The Great Purge

There’s nothing like the reality of moving into “European” (read: small) quarters to make you reconsider the amount of accumulated stuff you have in your life. While I have been on a campaign to reduce, reuse and recycle for a long time, I’ve realized how much further we have to go as we start down this journey.

We’ve been at this for two weeks, with G making far more progress (frankly, he had way more to go than I) and yet it seems we haven’t even made a visible dent. How does this happen?

Phase One — Purge

How does one end up spending the afternoon shredding carbon copies (seriously!) of every check you’ve ever written in your life? We have millennial friends who can count on one hand how many checks they’ve ever written.

Got loose change laying around from emptying pockets or the wallet? I’ve spent the last three nights rolling coins. $88 worth so far.

Did you know that the IRS says you need to keep only three years’ worth of tax return records? We have them going back to last century.

Can we talk about clothes hangers? So. Many. Hangers.

T-shirts, anyone? We’ve donated four large garbage bags of them. So far. More to go.

It’s insanity.

Phase Two — Selling

We are now looking at everything we own with a more discerning eye. The question now is, “Is this worth paying to store?” Monthly storage fees are expensive and we have no intention of paying more than our Lisbon rent to store stuff.

That means everything — cookbooks, kitchen wares, furniture, decorative items, etc. Stay tuned for an open house.



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