Friendly ChipIn, Craiglisting, Picnicking
We’re rounding on the final stretch of downsizing by selling or sharing or donating or trashing our stuff. The house echoes now because the furniture is gone; only thing left are a few dozen boxes of wires, AC adapters, product boxes, loose files, clothes, etc.
What’s been most amazing is to see the generosity of friends in so many ways. Our quaint home church has been incredibly kind in expressing their love and sadness over our move, and my web friends have been generous to quickly exceed my lil’ fundraiser to defray travel costs. With the very handy ChipIn widget service, which integrates so smoothly with PayPal, my web friends could donate online, chip in, and see the thermometer move towards the $500 goal.
To my utter surprise on Saturday morning, the goal was already exceeded!! A brief analysis of those who contributed to my moving expenses:
- 6 contributors chipped in $515, so the average contribution is about $85.83
- 100% have met me in person
- 50% have lived/worked near me
- 83% (5 of 6) are active bloggers
- 0% use Xanga for their blogging tool
To downsize our stuff, we’ve been listing dozens of things on Craigslist for sell and for free. (Did I mention we’re moving cross country without a moving truck?) What an amazing free service, and Craiglisters are a subculture of its own. We’ve sold furniture, tv, given away assorted mixes of leftover hardware and electric goods, even an old Sega Genesis game system. Clothes and books haven’t moved briskly, so they got donated. My Honda Civic has been the hardest to sell. A paid listing in the Washington Post and cars.com hasn’t produced as many leads as Craigslist. A couple of listings I posted sold better than my dear wifey’s, b/c I put more panache into my listing; this is an excerpt from our dining table listing:
We must move — so we’re selling our beautiful Storehouse Java Collection Dining Set with 8 matching chairs. Light-colored (birch) wood with elegant lines. … Of course you’ll need some kind of a truck to carry it all. You’ll need to pay in advance if you want us to hold it for more than a day, b/c this is very likely to be in high demand. Come take a look before you decide. If you’d like to have a pizza party here to test it out, we’ll let you take it for a test drive, if you share the pizza and drinks with us 🙂
And, yesterday (Saturday) afternoon we had a come-and-go picnic at our community park. Perfect weather and proximity of a playground made it a fun family-friendly event for 40+ friends! My wifey does know how to decorate and put together a festive mood! The best party favor: a mini beach-ball with this web address. Our off-line friends have been kind to gift us their time and presence, and generous with both cash and non-cash gifts, the best included a soft-top carrier for our Xterra!
Getting rid of material possessions must feel real good, maybe in an ascetic sort of way, but good nonetheless. About a year ago I started to feel like my possessions were really weighing me down; honestly it was a lot more than that, but I suppose it was a physical symbol of what my spirit felt. Then I moved to Boston and was forced to bring only what I felt was important to me, and soon I’ll be moving again, hoping the accumulation a year brings doesn’t exceed the capacity of my car.
Just the other day, we were driving by some houses, and Husband confessed his ambivilence – “I certainly don’t want one of those – they’re ugly and overpriced and who wants to mow those lawns…” he said, “EXCEPT that it would be great to have a place with plenty of room for having people over, and a nice big yard for the Dude to play in, and space for my books….” and it took me most of a day to realize that WE ALREADY HAVE THAT in our little townhouse. We just need to throw out the stuff we don’t want/need/use anymore, and start paying some attention to the outside of the house. If we arranged our rooms the way we actually want to use them, we’d have all the breathing room we could ask for.
So your no-truck move is inspiring.