The Unplanned Life

“We are selling the house”.

“Where are you going?”

“We don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“Yeah, we don’t know.”

“But you have a place to stay?”

” No, we don’t.”

The long, blank stare follows.

I have come to the conclusion that not having a place to stay is, at the very least, somewhat un-American. Either you have a place in a recognizable location, with a two car garage and a place for all your stuff, or people assume you will be living on the street. I don’t have that place, nor do I think I will be on the street. Maybe a tent temporarily, but I won’t be sleeping on a park bench or living on the street.

We are taking a leap of faith, my husband and I. We know we do not want to stay where we are, but we have not seen the place we want to be- not yet. So we are down-sizing our belongings, and selling the house we have lived in for 31 years. Three kids, 3 dogs, a cat, and numerous gerbils and hamsters have lived here. We are putting things in storage and traveling for 4-5 months. And, yes, we do not know where we will end up when we are done.

For years I have complained about the clutter in my house, the lack of storage space, and the disorganized closets. The simple truth is I just needed to get rid of it all. For the past nine months, I have gradually been cleaning out drawers, closets, and cabinets, sorting my life into three piles. There is the garbage pile, for those things that are broken, stained or ripped. The donation pile is for everything still usable, just not by me. And the storage/packing pile is for the items deemed worthy of paying to keep, because anything we keep, we have to store for about 5 months. Each item in this house must go through it’s moment of truth: is this storage worthy?

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