…For nothing left to lose. Remember the song? Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, first performed by Roger Miller in 1969, and later made famous by Janis Joplin.

For the last year, we have been in an intensive process of dejunking our home and lives in preparation for the big move from a large house to a condo or apartment. It is nothing short of amazing to see the accumulated “stuff” of 38 years of adulthood, family, and various homes (including the household remnants of parents passed away).

The folks at Renaissance (an outlet where no longer needed items are redirected to new immigrants or low income families) have become used to our cars making thrice weekly appearances bearing everything from clothing and dish sets to sports equipment and art. Any day now, I am expecting the trash collectors to leave a menacing note on my back door, asking us to cut back on the contractor bags full of junk from the garage and basement. And the more we get rid of….the more there appears to still be there; a perverse cornucopia of crap!

We recently hired a “stager”, Lisa,  to help us design the house for maximum appeal to potential buyers. She is terrific, by the way. She produced an eight page report with 120 recommendations! Most involved even further dejunking….of stuff we didn’t even think of as junk! Curtains….gone. Furniture pieces…gone (to the cellar). Anything you don’t foresee using in 6 months….gone. The goal is to restore the house to a blank canvas on which potential buyers can let their imaginations paint their own future.

But here’s the rub: It feels great! As if with every piece leaving, the load on our shoulders gets lighter. Less stuff to worry about, maintain, find a place for, repair, etc. And a new challenge: Find creative ways to accomplish things using less stuff. Instead of a panini maker…make them the old fashioned way…the way my mother used to make them….in a frying pan with a heavy pot on top of the sandwich.

We crave a new Zen-like existence of simplicity free of clutter and responsibility, liberating as much time as possible for being with the people we care about and our personal interests in travel, photography, cooking, etc. Ownership is overrated!

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