Friday, November 11, 2011


When I decided to keep at the marriage, one thing I knew after stepping away from our household was that I did NOT want to move back into our house. It is an amazing house to be sure--completely unique mid-century A-frame with exposed beams and a glass roof, on a half acre on a peaceful mountainside. Seriously stunning. I would never consider selling the house; I'd be very happy being buried in the backyard when it comes down too it, but a change of venue was needed. Three kids plus a husband with a long, rich family history times a 3000 plus square foot home equals TOO MUCH STUFF. Suddenly, I realized how much just keeping the house tidy, let alone clean, had been sucking the dear life out of me. When I was visiting one evening for dinner, and Blake was cleaning up after a meal he had cooked (all new and great things), I had to laugh and confess, "I feel sorry for the sucker who has to maintain this house!" We had a good chuckle. In just one moment I was struck: I wanted to move--as a family. Closer-in, and with half of our belongings, tidied in plastic bins. We were all going to have to let go of the material if we were going to focus on what really mattered: our relationships with each other.

As we sorted through the house room by room, drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, and box by box we sorted things into must take, garbage, and garage sale. The guest room, a mostly empty space downstairs, became the go-to spot for any thing to be sold at a later date. "Take this to the Garage Sale room!" I'd declare and hand the kids a box. By the time we, and the belongings that made the cut, moved to our new house, the room was packed to the door jam. And there were still some closets to be sorted...and a garage half full of more sacrificial items. I set the date for our sale and my dear parents joined me the day before to spread the items out for labeling. That's pretty much when I had the panic attack. There was NO WAY, even with help I could pull it off. I conceded and called it off, postponing until the following Saturday. That first day, we had the kitchen items sorted, and my mom convinced me to use the kitchen counter for the display. "Then everyone will be milling about the house...." I complained. "Yeah..." she said. "But its empty. And it will be out of the rain." My mommy is smart.

Almost everyday this past week, I have been at the old house to tackle some task that brings me closer to being Ready for the Sale. The random furniture has been moved to the living room. The books, DVDs, and CDs all placed on shelves. Bathroom and household items on tables, garage items on the tool bench, an office supply area with wipe boards and unused photo albums and paper organizers on a massive antique desk, a toy area spanning half the dining room...and the clothes, OH MY GODS the clothes are in massive mounds only able to be sorted by gender and "kid or non-kid." My best guess on how many hours of prep-time in the last two weeks....15 hours. What consumer beasts we are! It's liberating and humbling and downright ridiculous to see how much stuff we were holding onto that we didn't need or even WANT, but there it was--a clusterfuck of junk insulating our home for what? For no good reason. Our simple garage sale is now a mid-life modern family estate sale. Wanna come? Bring cash.

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