This is the first time I’ve stayed at my parents house in 12 years now. Before this, it was when the Dino Allsman incident occurred. Oh wait, Colleen and I stayed here once or twice, while passing through the state. In ’95 and ’97. But we stayed in their trailer so it’s not the same! Anyway, it’s weird being in my old room again. Seeing the shadows and light come into the room at night in the same way and all that crap.
I spent a lot of this week in my storage space, trying to empty it out. Originally, my plan was to store things for a year, tops. My brother was going to let me use a trailer that he had access to and drive all my junk across the country to Oregon. That didn’t happen because I decided that I couldn’t afford the gas to do that. So my new plan is to sell everything of value, donate everything that’s not important to me, and bring the rest back, either in suitcases on the plane or by mailing them to myself.
I doubt I’ll get it all done during this visit, but I’ve made major progress. I sold the washer & dryer on the first day I was here. Then I sold a few other miscellaneous things and donated a ton to the Salvation Army. I gave them several stereos, some cool toys of Emilys (with her permission) my entire kitchen (plates, cups, glasses, silverware, toaster, waffle iron, pots, etc.) My dad was impressed with with way Craigslist worked so he had me list an old guitar of his. He made $75 on it the next day. I donated tons more to Salvation Army, just misc. things like fans, ice chests, alarm clocks, and lots more that I can’t remember. A few large, stuffed animals, puzzles, trash cans. Just so much stuff. They love me there now. And I got receipts for it all so I can put it on my taxes. They wouldn’t take RijilV’s juggling knives for some reason.
The hardest part is actually throwing stuff away. I filled an entire trashbag full of phones. Another filled with answering machines. Other bags were filled with all kinds of wire. GOOD wire, like coax, cat5, phone wire, electrical wire. TONS of electronic components. Bits of circuit boards, LEDs, microchips, resisters, all still in the packaging. Fried tone dialer circuit boards. Stuff I’ve been collecting for more than twenty YEARS is now in the city dump. The kind of stuff that people at a 2600 meeting would kill to have. I’ve thrown away soldering irons, solder, screwdriver sets. Signs that were stolen from random places (hotel room numbers, No Smoking, Restrooms, etc).
I can’t think of what else. But, you know, just good STUFF. I know I didn’t really need most of it and probably wouldn’t have used most of it. But it’s hard to let some of this stuff go. And it’s always been nice just to have stuff like this laying around. When I get involved in some weird project, I always have random weird stuff lying around to contribute to it. Or if somebody happens to need 200′ of coax or a few dozen PS/2 mouse converters, I can be like, “Oh, I have that!” And I threw out a lot of junk before I moved out of the old house too. But there was still so much of it.
At the same time, though, it feels great to be rid of all this stuff. My place in Oregon isn’t big enough to accommodate it all anyway. And it’ll be nice to be rid of 10 cubic feet of stuff that I don’t really need. Much easier to stay organized, much easier to move. It felt great last year to just dump everything and move on after 10 years of being somewhat stable. It feels kind of like that again.
Oh yeah, the kids came with me to the storage thing a couple of times. And it ruled, watching them rediscover all this old stuff of theirs. They were so excited to find a lot of it. They’d completely forgotten about so much. And I let them fill up a duffel bag full of toys to bring back to my parents house. I plan to let them each have one suitcase to fill with Christmas toys and things from storage. I mailed myself a giant box of all of our old DVDs. That’s one thing I prefer not to part with. I mailed a box of 3 pillows, too, thinking that would be cheap to mail. And it was $16! I threw some Hotwheels in the middle, too, but that shouldn’t have been that expensive. I’m going to give UPS a try for mailing my keyboard.
I’d say I cut my completely packed 10×12 storage unit down to probably 10×6, if not more. And I’ve still got more to sell and give away to the salvation army. I might look into finding a smaller storage unit somewhere if it’s a considerable difference. And I’ll probably wait until this summer to try and sell the rest of it. I’ve got 3 or 4 70 quart plastic boxes full of books. I don’t know what to do about those. I hate to give away or sell books but I may have to. Then again, if I drive out this summer, I could load the car up with a lot of those. Hrmmmm. And if I drive and the kids fly, they can lug more suitcases full of stuff again!
Anyway, I’m happy to be rid of so much of this. And it’ll be nice to bring a lot of it back to Oregon. I miss the DVDs, a lot of my office stuff, papers, photo albums, etc. Hopefully not too much of it ends up getting crushed by the airport throwers.