Tag Archives: everything must go


How Not to Lose Your Fracking Mind (My Family is the A-Team)

In my mind my family are like the characters of the A-Team. Well, sort of. And moving from the States to Costa Rica to Czech Republic with teenagers is not for the faint of heart or the weak of mind. It seems best to approach life with a bit of humor or you will lose your fracking mind. Or at least your patience. Moving in general is a nerve wracking experience. Try getting rid of almost everything, twice.

Give me a minute, I’m good. Give me an hour, I’m great. Give me six months, I’m unstoppable. COL. Hannibal Smith, A-Team. I like the colonel.  In our family my hubby is the colonel. He’s the one with a plan. I’d follow the colonel anywhere. I’ve proven that and will continue to follow him. I trust his abilities.

How Not to Lose Your Fracking Mind While Moving Around the World with Teenagers

1. Save the Legos and other childhood memories. When I was frantically packing and purging I felt like I would lose my mind. There were things I wanted to keep. Boys toys, books, and memories. I was pressed to make decisions fast. Although I had a few months to clear out the clutter nothing really happened until we were down to the wire on time. I had to step it up. I got rid of kitchen things I thought I’d keep. I got rid of clothes we or the boys  might need later. There were a lot of things I might need later. I wouldn’t need them in Costa Rica but everything could fail and I’d need them in the States. I wasn’t trusting in the calling. I was making back up plans. Then, when pressed I decided to keep what was not replaceable. Books, art, memories, kid stuff, and a few heirlooms. I purged like crazy. Got rid of linens, kitchen ware, etc. Etc. Etc. I let it go but I saved the Legos and other childhood memorabilia. One day my children will thank me.

2. Legos Rules but so do handmade gifts and books Those things I couldn’t part with. Quilts my mom made. Art and books that I’d collected. Legos that my son collected. School projects from my kids. I got rid of a lot of fluff but when it came down to it I imagined my grandchildren. I thought about things that I’d want to pass down to them. This made the decision easier. Hopefully I’ll have grandchildren some day and I’ll have things connected to memories to share with them.

I see my oldest son in the role of B.A. Baraccass. B.A. has a good heart but a bad attitude. He follows orders and has a gruff way of expressing himself. My son is a 16 year old grumpy yet lovable walking hormone machine. About 80% of the time his attitude isn’t good. Moody yet vulnerable. Total teenager. One day he’ll come back to me. Normalize I hope.

3. It’s all crap. Okay mostly crap. Seriously you don’t need all those things that are stuffed into corners and forgotten.  Rule of thumb if it’s broken, toss it (or recycle). If it doesn’t fit, give it away. If you don’t use it, give it away. Clutter will wear you out. Clearing out the clutter is more than cleaning it’s liberating. It’s life affirming.  It’s powerful. It’s totally awesome.

My younger son is Mad Dog Murdoch. No he doesn’t suffer from an mental issues like Murdoch but he is kind of crazy but crazy talented. He’s willing to put himself on YouTube and create awesome videos. He’s so creative and yet not quite like the rest of society. He’s handsome, crazy talented, and a little different.

4. Seriously, if you don’t like it or wear it, toss it. You need clothes. Clothes that look good on you and that you feel good about. Everything else can go to someone else. You need cleaning products but you don’t need gallons and gallons. If you don’t use it regularly, don’t buy it. If you clean like a mad woman and go through lots then buy lots. Otherwise buy what you need at the best price and use it. Think twice about purchases. Will you use it? How often? Is it worth it?

Face. The last character in the A-Team. I’m not gorgeous but I do like to talk. I’d say I am the most outgoing talker in our group. The extrovert. Getting myself into trouble by not thinking every through. Face is who you send in to do the talking. Most days that me, able to talk to anyone, anywhere. I don’t lie very well.

In all honesty, my hubby and I switch roles on occasion. Sometimes I’m the leader of the group but sometimes I sport a bad attitude or crazy ideas. So, in a way, we are each the leader, the face, the bad attitude, and the crazy one.

5. Take what you need. Need what you take. Get rid of the superfluous. In the end when you’ve reduced, given away, and gotten rid of things you discover it’s really not about the stuff. People and memories you make with those people are what matters. See and do things with your family and friends. Take pictures and write a blog. Share laughs and love. Make memories.  When you leave this world the memories are what they are left with. Make them good.

What do you think? Could get rid of 90 percent of everything, move across the world, and have an adventure of a lifetime?


The road less traveled. Will you?

A Few of My Favorite Things

We’ve got about eighteen weeks and counting. Every week I try and make some kind of progress. My list of things to do is somewhat different than the overall list that Kurt and I written down in a notebook (yep, old school). My goals for the month of February are sell massage chair (check), sell treadmill (working on it, moving from bedroom to living room was this past weekend’s goal), organize and sell elementary homeschool curricula (sorta check). So over the course of the week I located, posted, these items. Still working on getting them sold but we’re making progress.

As I go through my home with a fine toothed comb I get to evaluate all my possessions. Do I want to take this to Italy? Do I want to store it? Can I sell it? Is it worth anything? And my most favorite thought is, why in the world did I keep this for so many years and drag it across the country etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?

I’m practically an expert mover of my life. I can move my household across the United States without any emotional upheaval. I’ve moved from house to house, town to town, and state to state. No problem. For the most part we live fairly light after fifteen years of marriage, two kids, three states, and almost  a dozen households. But this time it’s different . I have to really lighten the load and be diligent about things.


What are my favorite things?

1. Family

I’m taking my favorites (husband and boys) with me but I also have albums of pictures, framed pictures and art as well as videos of family, friends, and of a lifetime that will be stored away. Being the digital age, I can bring someone it with me but there is a fair amount of stuff that’ll be stored either at grandma’s or with our other precious things in a container for the long-term.

The one thing I discovered is I have a lot of frames. Big ones. Small ones. Most for photos. Some for art. And I don’t need to take them with me. I’m fairly certain I can get new frames in Italy.

2. Books

We are a family of readers. We have lots of books. We also love a good library but that’s a different story. We have so many books that we don’t actually have enough bookshelves for all the books. So our favorites are out and the rest are in boxes that get shuffled through now and again. Some of these books we’ll sell; old homeschool stuff and various other manuals that aren’t being used. Most will be stored in long-term storage. And a precious few will make the journey with us. Books are heavy as I’ve noticed through the years of moving back and forth.

3. Heirlooms

This is a small but necessary category. I have an antique dresser, bed frame, and a clock that will be kept but not taken. I could not bear it if these things were lost or broken. There are some homemade quilts that my mom made for me as a child and as an adult and for my children. These are some the precious things that need to be saved because of the memories of family.

4. Linens and Things

There’s a lot I’m willing to part with including my iron and old towels. There are things, my nice things, that I’ll be keeping in storage. Being in a house full of boys and moving a lot I haven’t collected a whole lot of nice things. For some reason stuff gets broken and you learn that it’s just stuff. Even if your first reaction is hysterical and over the top. After all, it’s just a sugar bowl. My nicer linens and my nicer dishes will be kept. But most everything else falls under “We’re going to Italy, let’s sell it”.