Collaborative Consolidation!


I love alliteration. Hence the “Collaborative Consolidation!” But that is not the purpose of this blog – so you can breathe easy! It is about downsizing, making choices *together* on what to take immediately, what to take later and what to (gasp) get rid of forever and ever.

Yard Sale Goodies

Yard Sale Table

It is, of course, the forever and ever stuff that is giving me the worst time. I have almost NO wall space in the trailer – so I can only take a couple of pictures, and a couple of little wall shelves. So, after much talking (this time, to myself) I chose 4 pictures I could get rid of without second-guessing myself. My husband (herein known as Ed – if you aren’t a regular reader of my blog, see the about me section!) insisted on keeping our painting of the Amish wagons, since we are both enamored of the Amish lifestyle, although we have never been able to emulate it, due to our equal fondness for technology! I am keeping the beautiful framed print Connie Davis and Joan Silva gave me for my 55th birthday, and have a slot chosen for its residence. I am also keeping my John Muir Teddy Roosevelt photo print – since we plan to do a lot of State and National park touring in the next few years. So, that decision being made, we moved on to books.

Books for sale

Box full of books for sale!

Probably the most difficult choices of all. I have reduced my collection of several hundred to maybe 250. I will have room for none of them. 50 or more of the ones I brought myself to get rid of are sitting forlornly in a box, waiting for someone to buy them at the yard sale. These include book club editions, authors I didn’t like as much as I thought I would, and books given to me by others that don’t suit my fancy any more. What I have discovered over the years of my love affair with books, is that often, I find myself buying used copies of books I have already gotten rid of! I did that with Dana Stabenow’s books, some classic D.E. Stevenson’s, and even my newish Jacqueline Windspear Masie Dobbs series! I am not just a reader, you see. I am a re-reader. As I pack, I have re-read, for instance, the first two Maisie Dobbs’, one of the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton, Lavender Lies, by Susan Wittig Albert, and Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King.

*Every* decision I make in this move, Ed has to concur with, agree to, and understand. We will be living in 300 square feet. I don’t want to hear what did you do with my (insert thingamajiggy here). Hell no! I am also agreeing to letting him price the yard sale stuff, since most of it is mine, and subliminally I am afraid I will price things to high so no one will buy them, and I will get to keep them a bit longer. Of course that has led to a couple of  “discussions” of the sort that include comments such as “you sold (item) for WHAT?! But for the most part I have stayed out of it. Really. I have…

This shelf, since appropriate to Arizona, goes along on the move!

It is not an easy process, ever. Moving I mean. Downsizing brings with it different head trips; getting older, getting rid of things belonging to our parents, (all passed on,) deciding what kinds of things we are going to *do* in the future for our hobbies, and what things we want to look at in our new home. And the adventure we are setting out on is no consolation for having to leave things behind, and doesn’t make the decision process any easier either.  But as with many difficult things we come upon in our life, we make the decisions we have to make, and go forward, whether or not the decisions are good or bad. Moving is just a small bump in the road of life, really. The things I leave behind, or sell, are going to be enjoyed by others, and appreciated by someone else. After all, they are things, the omnium gatherum of my life. Easy enough to give up. Right?

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About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Collaborative Consolidation!

  1. OHHhhhh, Laura — I’m glad it’s you and not me making those decisions. In spite of that comment, I find myself lightening my load about every three years because I can’t stand not knowing where things are. If I don’t own them, I won’t have to look for them. After our 1989 earthquake in California, so many family treasures that were made of glass got busted to pieces, and after that, objects didn’t seem as precioius anymore. It’s easier to let go of things since that earthquake.

    Also, here’s another way I decided to look at it…that we own nothing and than anything we think we own really belongs to everyone. My own family owned nothing and we traveled light like the gypsies we had become. For that reason, I hung on to everthing I owned as an adult for many years. Now, I’ve reverted back to lightening my load again, but (HA HA), it’s still a lot of stuff. I’m a caretaker of stuff. So, I’m getting rid of most of it again, but only after my children take what they want before my trip to the Goodwill truck. It makes me wonder what it would be like to live very simply. I’m not sure I’ll ever know.

    Good luck with the rest of it.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      I am really gonna try to get as off the grid as we can in Arizona – solar panels, saving rainwater, minimizing buying unnecessary clothing, food, household supplies etc. Notice I didn’t mention books! Not as much to save money (although that is a big factor!) but to live a more simple life. Perhaps not the very simple life you mean, but certainly one that is simpler than a life based on owning lots of, uh, well I will just say “stuff” to keep it clean! 🙂

  2. It seems to get easier and easier as we do it more and more. I had a dream for a library of my own but it’s all in boxes and that’s probably where it will stay. I now live in a 9 X 12 room – it is way too small but I’m learning to consolidate and get rid of things – after all, they are only things. One phrase I always remember is: “You do not possess possessions – they possess you”.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Wise words, dear friend! Floor and wall space are going to be at a premium although we will technically have about 300 square feet to your 100+. I just have a hard time letting go of familly things…sigh. thanks for commenting!

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