Exit The Dumpster


With the house for sale and a move to the West Coast imminent, Helaine and I have spent the past few weeks culling. Is there a more difficult chore? At some point you just close your eyes and toss!

Helaine saved EVERY paper Stef produced in school, grades K through 12. She saved every card we exchanged for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. A representative sample remains–no more.

I had a large collection of videotapes. There were lots of airchecks from my work over the years. No way I’d ever get to watch them, much less curate them. Most–not all–now gone.

The biggest sign of our commitment was renting a dumpster. It sat at the end of our driveway yelling, “Feed me.” For two weeks we did!

Today a truck came and took the dumpster home. With it went a lifetime of memories.

We still have plenty to savor, just not everything. This is where having enough room became a blessing and a curse.

8 thoughts on “Exit The Dumpster”

  1. Geoff, In the future you can send card fronts to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children; 100 St. Jude’s St., Boulder City, NV. 89006-0100 The children there make new cards out of them to sell to help with their expenses. They don’t wants any that have writing on them however. I just sent a box full. You can fit a huge amount in the ones at the post office for 12 bucks.
    Moving definitely helps you clear out unnecessary baggage 🙂

  2. We are in the midst of a move ourselves. (I wish we had our sights set on Hamden because your house would be perfect for us, but alas, we are set on the shore.) The task of decluttering and purging our lives seems very daunting. I am a packrat by nature, and having kids it’s very hard to let some things go. It will feel good to get a fresh start. Things are just that, things. There will always be the memories.

  3. Since my husband and I got divorced around 12 years ago, I have moved five times, down-sizing each time. You get used to not seeing the mess and hope that you finally got rid of what needed to go. I still have a storage place. Dumpster would have been good, but didn’t thing of it. Good luck to you and Helaine. Maybe I’d should also say good luck to Stephanie!! Only kidding.

  4. Geoff, I admire that you and Helaine are paring down. Need to do so myself. We had several dumpsters after my husband died to get rid of all he collected that couldn’t be sold.
    I’m only sorry that we’re losing you here in CT. I wish you all the best in the west. I’m sure you’re doing the right thing!

  5. Remember the George Carlin bit on “stuff” …priceless and soooooo true….we have downsized three times in 16 yrs…still could use a dumster to fine tune…keep thinking how hard it was to clean out my parent’s household after 60+years of accumulation…..don’t want my kids to have to suffer the same fate, but it is hard to do, just cleaning off my desk is a challenge. Best of luck in Cali, have a son in Santa Rosa…wine country!!!!!

  6. I went through this 4 years ago when I lost my apartment of 17 years. I had the thow out 3/4 of everything I had. In the process I lost thousands of things I loved and really wanted to keep but didn’t have time or room to deal with. My record collection…gone. Hundreds of books….gone. My barbie dolls (from childhood) gone. Everything was gone.
    What was left I put in a big storage unit. I tried really hard to hang onto that but last year they cut out overtime at work and I lost $300.00 a month. So I had to cut more. Cleaned out that storage unit, got rid of the sofa I loved, my model horse collection (again from childhood), clothes, more books, etc. What little remains is in a 5×5 storage unit which is packed to the ceiling.
    Some people would say ‘Oh it’s just stuff’ but is isn’t. It was MY stuff and it meant a lot to me. The horses dolls and sofa I’ll never be able to replace. There just wasn’t anything else I could do. Not that I could figure out anyway.
    File this under ‘been there done that’.

  7. Decluttering is good for the soul. Went through everything in the house a few years ago and got rid of a lot of old stuff. Now we have a rule: if we have not touched it, looked at it, or otherwise mucked with it in two years, out it goes. Good luck, Jeff. You’ll be missed.

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