If it’s been a little quiet around here, it’s because there are some big changes going down. If you’ve been following along, you know that about a year ago, we found ourselves with a San Jose house. And once I knew the Way to San Jose, the terriers and I started being citizens of the Bay Area, constantly on freeways shuttling between San Jose, San Francisco and Sonoma. Finally, we came to the realization that we really don’t live in San Francisco anymore. During the weekdays, Andy just can’t give up that 10 minute commute and weekends we are in Sonoma. So it’s time to face the inevitable, the San Francisco house has to be turned into a rental. And I’m okay with that. Part of me will always be a San Franciscan — and since we’re renting not selling the house we’re keeping our options open. But I’ve sort of fallen in love with San Jose. Or at least my part of it. It probably has something to do with the fact that I refuse to get on a freeway within city limits. That resolution routes me through older neighborhoods, interesting neon and funky reminders of pre-sprawl Bay Area.
However, before I can fully commit to being a San Josean, I still need to complete the 30 year clean out of San Francisco that I’ve been working on for a good part of the past six months. Not an easy task given that I am a collector and Andy is a hoarder. The way I define the difference is that a hoarder holds on to stuff with no sentimental or other value. So while I have lots of things that some might call junk, Andy saves things like decades of car and hot rod magazines, odd bits of scrap wood and the cord and charger to every piece of electronics he’s ever owned (even after the electronics are broken or no longer with us.) Since there would be no clean-out with Andy on the premises — and there is no moving van large enough to move us with all this crap — I’ve got to do the clean-out on my own.
So far, I’m just at the completion of Phase One — which was sorting through all our clothes, all our kitchenware and all our books. Not as easy as you’d think. First of all, we are, apparently, a household that has six complete fondue sets. Think about that for a minute. Now imagine all the other kitchen implements and equipment in duplicate and triplicate that we’ve amassed over the years. Sorting clothes was a little easier, even though I’ve held on to every wool business suit I’d had since back in the days when I lived in New England. It became easier once I accepted one of three possibilities: 1) I will never again need to wear a business suit, 2) On the odd chance that I do, it will not be in a place with winter weather that goes below 0 degrees and 3) It is not a certainty but a probability that I will not wear a Size 4 again in this lifetime. As to books, that was harder. Our Victorian was stuffed full of bookcases including one room that was lined on three sides with floor to ceiling shelves.
So Phase One reached completion on Thursday, with books, kitchenware and clothes packed in boxes or sitting in a pile for the Salvation Army.
Well, not exactly normal. It doesn’t really look like my parlor without the dozens of framed pictures, knick knacks and estate sale finds that used to cover every surface. Yes, our decorating style was “Senile Great Grandma’s Attic”.
Now I’ve spent the last few days, unpacking and organizing. Where organizing equals “stuffing things into every nook and cranny any old which way”.
Now back to the shoveling out and paring down. Because at some point, everything else in San Francisco gets packed up and sent to storage until we have a house in Sonoma to put it in.
He’s right, he does need a cookie. It calms the nerves after travelling.
I’ve been contemplating the same kind of problem – what to pack up and what to toss before our kitchen and master bath remodeling. It’s mind boggling. We are the same as you – one hoarder and one packrat=Too Much Stuff! Most of it will just be packed up and stored by a moving company, but I have to decide what to keep out (toaster, countertop cooker, dishes, etc. for cooking while we don’t have a kitchen) and what we can live without for six months. Spare me!
The photo is a bit fuzzy, but that looks like a Gibson guitar. Hope you kept that and maybe are still playing it. They were better then!
Good eyes. It’s a Gibson SG.
I don’t know about Andy, but you probably had to travel pretty light growing up. Most military families move pretty often. You don’t really have a stuff problem, just have enjoyed the luxury of staying in one place for a long time. It is a gift all its own.
Eventually you will get things pared down and only reach for that thing that isn’t there anymore half a dozen times a week 🙂 Oscar and Lucy will jump in and distract you with their terrier ways and all will be well. Vague wistfulness may follow but you like that sometimes anyway. Good luck. I’ve been in this house almost six years and am still not completely unpacked.