Minimal(ish)™ - Korea version

Be careful what you wish for. Or, as my inner Grammar Nazi says, "Be careful that for which you wish."

Shut it, Grammar Nazi. 

I've been on a 'downsizing kick' since we first had the military pack us out of Alaska. We had moved ourselves TO Alaska (and by 'we', I mean MacGyver - he loaded our stuff out of the storage unit in SoCal into a UHaul truck and, with his mother, drove through blizzards north to Alaska) but the Army packed us out of Alaska. And it was disconcerting to have other people handling our stuff. ALL of our stuff - we had lots. Not tons but more than other people we knew. And it made me feel...self-conscious (I've since learned that comparison sucks the joy out of everything but, at the time, I did not yet know that). I've been trying to purge and downsize ever since.

About twice per year, I'd get on a kick to get rid of as much as possible and live simply. Do we really need 15 dishtowels? Six sets of sheets for each bed? Twenty-two bath towels? Two 8x8 baking dishes? A box marked 'wires'? Four RipStiks when we only have TWO children? And so on. I'd do my best to purge and limit the things we bought and brought into the house but usually to no avail. I'd even gone so far as to pray about it (because God cares how many towels I have. NOT.). 

Evidently, He heard my prayers. And He chose to send us to Korea. With a company that will not pay moving expenses (beyond the employee's plane ticket and a small allowance for tools and other professional gear). *please note this is NOT a complaint against said company for their policies. Just an observation. I am grateful for the things they do provide and the fact that MacGyver has a job.*

Evidently He has a sense of humor. Because we are unable to ship our HHGs (household goods), we are either getting rid of stuff (yard sale, giving things to friends, Goodwill/donation) or putting it in storage. In the past few months I have easily purged 10% of our HHGs. Before MacGyver left, we had probably purged another 10%. And I still need to get rid of the mattresses (they are old and needed to be replaced anyway. No sense in storing them), our dining set, our behemoth of an entertainment center, our hand-me-down Christmas tree, and a few other odds and ends. We'll be taking some things with us to Korea - clothes, personal items, school stuff, a few kitchen items, and our irreplacables but that's really about it. 

The challenge I'm facing right now is this: what should I get rid of and what is worth putting in storage? I abhor the idea of coming back in 2, 3, howevermany years and unpacking our stuff and wondering what the hell I was thinking PAYING to store item X for that long. It drives me MAD. And I know I will. I know I will open up a box, find a toy or a book or a kitchen item and think, "I never used/liked this item...why did I hang on to it?" I suspect we'll hold yet another garage sale (which I also abhor) right after we get back just to get rid of all the crap we *should* have ditched before we left!

So all those years of praying that God would provide an opportunity to live a 'minimal(ish)'™ lifestyle have paid off...not necessarily in the way I would have envisioned but, hey, beggars can't be choosers, right? 

If you need me, I'll be out in the garage, bagging up clothes and stuffed animals and toys and books and decor and other crap that I've toted from California to Alaska to Alabama to Tennessee to Hawaii and back to the mainland. And now it's time to ditch it. So I can go buy new crap to tote back from Korea!


- hfs


Pogue said...

Sounds like fun... One thing I never did was put stuff in storage, but then, I never had any furniture better than "junk grade". When are you going to be heading out?

HMS Defiant said...

I put stuff in storage after a few navy moves and went back for it later. Over the years I got rid of all of it. I gave away the last of it 2 months ago in San Diego. I'm not feeling the breath of eternity but I made a decision to give away the things I no longer needed and that was pretty much everything except the memories, pictures and small mementos.

I am living in a 6 bedroom house that is more than fully furnished but it's not my stuff although it has become our stuff.

Good luck with the winnowing.


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...