Thu 09 June 2022

In preparation for our eventual transition to camper life and retirement, I have been working for many weeks and months to separate the wheat from the chaff in the garage. Years and years and YEARS of accumulation of tools and hardware and junk, winnowed down to the bare necessities; keeping the things I know I will need, the things I think I will need, and the things I am sure I must have even though down deep I know I should give them up; and setting the rest aside to be disposed of. Add to that the garden tools and other outdoor miscellany, all of which are JUST THINGS that can be replaced, should we ever need to do so.

Before today we'd already given away a lot of stuff to friends and neighbors, but today was the day we advertised to the local Decorah community that we had a trove of excess stuff to give away. It was all set out into the driveway, piles of stuff - much of it junk, to be honest; but USEFUL junk for the right person! And holy cow, the response was far above anything I might have imagined! The ad went out around 3pm, and within ten minutes our first "customer" arrived. Within an hour we'd had a dozen people show up. It was a shark feeding frenzy! We had people haggling and bargaining to see who would get what... it was crazy! Kristin kept bringing things out of the house to add to the mix; and it was lapped up with gusto! This went on for nearly 3 hours, and nearly wiped out the whole collection. The last person was so happy for all the stuff she got that she was almost in tears, and had to give me a hug!

This giving away of stuff has been such an amazing experience. There is no way that we would have been able to sell the stuff we gave away - it is truly worth so little in dollar terms, but worth so much in usefulness - and to give it away and see how happy it made people has been really rewarding. And the fact that we no longer need to find other means of disposal, such as the landfill, is also extremely satisfying.

So here we are, less than two weeks away from leaving this house, making great progress on our GREAT PURGE OF '22. It feels really, REALLY good.

Here are some "before" images of the junk we started with:

Before Before Before

And here's what was left after just over 3 hours!