One tends to gather a lot of belongings when they’ve lived in one place for a while. The New Griswolds are no different. As we started planning for our move overseas, we had to figure out what to do with all of our stuff. We had 12 years worth we’d gathered together, plus all we brought into this house from our pre-New Griswolds lives. We needed to purge… big time!
It started in May. The first item we rid ourselves of was Grizzy.
Grizzy meant a lot to our family. We traveled through many states and made many memories in Grizzy. Unfortunately, there was no way Grizzy would be able to make the trip overseas. Driving to Bahrain is, well…impossible. So, we did what everyone does with their old, slightly used, no longer needed loved ones. We put an ad on Craig’s List. Fortunately, a kind and loving group of 20 year olds in a band decided they couldn’t live without our Grizzy. He is just the right size to haul their equipment all over the country… or the state… the city? We know he will continue to have many adventures and we expect to be mentioned when the group accepts their first Grammy.
After a few weeks, the pain of seeing an empty space where Grizzy used to sleep subsided. We were one step closer to Bahrain. Continuing our preparations, we had to make arrangements for our house. In June, we did something we never expected to do. We decided to sell our home. OUR HOME! What!?! I know. Crazy!
We had no intention of selling. We thought it would be important to have a “home base” to return to each summer. However, since the rental arrangements weren’t working out, the real estate market was hot, and the mortgage payment amount could go directly into savings each month instead… though crazy, selling became the logical thing to do. [Can something be both crazy and logical?]
We are probably one of only a few couples that would say, “Hey, moving overseas isn’t enough of a challenge. You know what would be fun? Let’s sell our house!” That’s definitely “The New Griswolds” way of doing things.
Within 3 weeks, we replaced flooring, installed a new stove and microwave, moved stuff out, staged, put our house on the market, and… sold it! [side note, if you’re looking for an amazing realtor in the Minnespolis/St. Paul area, you much check out ours, Jen Bortel. Here’s a sample of her work: http://tours.virtuance.com/public/vtour/display/573484 ]
Once the house was sold, the major purge began. As we considered our situation, we decided it didn’t make a lot of sense to move all of our belongings into storage. Who knows when, where, and what we will end up buying to live in in the future? Condo in the city, cabin in the woods, RV, pup tent, castle…? You never know. So, instead of making full use of the large storage space we rented (and paid ahead for the entire year — oops!!!) we decided to sell everything we could. And we did. And we couldn’t sell, we gave away. Tip – if you really want to get rid of stuff, put it on your lawn and throw a “Free Stuff” sign on the corner. Seriously. We were hoping to get down to a few truckloads to haul away. We were left with one box… one mostly empty box.
One of the best parts of giving stuff away is hearing stories about how people were going to use it. One person took all of our books — 6 boxes! They explained their workplace has a book shelf as a fundraiser. People donate books. Other people buy them. The money raised is sent to Give Kids the World, an organization that provides week-long vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It is wonderful to know we were part of something larger.
One final possession to purge, our cars. Again, all pieces fell into place. My car is on a lease, so that’s easy enough to take care of (though expensive!). As for Jim’s car, a colleague of ours has a daughter that recently started driving. She was looking for a vehicle and agreed to buy his car from us, basically sight unseen. Another major item taken care of!
Now we are wrapping up packing our suitcases and making final arrangements to move what little we have left out of our house. It’s hard to believe in just a few days we will be walking out the door of this house for the last time.
Though we purged our belongings, the memories made here will remain forever.