Downsizing

“We’re going to sell everything and move onto a sailboat.”

It’s such an easy thing to say and such a difficult thing to do. We bought our sailboat in St Petersburg, Florida in March of 2017 and spent the next five months closing out our lives in Boulder, Colorado so we could join her there. At the time, Mike and I owned a townhouse in Boulder, two cars (including the obligatory Subaru Outback), six bikes, and the plethora of outdoor gear required to support our addictions to

  • Road biking
  • Mountain biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Road running
  • Trail running
  • Golfing
  • Car camping
  • Backpacking
  • Woodworking

We adopted two mantras: “Does it fit on a boat?” and “Does it bring you joy?” With those questions always in mind, we set about downsizing. We held a gigantic garage sale in June and got down to normal people amounts of stuff, and made a few bucks. We sold the most valuable items of gear to friends and CraigsList patrons, and eventually made daily trips to Goodwill. I’m surprised the Goodwill donation guy didn’t get a bit more friendly after we started spending so much time together. I brought trunk loads of excess running gear to share with my Lilly’s Coaching training group. I spread kitchen items on every surface and posted an invitation on Facebook, “Come and get it. Everything must go!”

I spent hours looking through photo albums over a glass of wine selecting the pictures to digitize and sharing the best throwbacks to Facebook. The rest were thrown in the dumpster to Mike’s horror.

Eventually, the day came when we emptied the house and left the rooms hollow and echoey. We slept the last two nights on the floor in piles of every quilt and pillow we had left. I’m forever grateful to our friend Toby for helping with last trips to the dump, and for basically carting away everything that was left in the garage at the very end.

In the end, we loaded up the smallest moving van we could find with the items we planned to store at Mike’s mom’s house in Buffalo; souvenirs from our travels, glass from Africa, a few items of winter clothes, kitchen items….. The goal was to get down to only what could fit in my Volkswagen Eos convertible by the time we left Buffalo and headed south to Florida. Piece of cake! In the end, it took at least three more organizing and purging sessions, but we finally made it.

We only stored this much of our belongings, after 20 years of married life together!

And we filled every single inch of the VW, almost to the point of bottoming out, as we set off on our road trip to Florida!

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