I had a party this past weekend to get rid of most of my stuff. I didn’t price my belongings, but asked people to make donations when they filled their shopping bags. It’s amazing how much stuff you actually have when you start cleaning out closets and cupboards. Because I’d already eliminated anything of no value, I was faced with the decision of what to take to Italy and what to leave behind. At first it was difficult and I began filling box after box with kitchen essentials that I was pretty sure I couldn’t live without. Then I calculated the shipping costs. I Immediately began unpacking boxes and putting stuff out on the now-designated “I can live without it” table.
It is weird to have people in your home picking through your belongings, but I found after I’d put an item out, I let go of some of my attachment. About twenty friends came in and out on Saturday night. I provided lots of wine, pizza, some rigatoni and a big pot for donations. I put a photo of cinder on it with one of her more pathetic expressions which said, “Please give generously. My survival depends on it.” Shameless, I know.
About half way through the night, I surreptitiously took a peek in the pot and saw three lonely $20 bills. Not good. Lots of bags were exiting the apartment and not much money was being left. At this rate, I figured I might just recoup the cost of the pizza, but my shipping costs were not going to be touched.
Then, as if by magic, some of the bigger furniture items started generating interest. People were vying over my drop leaf table and various mirrors. I began demonstrating the usefulness of all of the pieces with the flair of a carny, emphasizing the antiques and embellishing stories of the furniture’s existence. Oh and, of course, I kept the vino flowing.
By the end of the night, I’d raised about 1/2 of what I need to ship my boxes and I still have people coming through this week looking at the bigger pieces. This plan may just work. My house is a wreck and Cinder and I are down to a few utensils and “her” loveseat. But roughing it for a few weeks is a small price to pay. And at least I know my stuff has gone to a good home…or twenty.