through the dishwasher; maybe I’ll be doing it by hand.

It’s completely overwhelming having boxes strewn about. Sometimes I escape upstairs because it has the least amount of boxes. Chris is working out of town, I work during the day and then don’t necessarily feel like doing a lot, and now that I’m only dealing with one house instead of the rental as well, I need to start checking in on the garden again. It’s been a once-a-week thing these last several weeks. I know things are rotting on the plants, being taken by others, falling over, but the only good thing is it has rained nearly every day in some capacity for well over a week. At least I don’t have to worry about that—-I think.

I’m ready for unpacked boxes, items in their place, time spent outside in my yard, down by the pond or in my studio. I need to get out and explore our neighborhood on foot, rollerblades or the bikes that we got back from our storage unit. I am so ready for our delayed anniversary trip in August; we have plane tickets and the only place we really have to be is a particular park during our permit period and other than that so far we have nothing planned. We’ll be in the Seattle area and there is just so much to do.

This wasn’t supposed to be a downer blog post, but my brain is a little bit hectic and fried at the moment. I’m looking forward to family coming this weekend and then a big weekend the following weekend with many friends coming over with their kids. I’ve already looked and I don’t have a free weekend until August 25th!

Tell me how you are….


  • chel

    This is so fascinating to me. We have a storage locker in town but we haven’t been in a few years and even though I *think* the stuff in it is important, we haven’t needed or even thought about it in all that time, so I sort of believe we should just donate it all, sight unseen, and let go. But Tom’s opposite of me- he LOVES to hold on to things. I guess it’s a difference in the way we approach life, too.

    I hope it’s not overwehlming for you to really go through it all and put it away.

    Me? I am okay. It’s been a tough few days, mostly due to my emotional/health stuff so I am just letting it pass through and trying not to get down on myself about it. But I’m getting a lot of work done on my little art studio thing on Etsy so that’s good. Thank you for asking 😉

  • Allison

    We’re just finally going through much of our stuff that was in storage (within the house), when we moved here. We moved here three years ago, so it definitely took us a while… We’ve been selling some of it on a garage sale site on Facebook, and giving away other bits and pieces. We’re saving the money for some new furniture. I really want an actual couch. We’ve been living with a love seat.

  • Moosie

    Well I can’t wait to start getting rid of more of my crap. I see no reason to continue to hang on to some of this.

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