Breaking up. With your furniture.
Letting go of that which no longer brings us joy is good for the soul: Places. People. Stuff. And, heaviest of all...furniture.
When I sold our home in Maine last spring, I got rid of so much. SO MUCH. Taking the accumulated furnishings of a family of four and distilling them down to what I'd need for my new life chapter featuring a "family of one" was not an easy task. I've moved a lot of times in my lifetime, and no matter how many times you've moved before, each time, it's a new set of feelings and a different blender-ful of tactical and practical challenges. At some point during every move, especially the ones earmarking a huge life transition or down-shift, space-wise, we need to face the big question:
"What the h+ll do we do with all of our f+cking stuff?"
Sorting through, donating, gifting and tossing clothing, papers, toys, kitchenwares, dishes, sheets, towels, linens, toiletries, tools, gardening stuff, and the sometimes endless-feeling assortment of other "stuff" that invariably makes its way into our life and our homes (and our garages, sheds, basements and attics) is daunting and exhausting...but not on the same level as finding a way to get rid of a vintage farmhouse armoire that weighs as much as a Toyota Corolla. Or the lounge chair in which your favorite celebrity aunt, Arlene Francis, loved to recline.
Some stuff is just too cumbersome to get a reputable consignment shop or even Goodwill to be hot for. You cannot sell it. You cannot tie a bow around it and gift it to your friends and relatives. You cannot GIVE IT AWAY. And as difficult as it can be to embrace the fact that no one is jumping at the chance to inherit our beloved furnishings, the good news, in my personal experience, is this:
The more times you've gone through the moving process, and the higher the degree of emotional devastation that has precipitated said move, the more you stop giving a sh+t. You stop caring about that $23.50 someone may have finally coughed up had you kept that bureau on Craig's list for just one more week. You stop caring if that pine armoire handcrafted by some potato farmer is left to be enjoyed by future generations.
You are done.
Me? In the final week or two of my preparing for my move from Maine, I employed my son and his friends to chop things up with an axe ~ and instructed them to take the proceeds and make a few goods bonfires on our local beach. It was immensely liberating and quite exciting. I admittedly enjoyed (probably more than any adult should) the physically violent demolition of pieces of my past, along with the slightly pyromaniacal rush that comes with setting things ablaze. Yee-hah!
I was inspired to pen this piece because, at the moment, I have furnishings (heavy furnishings!) that, I'm already ready to get rid of, only eight short months after having moved here. And quite honestly, I'm thinking...WHY? WHY?? WHY??? Why did I not get rid of them in Maine? Why did I pay to have them stored for months until I found my new bachelorette pad? Why did I then pay professional moving men to schlep them 179 miles and up a flight of difficult stairs?? Why did I think I needed them on my journey forward??? As it turns out, I didn't. And I'm already calling charities and junk removal businesses. And I'll probably end up paying someone to haul these things down a flight of (difficult) stairs. And I'm okay with the whole thing. Because another lesson I've learned over the course of my many moves is that it's healthiest and easiest on our hearts and souls when we shed our stuff in the same way we shed out past...slowly...and in layers. And as we get lighter and lighter inside, if we're listening to our inner guidance, we realize, slowly, that we want to get lighter and lighter on the outside, too.
Like any good relationship break-up, you know when you're ready to move on...and nothing's going to stop you once you make up your mind. , And you know in your heart that there are other handsome chairs in the sea...with less emotional baggage. xo