We are having to move house. It’s been hanging over us all year, but now it’s looking like we’ll be moving before Christmas. We’re going to a smaller house, so we’re having to get rid of stuff.
I like the idea of getting rid of stuff. We have too much stuff – a ridiculous amount of stuff. Why keep things you don’t use and don’t need – stuff that just clutters up your life and your soul?
So out go the clothes I no longer wear.
Out go the books I bought years ago and haven’t read. That includes that big Hebrew bible I’ve had on the shelf for 20 years. Nice dream, but I doubt I will ever actually learn Hebrew.
Out go the bass guitar and amp that I bought with money I was given for my 40th birthday. At the time I played in a band, but shortly after turning 41 we moved from London to the Sussex coast, since when I’ve played the bass on three occasions. Eight years on, I’m unlikely to play bass in a band again.
Today the auctioneer came to value some silver and other stuff we’ve had squirrelled away in the attic and boxes in cupboards. That includes an engraved cup and an egg-cup and spoon set that were given to me when I was christened as a baby. When I was a boy, I was allowed to use these on rare occasions and I used to leave out a drink in the cup on the kitchen windowsill next to the tooth I’d left for the tooth fairy – it’s thirsty work collecting children’s teeth, and a fairy deserves a special cup. I haven’t looked at them for decades. Also going is my boyhood coin collection, mostly old pennies that my Grandpa gave me; and the silver spoon I won in a crown competition at our street’s Silver Jubilee party in 1977. What’s the point of keeping things in cupboards and never looking at them?
You can’t take it with you.
I like the idea of getting rid of stuff. I’m not sure I’d realised the strength of the connection between the stuff and my precious dreams and memories. Can I still take those with me when that connection is severed? Or, perhaps, severing the connection will set the dreams free to live and take new turns …
5 thoughts on “Selling the family silver”
I’m usually very good at pointing the uselessness of accumulated stuff owned by other people in my household. (There’s five more people, so there’s a lot of clutter.) I could give away most of my stuff, too, and not just that which is useless.
…but not the books. Please no, not the books. I can’t give them away. I even got in the way of someone else wanting to give their books to the library—‘I’ll take them!’, I said, and so there they are: almost 150 books waiting for me to read them. I never reread, with one or two exceptions, so they’re single-use, just as good as disposable items—except they take up shelf space. I need new shelves right now. Or do I need to give some of my books away?…
Your post is making me think. It’s hurting a bit, but I’ll think some more. I think I’ll revisit the bookshelf now and pick at least one book to give away.
Ah, the big Book Dilemma! Don’t forget – the biggest clear-out starts with a single book.
We are presently half-way through moving house, and we definitely have far too much stuff. I don’t know where it was all hiding. I yearn to travel light, but I love travelling with the people I love … and live with.
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Starts with one book, indeed. I now have 18 books sitting in a box, awaiting their giveaway. A new bookshelf doesn’t seem so urgent now… thank you.