Thursday, September 4, 2008

Storage Units and Self Loathing

In 1999 Scott and I left Seattle for Ashland. Our first house here was a massive old Craftsman that we wanted to restore. House restoration was something we loved to do before we had kids; now, with two, it seems unimaginable. When we had finished the remodel and the installment of the world’s largest residential pool and the half acre of landscaping, we decided to move. I had just had our second child and was overwhelmed by the upkeep. In that state I didn’t want cavernous rooms with heavy Craftsman furnishings; I wanted small spaces with sleek, modern furniture. I blame it on Real Simple. They should put a warning label on that magazine: DO NOT READ WHILE HORMONALLY IMBALANCED.

We decided to simplify. Scale down. Fortunately we sold while Ashland prices were some of the highest in the state. On the flip side this meant that there was not much out there to buy—house inventory was at an all-time low. We found a cute little house on an amazing piece of property and decided to buy it as a rest stop until we found the perfect house. We moved the basics in and got a massive storage unit for the stuff that couldn’t fit.
It’s now been four years and we’re still in the “rest stop” house. We love the smaller footprint, the way you can clean the entire house in an hour or two, the lovely private yard, and the emotional closeness that physical closeness begets. The only problem is the damn storage unit. It looms. So, we finally decided to have a garage sale to deal with it.

Pawing through piles of stuff is depressing. It’s like a massive exercise in decision making over and over and over again. You look at something and say, “Sell it—I don’t know why I ever bought that in the first place,” or, “I’ll never sell that! It’s a full set of Villeroy & Boch china!” And each reaction has its own emotional baggage: self loathing for buying something you didn’t need or self loathing for keeping something you do not need and don’t have room for.

It’s a lose/lose situation and it won’t be over until Sunday when the Garage Sale is finished and we’ve moved what we absolutely cannot part with into a smaller, more reasonable storage unit. I’m hoping this downscaling will scale down the self loathing as well.


Anonymous said...


I for one can't wait to plunder your garage sale.

All you readers out there. Get to The Raedeke's. Christy and Scott have the best taste of anybody I know.

You should make an absolute fortune.

I do still miss your pool.


Katie said...

I wished I lived there! But I know how you feel. We have three attics in our house - all filled with stuff I regret buying. I used to be into decorating when newly married, and so I decked out the house - but later discovered my true taste in furnishings which wasn't what i already owned - thus the guilty throw away etc....

yuck. I feel for ya - I bet you DO feel better Sunday!

Hardygirl said...

I'm dying to come to your garage sale. Would it blow the bargains if I hopped on a plane right now? I guess it would . . .