Thursday, June 19, 2008

Part 2 – The Releasing

If you ever decide to chuck it all to go on an adventure, I recommend using an estate sale specialist. They know how to price items, they advertise the event, they organize the merchandise, and they run the actual sale.

We interviewed three estate sale companies. The first two came through to assess our stuff and sniffily informed us that we didn’t have enough stuff. (One of them actually used the word “clutter.” We didn’t have enough clutter. I took it as a compliment.) The third person who came over was our angel, Kathy Dubs ( She didn’t mind our lack of clutter typical for an estate sale, and was sensitive and appropriate to our grief at leaving and letting go. I think because she often works with people who are releasing a deceased loved one’s items, she was really gentle with us. She recognized our different kind of loss.

In hiring an estate sale person, besides the obvious benefit of not having to do all that work yourself, you are also spared the overwhelming feelings as you watch people pick over the 90% of the stuff that you’ve chosen to let go. You don’t have to watch favorite items go to a stranger. You don’t have to listen to someone haggle down something you once valued. You don’t have to see your friends come through and have their own reactions to your move.

On the morning of the sale, we left a house full of our things tagged and laid out on tables, with people beginning to show up and rummage through the stuff of our lives. We returned later that day to find most of gone. Although we knew what to expect, it was still mildly shocking. Seeing the emptiness of our home, made the adventure, the future, become that more real. The anxiety and sadness that preceded the sale were replaced with excitement and a definite sense of freedom. We were really doing this! There was no turning back now.

The stuff that remained went to charity. And as time went on, we would occasionally hear from friends that they had the bed, and loved it, or another who had the chiminea, and it was featured on the patio, or someone else had the bookshelf on which they stored their treasures. All of them let us know that they used those things, and thought of us. It touched my heart to know the things we had once loved, things though they were, were still being used and appreciated.

In exchange for letting it all go, we gained our freedom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Karen...I've just spent the last 30 minutes or so reading your past posts beginning with Nov. 07. I can't even put into words how inspired, impressed, excited, curious and in awe I am of your Mental Margarita posts. To be honest with you, I googled your name to contact you about infromation on your organizational business (we briefly spoke several months ago...when I was planning our 20th HS reunion...I believe that was around the time you just moved to San Francisco.) Anyhow, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your have a HUGE talant for writing (and photography as well.) I signed up to receive future posts and look forward to reading the next chapter in you life (and should DEFINITELY write a book!) As I stated, my original intent was to talk to you about getting started in the organized biz. If you're willing and available to talk to an old friend (ok, I'm not really old...let's say a friend from the past), then please email me with a way to contact you. My email is By the would remember me as Mikki Treon. Take care!