Sunday, January 28, 2018

Where Did I Go? Part II

Hello Friends,

I left off of this story in December of 2016.  

One month later, my life was totally in God's hands and ah-mazing things were happening amidst all the pain I was experiencing from the divorce proceedings.  

I can explain it no other way than to say that Jesus had ahold of my right hand and was walking me through all the plans that had to be made to sell our house and guide me into a new future, much different than the one I had visualized.  I hung on to this scripture like a lifeline.

For I the Lord your God, hold your right hand:  It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."  Isaiah 41:13 ESV

Before the house even hit the market, a couple approached me at church inquiring if I'd be interested in selling it to them.  It was perfect for their family and as we moved towards closing, the real work began.

Fortunately, I had been sorting out items by category, using the Kon-Mari method for the past year but I still had a few categories to go such as my Memorabilia and Photos.

In one sitting, I sorted all these boxes of my memories down to two.  Sometimes a little pressure is a good thing.  I took lots of photos of paperwork and significant items so if I want to look at them, I still can, but it all went.

I decided it was time to let go of the yearbooks and photo albums from high school, college, dating and beyond.  I pulled out a few photos from these albums and tossed the rest. 
(Did I hear someone gasp?)

It felt good to let go of my past to make way for my future.

I knew that I was going to have to have a big sale in order to make some money and hopefully get rid of most everything I had.  

No way was I going to live in an apartment surrounded by clutter after experiencing all the clear space in my beautiful home.  At this point, I still had no idea where I was going, but I knew that small was going to be in my future and perhaps even tiny. 

                                                                            Emptying out 4 stories of a house was a large scale version of these sorting boxes.  Except for my "Keep" box only held items that I absolutely loved and would hopefully fit in a tiny apartment.

I knew that having a sale in April likely meant it was going to have to be held inside which meant all the big furniture pieces had to go to make room for all the household items.  I may have worn out the Facebook Marketplace App!  It seemed I was selling something every day and I met the most wonderful people!

I held a pop-up store for a woman who wanted to buy some garden and outdoor decor items.  Turns out she runs the outdoor flea market where I bought most of the items I was selling!  Even funnier was she bought almost all of it back!  

One of my besties bought my favorite swing so I could still come by and use it from time to time.

I sold a small area rug to a woman who confided in me that she'd just got off work at 6am and found out her kids had had the stomach flu all night.  She had just arrived from the laundromat, where she had to wash all of their bedding.  Just that morning I had emptied out the linen closet and wondered what to do with it all.  As soon as I heard her story, I rushed upstairs and grabbed the giant bag of sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillows.  She was so grateful as we both stuffed them into her small car filled with laundry baskets and clean clothes.  

I smiled for the rest of the day.

There was a metal workbench that I sold to a woman named Kim.  We hit it off immediately, wondered how it was that we had never met in our small town, and after loading the beast into her pick-up, have become friends ever since.  (In fact, she offered to come help me pack all the discards up from the big sale the following day so the donation truck could grab them and she did!  She is my friend for life.)

It gave me a lot of joy during this difficult time to have some of my favorite things go to people so excited to own them.  

But did I mention the garage?  

So when my soon to be ex-had left town, he left an enormous mess in the garage.  Piles of things willy-nilly.  It was overwhelming.  No way could I do this on my own along with emptying the house, plus every time I walked in there, I felt angry that he hadn't taken care of this.  Fortunately, a friend offered to do it, I accepted.  Even organizers need help from time to time.  

It took 6 days.  I watched.


Man oh man there was so much stuff.  It was impassable.



The sale was held.  It was a blur.  Many, many, many of my friends came to help with the display, pricing, and working the sale.  I remember it was very cold outside and I walked many times between the garage and my house to check on things, answer questions and talk to people.  It was exhausting.

I would take photos of things that weren't selling and post to Facebook Marketplace and people would text me with the photo marked with red circles of what they were coming over to buy.  It was crazy!

Afterwards, it was really FUN to throw all the cash in the air!  Haven't you wanted to do this too?

The house was completely emptied out, except for the things I was keeping.  
It was a bit like camping.  There was no couch to sit on, no bed even.  I slept on a mattress on the floor.

Meanwhile the house was closing in a month!   I waited on God to find out where I was headed next.

Go back and read Part I

Watch for Part III next.

Have you ever had to make a big move?

How did you decide what to keep?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Where Did I Go? Part 1

Hello You,

I’ve been gone from this blog for quite awhile, about a year actually.  Sure I managed a total of two posts in all of 2017, here and here , but mentally, I took a break from everything so I could focus on me. This is what happened.

I'll pick up the story in the Spring of 2016.   My husband took a job in another state, in the hopes that we would eventually move there permanently. I stayed put to get our home ready for sale.

I had started my own version of a Tidying Festival back in 2015 which I blogged about in many posts since then.  By the summer of 2016, I had finished my clothes, bookspaperwork, closets the basement, had the entire inside of our home professionally painted and then I decided to decorate with staging for a house sale in mind, all while still working with clients and doing a million other things to get the house fixed up and cleaned up.

In late summer I had resigned myself to living alone and was enjoying my renewed home.  Houses really do like being taken care of.  Mine shone with the love and care I had given it and I relished all the space.  It had been worth all the hard work.

Then something happened that Fall that changed the course of my life.  

Unbeknownst to me, in that other state, my husband was making his own choices and these had led to him very suddenly losing his job.  The long and the short of it was that after 27 years of marriage I filed for divorce.  This started me on a path to a much different life than the one I had previously known.

By December 2016,  I had taken in a renter, found a part time job and was working with organizing clients in the evenings and on weekends, my college-age sons and myself were about to lose our health insurance, and I knew there was no way I could afford the payments on the mortgage to keep our family home.

Read Part II to find out how this story continues and where my new life begins!