Paring Down and Gearing Up

Inside our house is beginning to feel spare, which makes it perversely inviting. Why did we have all that stuff in the first place?

Paring Down

First we gave away the easy stuff, the low-hanging fruit. Things like: the contents of an entire linen closet. Enough books to fill some guy’s car. All holiday decorations (okay, those were 90% Halloween). Art. Bins of dog stuff from years of foster dogs with varied needs.

Next went most of our clothes. Then all furniture but a skeleton crew. Enough random stuff that Tracy’s made two trips to Goodwill, bed of the new giant truck filled.

A lot of the paring down was easy because we found good homes for donations. Camping gear to an org that takes kids outside. My sister’s hula accoutrements to a non-profit Hawaiian society. Knitting and sewing supplies to a friend of a friend who helps women start sewing businesses in Haiti. And of course dog gear to the rescue we’ve volunteered for. Goodbye stuff!

Today though I fell off the wagon.

Gearing Up

First off, I was out picking up a nifty ottoman I’d ordered with a storage lid that flips to become a coffee table.

We have a long list of essential equipment we have to buy for the Airstream and the truck, and clearly this isn’t on that list, but thinking about the “decorating/storage/interior supplies” items is keeping me motivated throughout the purging process as I run out of low-hanging fruit.

So, I was out picking up the new ottoman when I drove past an REI and made a quick turn back. Yes, I know we’re getting rid of possessions. But my lifestyle is about to change significantly, so I have some thinking to do about clothes.

As I meandered around the elaborate fake camping sites at my two-floor REI, I started second-guessing every single thing I own. Do I have hiking gear that will double as brewery clothes (whatever those are)? Do I even own a versatile jacket?  Suddenly I realized all my clothes fall into these categories:

  • Dressy clothes to wear in public, like to work
  • Boxing gear
  • Pajamas

Literally, that’s it.  I have done yoga in the boxing clothes and kayaked and hiked in them. But do I really want to be 60 years old working out beside my travel trailer in an RV park wearing a wife-beater?

Man, so I caved in REI, and I caved big.  Hiking pants, the fancy kind that’s stretchy and converts to shorts and costs as much as a grocery bill.  An under-layer shirt for whatever outdoor stuff I’ll find myself doing, a versatile jacket, and even a sweater to wear inside the airstream which I totally don’t need because I have a pile of sweaters I’ve yet to cull.

So, two steps forward in paring down, one step forward in gearing up, and I’m not sure what with that sweater … this is uncharted territory for me. 

2 thoughts to “Paring Down and Gearing Up”

  1. I think the REI purchases are good ones. Pants and shorts all in one? That’s like manna from heaven. 👏🏻