All That I Own


Got up early to rent a truck. Hauled another load of scrap metal to be recycled. More paints, varnishes, etc. went to hazardous waste. Dumped another 1350 pounds (and later 300 pounds) of garbage at the dump. And moved my remaining items out of the sheds at the house and into the storage unit. All this got done in time to beat my guests to my going away party.

To be honest, my mother hauled the scrap metal and hazardous waste. She also picked up the food for the party… hopefully in that order. Another friend came by to help load things to the dump and get the storage unit repacked efficiently. Without that assistance I couldn’t have showed up at my own party.

I am a little concerned about the scales at the dump… earlier in the week I had rented a pick-up to haul trash and the scale read 1350. Today I rented a van and got the same reading. My second run today got charged at the minimum – 300 pounds, I think – because they failed to record my gross weight. If that load read the same 1350, I would have had to complain, since it couldn’t have been that heavy.

Having the sheds available for my tenants to use should help when we raise rents. If the property is more valuable each time we raise rent, it should help keep tenants stable. I want stable tenants.

Giving away items (and dumping items) is an interesting process. I try to ask myself questions:

  • Is it likely I will use the item in the future?
  • Is the value/function of the item decreasing significantly with time?
  • Is the item big? or cumbersome in shape/size?
  • Is the item cheap to replace?
  • Is the item tchotchke (or a ‘dust collector’)?

Paying attention to these factors allowed me to move from a 5’x10′ unit to a 5’x5′ unit a few trips back. Two trips back I got things tidy in there and this time, even though I added items from the sheds, it still fits.

The last category of reductions got me a bit of grief – not unexpectedly – because it includes gift items and family heirlooms. I wrestled with this, but just because I received a souvenir 35 years ago doesn’t make it a keeper. If I won’t be putting it on a shelf to gaze at and I won’t be forgetting the important person who gave it to me, then I figure it doesn’t need to be sitting in a box in perpetuity. I kept some of the larger items which were handmade, but passed on the things that were store bought.

Now that everything I own in America is contained in the smallest storage unit available, I can relax a bit and not worry about reducing sharply.

The party was not too big; we had good food and handmade desserts; and everyone left happy. I’ll rank that a success.


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