Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Ya all know that six weeks ago I moved from the island to the shores of Lake Tahoe. When I went Caribbean, I basically took my clothes (my summer clothes) and that was about it. I rented furnished (everything including the kitchen sink). I learned to do without a lot. I complained on and off, but I got by just fine.

About ten days ago a horse trailer load of my ‘things’ arrived here in Tahoe. I still have a storage locker about half full back in Idaho, but I got the necessities. I rented an unfurnished condo in Tahoe because I wanted to go home, and home to me is my things.

Well…here I sit ten days later among boxes stacked everywhere wondering, ‘what was I thinking?’

I am really excited to be reunited with my scrapbooks and family pictures. I have the artwork that hung on the walls of various homes and I can’t wait to put some of those precious pictures up here. I have my favorite blanket hanging over the back of my wonderful overstuffed chaise, BUT I have boxes and boxes of things that I didn’t need for three years, and with each box I open I wonder who was this person that needed so much.

When I lived on island, I saw people who had absolutely nothing. Can you imagine that? Probably not. Before I experienced it first hand, I couldn’t. I mean I know people live in poverty everywhere in the world, but in the tropics poverty means having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. These people sleep in the bush or doorways. They wear the same clothes day in and day out, the wash themselves in the ocean and mostly they beg for food (even in a society, not unlike the US, where the welfare system pretty much is free with the hand outs). Even the people, who have more than nothing and a roof over their head, live a whole different lifestyle than some of the poorest people in America. I knew people who could not afford to have electricity in their homes. A vast majority of people have no vehicle and either walk everywhere, ride a bike or use the public transportation system (such as it is).

Now, I posted pictures of the places I lived. I was quite comfortable with swimming pools and ocean views. My condo had air conditioning, but I could not afford to turn it on, I will say the ceiling fans got a good work out daily. I did not live anywhere near the poverty level, BUT I got by with a whole lot less than I had waiting back here for me. So…I’m letting go of a whole lot more THINGS. I liked living a more simple life. I like having less clutter; I like being unencumbered of all the unnecessary, redundant things. I mean who really needs four frying pans.

I can already see that this little ADVENTURE is going to give me a whole lot more FREEDOM too.

How ‘bout you? Ready to de-clutter your life? Ready to experience a new kind of freedom. Remember – all you really get to take on the final adventure is the love you gave and got in return.


  1. Once a year we chuck what we don't want or need - or what hasn't been used for a while. I am not a collector of things and clutter drives me crazy. Not sure when we became a society that needed to covet a lot of stuff.

  2. My car is the biggest source of clutter in my life at the moment- stuff that needs to be thrown away, given to goodwill and just generally partted with. This is a good reminder of that.

  3. Wow. Big changes. I myself am not a fan of moving but sometimes it can be liberating to pack up and start again somewhere empty.

  4. I've decluttered when both kids moved out and split most things three ways. We also had to pack up my MIL's kitchen, and that was split as well. I might have four frying pans, but I have a reason.

    Good luck with the cleanup.

  5. Yeah I ditch a ton of crap too. Four frying pans? Well at least you have plenty of backups

  6. Every time I move, I get rid of a lot of stuff. Not to the extent you've seen/lived, but I make it a point to downsize on a regular basis.

  7. We'll be doing the same thing if we move to Hawaii to live with our daughter.

  8. Yup, when I moved to Mexico, I left everything behind with the exception of some precious items now in storage. The other day I was in a shop and picked up a wonderfully decorated box, then put it down..."don't need it," I said. I have decluttered my life. Wishing you joy in Tahoe.

  9. Great post. And I completely believe you because I've seen this myself firsthand.

    I actually de-cluttered my life after visiting Thailand, where I also saw that people lived with absolutely nothing. A good majority of people live in houses they built out of wood pieces and old scraps of tin. For work they sell food they cook on a street corner (which is actually mostly pretty damn good) and they get around by bicycle. None of them seem sad or like they're missing anything. It was really a charming experience, and since it's surrounded by a beautiful landscape, it's kind of pretty in its own way.

    Example 1
    Example 2

  10. Boy do I hear you about clutter. There are things I would like to pass on to the younger generation that have been in the family for a looooong time. But no one seems interested. Other than that, I could get rid of A LOT stuff and never miss it.

    By the way, there's a little something for you over at my blog!

  11. Alex - I think that somehow that 'stuff' is a status symbol and makes people feel successful.

    Beverly - Not sure if you mean the car itself is the clutter or the car is cluttered with stuff. I currently live in a 'bear habitat'. that means you are warned to not leave to much clutter in your car, especially of the food kind, because the bears will break in for a snack. This provides great incentive for me to clean out the car every time I come home.

    Marcy- that is so true.

    DG - I do realize that some people need more of one thing than another. Me, I really need to simplify.

    Pat - It's always wise to get rid of what you don't need. I used to think I needed all that backup; not any more, at least not with most things.

    Lara - Yeah, a good rule of thumb is to clean up and out when moving.

    Donna - Wow! Is that part of a current plan?

    Em - I hear ya. I have become the same. Thanks, I'm loving it here so far.

    ABFTS - Thanks for those pictures. I hope everybody has clicked on them to see exactly what it is like in other countries. This is something so hard to explain.

    Bish - I have to admit that I too have some things that have been in my family for generations (they aren't going anywhere). Fortunately, I have family members who have already called 'dibs' on most of the stuff that I'm not ready to part with.

    Been to your blog. Thanks so much. I'll get to that next week.

  12. Life is Beautiful, and even better when you can see it. Love you, love this post, and love the expeerience first hand.

  13. The older I get, the more I de-clutter. Material things seem less and less important.

    I admire your adventurous, heartfelt spirit, Farawayeyes.

    Have a great weekend.

  14. I think I'm in the process of declutter but I've never been one to hog useless things either. Often I'm guilty of getting rid even of useful things. I'm just like that.

  15. Great post and I think you already know how much I agree with you on this, for sure!

    Amazing pictures from ABFTS! I especially love the shot of the shack with Spiderman nailed up on it.

  16. Luckymama - Love you too.

    Robyn - thank you very much

    Al - Now the next step is to de-clutter the mind.

    Jaybird - Those pictures were really great, so glad he added them.

  17. FAE ~

    I know you LIVE for my comments. And... I did see the pictures Bryan linked too. Interesting, huh?

    My Ma was a pack rat - she kept damn-near everything (which is why I was able to post in Bryan's comment section an authentic 1967 poem[?] I had written about CARS).

    I'm not the pack rat my Ma was. In fact, there was a period of time in which I found myself moving so often that I discarded about 70% of my books and I made a new rule for myself: Anything I acquire from now on must be able to serve at least two purposes or I will not purchase it.

    I've lightened up since then (and reacquired a few of the books I discarded back then).

    I used to have a Blues guitarist friend, Larry Rosen (a.k.a. "Fu*kin' Lelly"), whom I have mentioned on my 'STUFFS' blog. He told me about a rule he laid down for his wife many years ago: Anything we haven't even looked at for two straight years must be discarded.

    Fu*kin' Lelly never quite got his wife to agree to and follow that rule.

    I think it's a sensible rule, but I have never been able to enforce it against myself either.

    For example, when I was a very young boy living in Orange County, CA., circa 1966, the ice cream truck used to come through my neighborhood. One treat I especially remember was ice cream on a plastic stick called 'BURIED TREASURE'...

    After you ate all the ice cream, you'd find the upper end of the plastic stick molded into some sort of "treasure".

    To this day, I still have one of those sticks. The top end of it is molded into the (green) caboose from a choo-choo train.

    I have that stored in a box, and I probably only look at it about once every 8 to 10 years. Nevertheless, there is NO FLIPPIN' WAY I could ever throw that out. It's literally a piece of "treasure" from my childhood.

    And I have many other things like that, too numerous to mention, and too precious to discard.

    So, on one hand, I agree about decluttering our lives; on the other hand, ...I'll never really do it satisfactorily.

    When my soul has returned to Heaven, someone else can toss out my trashy "treasures".

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  18. After leaving the above comment, I decided to Google “Buried Treasure Ice Cream”. It’s simply amazing what’s available on the Internet now:


    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  19. STMc - Excellent comment, as usual. While I'm on a mission to de-clutter my tiny little place, I have my own share of 'trashy treasures' that are precious to me. Some of these things I save for sentimental reasons, even belonged to a few generations before me. I can assure you these things aren't going anywhere as long as I'm alive.

    I checked on your link to the 'Buried Treasure Ice Cream'. Very interesting. I don't think I ever ran across this type of ice cream.

  20. After a major de-cluttering a few years ago, I made a rule that anything new coming into the house meant something comparable going out (Goodwill, trash, etc.). It's really kept down the accumulation of "stuff".

  21. I de-cluttered last year before our latest move. Still need to get rid of more crap.

    Trying to simplify. It's not so easy since our world is one of consumption and "stuff."