While we’re living in Costa Rica, we’ll be renting our house in Savannah. The new tenants were kind enough to let us retain use of the garage and attic for storing our seemingly endless collection of unnecessary items. Those things that won’t be accompanying us on our journey south are currently being packed up into boxes and stacked into every available corner of our living spaces.
Each day sees a new empty spot created where a family photo once hung or a favorite chair sat. That sad, empty spot is then replenished with equally sad full cardboard boxes.
Like most Americans, we own a lot of “stuff.” Most of these items fall into odd sorts of collections. Moving exposes these collections, both the ones that we celebrate with our proudest passions and those that we hide away to disguise our sentimentalist shortcomings.
Stacks of my guitars, lined up neatly in their cases are already off into storage. Dozens of 1980s action figures have been removed from their glass cases, poly-bagged and placed in archival containers. Countless old birthday cards, sappy newlywed love letters and pages of loose leaf scrawls in various stages of my daughter’s handwriting were scooped from the sock drawer and dropped into yet another cardboard box.
Guitars. Toys. Scraps of decaying tissues covered in markers. I love these things. But sometimes, they feel like a burden as much as a blessing.
One of the changes I’m most looking forward to in Costa Rica is downsizing. A smaller home, fewer personal artifacts, no tchotchkes. A year without these comforting constants will hopefully provide some needed perspective and a strategy for culling the cruft that we don’t really need in our lives.
Minimalismo. It’s an easy Spanish vocabulary word. My goal is for it to be a life-style lesson as well.