No Suitcases for Me

25 11 2006

I need a vacation.

I need a world tour. But, I do not need to pack for this trip.

I am, (in the real world) gearing up (slimming down?) for an eventual move from the seven-room house I’ve lived in since I was five, to an apartment in a senior citizen building. Every day I throw away moth and dust corrupted items once deemed useful, cute, important and needed, whether: purchased, gifted, acquired, rescued, handed down, bought on impulse, or saved just in case. Dusty books, yellowed with age, read and unread, pages curling, sit in shopping bags next to cartons of rusty paint cans and cleaning supplies that will be taken to a hazardous waste site.

Bags and boxes of size six gloves, belts for someone else’s still girlish waist, used VCR tapes, old greeting cards, a Kitchen Aide mixer, a sewing machine, old clothing and a bag of potting soil have already been picked up, or crowd the hall waiting for local Freecyclers to cart away to their loving homes (God bless them!)

Giving, bestowing, blessing, (I hope) and offering to others the still useful or otherwise lovely accumulation of a lifetime–here and now while I live and breathe–makes me feel like I’m playing Santa to friends and relatives who have given me so much in love, help, and affection in the past. Post-it notes help to remind me who admired what.

So, Soul Food friends, forgive me if I am in no mood to pack suitcases of clothing, toiletries, and jewelry for the Advent Tour.

Journals and pens, I have, along with my Baby Dell, and a brain chock full of travel memories from the past eager to be turned into stories tweaked and embellished to fit this exciting occasion.

Porchsitter: Barbara Banta




7 responses

25 11 2006

Barbara, sometimes I think we travel in the world with too much stuff. I need to start “unpacking” as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

25 11 2006

Hi Lori,

Hi Lori,

I’ve been wanting to live more simply for years but it’s tough getting rid of “stuff” When you have things that can be used and no one wants them it’s discouraging. Only now, with Freecycle to accomplish it and FlyLady to encourage me is it beginning to happen. If I’d had a computer and known about them before, I’d have been doing this all along. I really think we get bogged down with too many possessions. It’s amazing to me how many people are overwhelmed and depressed not because of lack–but because of too much! The letters to FlyLady prove it over and over again. It is definitely freeing!

25 11 2006

I am also in the process of de-cluttering with a view to making a move to a new place in 18 months time. It’s sometimes hard to let go of stuff we’ve clung to for years and years especially for someone with magpie tendencies like myself – hoping/thinking that the stuff might just come in handy one day

26 11 2006

Sometimes letting go of things seems impossible, I think. Don’t give away anything that really matters to you. You will find the space for it. But sorting things gives a change of routine, and if the process if freeing, all the better. I was interested in reading the other responses to this post too. I often find it very hard to factor what I really really need, as opposed to just keeping it. I always think of William Morris’ quote about only keeping what is beautiful or useful. It says it all.

26 11 2006
Heather Blakey

Ever so slowly I have tried to reduce the clutter and put out things. However, there is so much that could be cleared out. When I retired I thought I would get that sort of thing done – she laughs cynically. Maybe one day I will be even more ruthless.
Great post Barbara.

26 11 2006

Oh dear…clutter…now there’s a loaded word if ever there was one!! Some day I shall scan a photo of my house and just seeing it as it usually is (a mess!) will make each and every one of you feel better!! Clutter is my second name, and the irony is I too aspire to living simply!! Still I have decided in recent times that living simply is not an exercise in interior decor but an attitude of mind and heart…well it works for me!!!

1 12 2006


I too have that sense of sadness in throwing away things that still have use because no one wants “used.” At times in my early days of living on my own for the first time and working grueling hours just to pay the rent, I would have been grateful for so many of the things that I send to the dump because the thrift stores are not interested.

I have such respect for the soulful and thoughtful ways you are working through this transition. I adore FLYLADY – she is such a dear!

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