Originally Published: June 23, 2018 6:05 a.m.
When I left Murrieta, California, to take a job with a newspaper in Colorado in fall of 2006, the idea was to downsize ahead of the move.
So, I had a chat with my two girls and their mom, Cindy, about what we should keep and what we should take to Colorado. Since I was well aware that Cindy never tossed anything away, I was particularly concerned about how much stuff she wanted to keep.
As with most of our moves, I left ahead of my family then came back to get them once I had found a place to live. That took about two months before I headed back to Murrieta, and then loaded up what I believe was a 26-foot U-Haul truck.
The problem was that the truck held only about half the stuff in the house; so Cindy stayed behind roughly 12 more weeks in order to deal with the mass of stuff she acquired through the years at garage sales, yard sales, etc. And, the girls and I took off for Colorado.
I expected, more like hoped, Cindy would chip away at the mass of stuff still left in our hilltop home, prepare the residence to be sold, and then join us in Colorado. So much for hope. The end result was that I rented a fairly large storage space near our former home, mainly because she wanted to keep all that stuff.
The stuff stayed in that space for more than seven years at a cost that easily exceeded $10,000. At one point, we had two storage spaces at the facility. But when Cindy passed away after a long and bruising battle with cancer in the fall of 2011, I knew at some point I would have to go back to the storage space and deal with the mess.
That took well over a year. But, with the help of family and friends, we got it handled and I’ve been downsizing with each and every move since that time. I mean, who needs a 75-pound box filled with well-worn fashion magazines from the ’90s? A dumpster, that’s who.
With my girls in college, and most of their stuff with them, it became easier to reduce my footprint in recent years. So much so that when I moved to Arizona in spring 2018 from Truckee, California, where I was the managing editor for the Sierra Sun newspaper, all of my stuff ended up fitting in a 5-foot-by-10-foot U-Haul storage facility in Prescott.
But that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to chip away at some of the stuff I’ve been lugging around for years. I’ve been making trips about once every two weeks to the Goodwill in Prescott to donate everything from household goods to clothing, since I moved into my oversized and ridiculously nice home in Prescott Valley in early May.
I’ll make another donation next week, and then toast my due diligence at Matt’s Saloon. I’m not sure how much more stuff I have to donate, but it’s been a trip to go through what’s left and wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to keep it all in the first place.
Now, if I could just get someone to take the handmade curio off my hands.
Daily Courier News Editor Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 928-445-3333, ext. 2031 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.