Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Move

The move is complete and we are all moved in. I begin work at a new facility Monday. This prison facility is far larger than the one I left behind. Where I was, the inmate population was approximately 1,530 inmates. Where I will be working the inmate censes is approximately 5,065. Yes indeed, a 33.1% increase.
This new adventure in our lives has not been without its challenges, disappointments, and frustrations. It is merely another sampling of life in its totality. We have run the gamut of mourning the loss of our home, to wondering “what were we thinking?” to looking at each other and resolving, “we can do this… we’re going to be alright.” Living in an apartment complex is a melding of people into community. Yes, I can do this.
Poring over 17 years of accumulations and determining what we will keep and what can go has been difficult at times and at the very least, thought provoking.  I believe we have saved family members the grief of having to sort through items “in the event of”. Mind you, we still have plenty, just not the mass quantities we previously had.
I’ve commented a number of times that someone from a third world nation could live off my discards and I am not kidding!
Once the movers unloaded all our possessions from the house (1,400 square feet) into the apartment (700 square feet) it was immediately obvious we STILL had too many items.
The other evening I went through our DVD collection with the intent of purging. I did the initial sort with the discard pile and the keep pile. I got up, fixed myself a glass of ice water (it has been extremely hot here in the SW, even for the SW) then set back down and went through the keep pile a second time. I am finding this method of culling the herd works best for me. We have a wonderful used book / DVD / CD music store called Bookman’s close by. We will be taking the excess DVD’s and books there for exchange credit. Recycling at its finest!
I brought twelve purses with me and did not have the storage area for them. Again, I purged, then I purged yet a second time. That left me with four purses. We found female neighbors willing to take them off our hands. Twelve purses – REALLY? What was I thinking? Did I suppose I needed one for each month of the year?
We eliminated all of our Christmas decorations (containers and containers of them). I did keep my tree topper, but even as I look around the apartment I cannot fathom where anything other than a 2-foot tree might go. I’ll consider this further during the holiday season as it really isn’t pertinent now. (Really, I’m thinking a Norfolk pine…)
I have learned something about myself. Something others have subtly pointed out or laughed about before – I become paralyzed with clutter! There was a Captain at work who would occasionally set something in the filing room, then approach me and say, "Is this going to be OK? You’re not going to ‘vapor lock’ or anything, are you?” I would always assure him it was alright, but honestly, when I entered the room, I could feel myself tense up and hurry to finish my task and leave the area!
I must also say that I am not that person who will rent a storage facility to store items I am not using! REALLY? If not using them then sell, donate or give them away!
Joshua Becker has a wonderful blog – becoming minimalist (you can visit by clicking on the link). His eBook was a helpful inspiration in determining what to keep and what to eliminate. It is a weekend read chock full of helpful hints in how to eliminate the clutter of our lives.
My next adventure in culling will be my closet. I say my closet because there is no room for Husband’s clothing items in there! His are in bedroom #2’s closet, taking up all of probably 18 inches of space. With this being said, I already eliminated the three bags of “maybe someday I will fit into this again” clothing. If I ever do lose the weight, I want new clothes. So, from this day forward, I promise to not bring something new into my closet unless I remove something from it. A one for one trade is my goal, my plan.
As much as it hurts to say this, I also want to eliminate shoes. I have perhaps three pair that are my “go to” shoes. Why are the others taking up valuable space? It is my mother, isn’t it? She is the one who gave me such a love of shoes! Generally speaking, my philosophy towards clothing, purses, shoes and accessories was a girl can’t have too many!
My decorating is much simpler.  I will not have as much on the walls. It consists of one picture, one clock, one plaque, and my collection of crosses. All items will be looked at for having a dual purpose – can it be used for storage? Is it multi-functional? Under bed storage is my new reality for blankets and bed linens. We purchased a hassock that doubles as a storage unit for board games, DVD’s and art supplies.
We have a lovely dresser with a mirror that will NOT fit into either bedroom. We hate to break up the set, but we will be posting it on Craig’s List for sale. Right now, the TV is sitting on it and the mirror is in the small storage area where the water heater is located.
We are next going to sort through our many photographs and sort out selections for our children. We will accumulate a box for him and a box for her. Then we will send them out to them, with exception… The exception to this rule is our son. We did rent a storage unit for his possessions and we will put his pictures in there for safe keeping.
Purely, simply, I want to own my possessions and not the other way around. I want them to be functional and useful, not sitting and accumulating dust. I don’t want someone going through my items “in the event of” and wondering, “What was she thinking?
I watched with wonder at the persons who came to “shop” our moving sale. I wondered about how their homes looked. There were a few whom I felt surely must be hoarders. Through the years I’ve seen them at every yard sale I’ve ever attended.
Our advertised sale was to begin at 7 am and people began to arrive before 6 am. We opened early as we didn’t want to not sell an item and have to move it with us! All in all, it was a most successful moving sale.
Even with yard & moving sales, organization is important. Having similar items grouped together as well as a semblance of organization helps persons to find an area of interest and comb over it.
Some items hadn’t even been priced as we opened the doors, so when an inquiry was made, we would say, “What seems fair and reasonable to you?” and we were off on negotiating a fair price.
We visited a church this morning that is relatively close to our home. It is a United Methodist and we selected the contemporary service. We enjoyed the worship and the senior pastor seems to have a sincere passion for his vocation. He challenged the congregation by stating several times that God has given us all a call in our lives, what is that call? Indeed, what is my call?
I do know what I am passionate about and it does seem to be issues that deal with justice and its application within the community.
In doing my devotional the other day, the saint that is being spot lighted is Alice Paul (on July 9th). They had a brief bio on Ms Paul and stated that if she had taken a spiritual gifts test, she probably would have been a “prophet”. They had a link for a spiritual gifts test, so I took it. It turns out that I too, tested out as a prophet! Who knew?
We will see where the Lord leads us to worship next week. We are in no hurry to make a decision just yet.
With all this being said (read written…) the Lord has been faithful to hold my feet to the task of simplifying and minimizing my life!
Simply yours,

Proverbs 13:7
The Message (MSG)
A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
    a plain and simple life is a full life.


  1. This was very inspiring, Tamara! Now I feel the need to declutter. All the best in your new home and with your new job xo

    1. Thank you Nyssa. I've learned that change is neither good nor bad. It is merely change and our ability to adapt to it. I want a simple, unpretentious life that is transparent.

  2. Ah, its time for the new chapter! I'v been waiting for your post dear Tamara.
    I laughed, (very loud) conjuring images of your purging pursuits and impressed that you were able to follow through.
    I also misted up at other things you shared.
    But here you both are, ready to turn the page of the rest of your future. Exciting times! I look forward to hearing how it all unfolds.

    1. Dearest Rose,the page has been turned and the story continues to unfold. I too, am looking forward to the story, the history... the her-story, if you will! Wish you could see Husband - he is the one who is going out and meeting and greeting the neighbors! He is so much more outgoing than I am, but then, I've been nesting and finding space for our 'things'.

  3. Tamara...I read this last night, but wanted to come back and read it again. I'm so glad I did. Your move and ultimate transformation will be what God has in store for you. I am proud of you for letting go of things. That is hard for me, Tamara. Husband and I are in the process of cleaning out rooms here at home, and I used to never want to part with anything. Now, I know that if I haven't used it in the past 10 or so years, that I probably don't need to keep it in a drawer, etc. If I don't let it go, someone else will be cleaning out my stuff later, and I'd rather do it myself! (Does that make sense?) Hugs and love to you...I think of you often, and pray for you and your family regularly. Love to you, my friend.

    1. You will be so pleased with the results of cleaning out the rooms! And what you said makes perfect sense - I want to manage and clean out my stuff and not someone else later. I don't think that it would be prudent or even kind to have my son and daughter do that "in the event of" if you understand what I am meaning! Keep praying, dear Jackie! My first day of work was... challenging!


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