So I’m spending an inordinate amount of time with my stuff lately in order to determine what’s of value and what should be part of the “Junk Fest” (not that any of it is junk).

It’s been an interesting process.

I set out to do it in this order:…

  1. Clothes, Shoes & Housewares: the things of no attachment. I found it very easy to relinquish most of these items.
  2. Jewelry: this category was a bit more difficult.  I have not gone through my jewelry box in years and boy has it accumulated! I have a necklace of the Zambezi river god, ostrich eggshell and porcupine necklace from Africa, silver pieces from Nepal, ocean symbols from Australia and New Zealand…these are things that I just couldn’t part with so it’s a good thing they are small! I did manage to extract almost a whole shoe box worth for the junk fest though!
  3. Books: an area that was significantly difficult. I love books, everything about them, the smell, the feel. I just LOVE being surrounded by books. Over the course of moving a few times…I have already done a purge of my books…but now I had to get serious.  I have kept only one small box and have promised myself to let some of those go once they are read and treasured for awhile.
  4. Photos: Wow. What do you do with photos? I have maybe 20 photo albums and I tried to throw some out…it’s really hard! It’s been fun going through them with Sam and there are so many memories attached to each album…maybe I just need a synopsis of each book…just pick out the highlights. This chore I will save for another time.
  5. Travel Box: this is huge. Since I’ve always dreamed of writing a book, have an outline even, I have saved just about everything.  Boarding passes, money exchange receipts and even a packet of seeds to cleanse your breath that I got on a flight to Nepal where I sat in first class talking to a young man about his arranged marriage. Those seeds bring back the whole conversation, as do the hundreds of email correspondence I have saved from traveling and my enormous stack of journals. These are important things to me…this is the hard part of downsizing…the heavy blue totes that you continually move from place to place. Will the tiny house accommodate these memories?
  6. Childhood Memories: Does everyone have one of these? The box with your baby book, old report cards, yearbooks, pieces of art you made and a very loved, very squished old stuffed Casey Jones dog. I hugged that dog so much that his nose was rubbed off. I can’t seem to part with that dog…he was a big comfort during my childhood and I somehow still need that comfort, even though he remains tucked away in that tote.  I did however throw out some yearbooks…I kept the most important one…the one from senior year. It almost felt sacrilegious though…like I was burning the flag…but I threw them out anyway, it sure made the tote a lot lighter!
  7. Holiday Decorations:  I haven’t embarked on this category yet. I do feel like I could just pitch all of it except my ornaments which are a culmination of my life. I can still remember where certain ones came from when I was little, so those can stay. Oh and my Willow Tree nativity set…that’s special. I’ve just never been fond of decorating for holidays, and all this stuff takes up so much room, so when we go tiny…it’s bye bye big black spiderweb! Sorry Sam :-(

This process has brought about a lot of feelings and memories, it’s reminded me (from reading out of my travel box) that the less I have…the happier I am….and I don’t want to ever have to spend as much time with stuff as I have over the past few months!

Excited for the Junk Fest next weekend as I set these things free…

Next Post: Q & A with Sam…his take on going tiny.