-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Only through the experience of moving our "stuff" out of our Chicago apartment and into what would make up our luggage (or "trap" as Thoreau called it) did Lynsey and I realize how much we had actually accumulated over the past four years. It was almost beyond comprehension. We went through things that we hadn't touched in YEARS, and still, somehow, had a hard time putting them into the "give-away" pile. Where does that compulsion to keep and hoard come from? A week or so into sorting our stuff we agreed that we would take on an entirely different philosophy to this move; one that aligned better with a "less is more" approach to our belongings so that we might travel lightly on our way south.
First we parted with our big furniture and then moved on to the endless boxes of smaller stuff. Craigslist came through for us, and within two weeks we had sold our couch, rugs, coffee table, end tables, and full dining room set. Memories lost? No, and instead a feeling of freedom and movement set in and we became hooked on the high of getting rid of all this stuff. We put the non-sellable items in the alley and gladly watched as happy alley-cruisers walked away with their treasure for the day. Goodwill and AmVets got most of the rest, and by the end we were left storing the following things: books and important papers, a bed set, a pair of caribou antlers, wall hangings, dishes and pots n' pans, and winter clothes.