Whidbey News-Times


Moving helps one reflect on ‘the stuff’ acquired in a lifetime | Publisher's Column

February 20, 2013 · 10:41 AM

We as humans spend much of our lives collecting stuff, only to regret it when we have to pack it onto a truck and move it from one place to another.

And when it takes a full weekend, two truckloads totaling 30 feet long and driving four times and a little more than 600 miles back and forth, it hits home that one can have too much stuff.

This weekend my son Liam and I moved for the fifth time in just over 13 years.

The first move was in 1999 from our cute little 910 square foot rambler with a view of Penn Cove to a bigger, newer place on a friendly cul de sac in Yelm. We were there for the next eight years.

Then, we moved to an even bigger, nicer house we built just five miles down the road.

Of course, bigger houses require more stuff. With each and every move, we added more furniture, more dishes, more beds, more bedding, more pictures — more stuff.

During a move things go smoothly — that is until you reach the garage, the place where jam packed storage bins go to be forgotten.

Suddenly that “perfectly good” bicycle that just needs a few minor repairs doesn’t seem worth hanging on to. In fact, you start to question why it’s been sitting in the garage deteriorating for years.

While standing in the middle of that garage, you ask yourself a lot of questions, and there’s a lot of second guessing yourself.

Paperwork that was extremely important just a few years ago isn’t quite as important, but we hang on to it because we’re under the delusion that it may become important again.

Cool projects waiting to be started look like, well, just projects.

Goodwill and other thrift stores become a good resource when it dawns on you that not everything is going to fit into a 20-foot moving truck.

Liam is heading to college in the fall, and it’s time to kick things into reverse and downsize and simplify.

I’ve learned how to let go of things that once seemed unreleasable.

I’m determined to get my entire household into a 17-foot truck next time.



Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher for the Whidbey News-Times, Whidbey Examiner, Crosswind and South Whidbey Record. His e-mail is kgraves@whidbeynewstimes.com


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