The process we took for cleaning out our home was exhaustive… and fairly complete. We ended up with about 12 large and tough plastic boxes, each about 2′ x 3′ x 1.5′ (the big black ones from Home Depot). That is our life wrapped up and waiting for us. We also hit the road with an SUV full of camping gear… well, much more than camping gear. Much more than the bare minimum. We knew we were heavy when we left. Our first haul up a big hill caused intense exhaust heat that melted a hole in the plastic box on our hitched cargo carrier. We had to, and wanted to, let go of more ‘stuff’.
It was evident to us early on that at least we’d get rid of the air-mattresses and stick to our Thermarests. Two weeks in and we’d ditch a few toys, a few clothes, a few kitchen items too. Really it was a lot like going backpacking. We’d packed, unpacked, packed again… but then we had hit the road. Unlike backpacking for a weekend we were on the road for at least another month and a half… and as I’m writing this from Nicaragua, SPOILER ALERT, I can say we ended up on the road for 5 months. We needed to unload which is emotional, difficult, but in another way easy and gratifying. We were used to it and unloading ‘stuff’ was making us happier. The process distilled our ‘stuff’ to the best of the best. Triple Distilled at least.
We left the air-mattresses with a good friend in Alameda. We then headed to the local thrift store and made some donations. So familiar; after 6 or so garage sales we’d made another 6 or so trips to the local thrift store before hitting the road.
What we ended up keeping was really the best of it. I can say now that nearly all of what we kept at the two-week point ended up, at the end of 5 months of camping, in a box ready to move on with us whenever we settle down again.
I can say from experience that opening these boxes will be exciting… like some super-mega Christmas. For reference, when Mari and I married we received many gifts but decided to box them up, never opening them but to see who had gifted them and send a thank you… we had recently been accepted to the PeaceCorp, were planning on moving out of our place, and when we expected it, but had hoped it wouldn’t happen, Mari’s mother died. We ended up taking our savings and inheritance and buying a loan on a house: then we had a super-mega Christmas. It was an emotional move in. Having done this before, I know that my life now is in this one way a really big anticipation for super-mega Christmas day, when I settle down again, whenever that is.
Giving away this dead weight happened so long ago now, maybe 8 months ago… I started this post 8 months ago. I don’t miss any of it. Now, in Nicaragua, as we plan a new life, I don’t think of those things much. When I do I get really excited because I know whenever we open those boxes again we’ll be in a new place, likely New Hampshire, maybe Nicaragua, or who knows, but for sure happy, and relive all the gifts and memories all over again. The best of the best.
I think my next post will be on what a great time we had in Monterrey, Alameda and where we went from there… Patrick’s Point (a gem). Thanks for visiting.