Stuff and Nonsense

MsBoyink and the kids worked on purging books today - being homeschoolers and all of us readers we had quite a collection going in the basement.  There are now several boxes in the back of the car waiting to get dropped off at a resale shop. 

And the books prompted a larger discussion: what to do with all of our stuff

As an aside - books will be an issue to struggle with on the road.  My kids start having withdrawal symptoms if they haven’t visited the local library within the past couple of days.  These are kids who walk out of their room first thing in the morning with their nose in one book while carrying another.  We had to outlaw reading while eating because a simple meal could take hours.  Even for me - after supper is typically reading time.  How we’ll maintain the volume of books that typically go through our house in a week while on the road and without access to a library isn’t yet clear. 

Anyway - the stuff.  It’s quite an odd feeling to sweep over all your possessions and try to decide (in the words of that great ‘80’s song) “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”.  There are obvious no-brainers - like the accumulations of crafting supplies that haven’t been touched in years.  Or the glass vases and spare picture frames.  The shelves of half-filled paint cans from old projects.  The file cabinets of old paper records.  This is all stuff that we intend to get rid of anyway - but between running a business, raising a family, homeschooling, and activities that are just flat-out more fun these chores can wait, so they do.

But this trip is revealing a whole collection of possessions that “when in doubt throw it out” doesn’t so immediately make sense for.  Stuff that we certainly don’t need while on the road, but would want once we come back and settle into the stick house again.  Like - the Christmas tree and decorations.  Or my tools.  My welder.  The good china.  Or all my spare Jeep parts. 

We’re faced with a dilemma; get rid of it all now so we don’t have to figure out how to store it or store it so we don’t have to repurchase so much stuff to fit out the house once the trip is over.  And if we store it, where?  Here, and risk theft from renters?  Or elsewhere where we might have to pay a monthly fee?

The hard part is we keep saying “a year”—but that’s just a number that serves more to indicate how serious we are about this undertaking than as a real estimate of the time we’ll be gone.  Maybe we’ll hate being on the road - and come home after 3 months with our tails between our legs.  Or maybe we’ll love it - and after a year come back, put the house on the market, have a huge yardsale for everything in storage, upgrade the RV, and call ourselves “location independent” permanently. 

But we don’t know the answer to that, and won’t until we just get out there and try it.

In the meantime we’ll start by purging the obvious. And keep an ear to the ground for some cheap (preferably free) storage for the stuff that just doesn’t make sense to get rid of yet.

Anyone need picture frames?

4 Comments Stuff and Nonsense

  1. Picture of Christine Christine June 06, 2016

    Booooooooks… This is easily going to be our hardest storage issue. If it’s already posted, I’m sure I’ll find it (can’t stop reading this blog) but what did you end up doing with the books you kept? How much did you decide was enough?

  2. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink June 06, 2016

    Hey Christine -

    You are digging back! ;) I hadn’t re-read this post in years.

    We did our year then decide to go all-in, so books all went. We bought Kindles, and pick up books at Goodwill & then re-donate after reading. 

    We also get local library cards when we are in some place long enough to qualify.

  3. Picture of Christine Christine June 07, 2016

    Hahaha told ya I couldn’t stop reading your blog! :-P I figured it would be a good idea to go back to the beginning and see what you actually did, what mistakes were made, troubles you ran into, things we’re forgetting about, etc.

    I have a feeling we’re going to end up paying for a small storage unit for our books and just taking some with us. We’ve spent a decade building up our library, and it’s the only thing we’re thinking of keeping that isn’t a daily necessity. Although my husband would definitely call them a daily necessity, so there’s that. :)

    How do you get a local library card? I thought you had to bring proof of address?

  4. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink June 07, 2016

    Here in Durango we just needed mail with a Durango address and our name on it - so anything we had forwarded from our mailing service would suffice.

    Last summer in Fremont, MI we had to show them our payment stub for renting a seasonal campsite.

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